The pandemic has put a brake on the deployment of the CCIAP, but its objectives remain valid.
It’s difficult to move the Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP) forward when body shop managers have many other concerns on their minds. That being said, the program’s pause does not prevent body repairers from taking advantage of various government incentives to invest in the training of their staff.
The gains made in this area, particularly through the I-CAR training program, will prove to be very useful when the program is resumed to facilitate certification.
“I understand that it’s difficult to get the auditions up and running again at a time when body shops are reducing the number of non-essential visitors,” says Jean-François Champagne, President of the AIA.
“But the CCIAP is very active and the shops that have been accredited will remain so even after their first year of accreditation since we cannot validate their status in the field.“
According to Champagne, the CCIAP program is all the more justified since the notion of recognizing the skills of body shops in several regions of Canada is gradually gaining ground in several provinces.
“The Ontario government, for example, is reviewing its auto insurance program and is considering better control of repair costs by setting a standard. The goal is to maintain public confidence in body shops, but also, and this is of interest to us, to ensure that shops have the tools and knowledge to repair all vehicles properly. We make presentations to government authorities in support of CCIAP, whose concepts and expertise meet these objectives.”
In the confusion caused by the existence of various certification programs, other provinces would also be interested in a more general, industry-recognized program. In this regard, the AIA’s work on the recognition of the CCIAP is ongoing.
According to Champagne, it has been a particularly difficult time for body repairers. Recent surveys conducted by his organization show that the mechanical component has resumed a more sustained volume of work more quickly, while body shops are still suffering from the reduction in automobile travel.
“I believe that consolidation in the body shop sector will continue,” he predicts. “But I also believe that body shops that continue to invest in training and state-of-the-art equipment will position themselves to do well.”