ARA’s Certified Collision Repair & AIA’s Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program

March 16, 2017

Certification Program
Over a year ago, the ARA and AIA began discussing the harmonization of our two programs, the Certified Collision Repair (CCR) program and the AIA’s Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation program (CCIAP). The fit made sense to everyone. By harmonizing our programs, BC collision shops can be assured that they are not being asked to perform to two different standards. It will be the same standard regardless of where a business is located in Canada. In addition, by certifying under the ARA program, BC ARA member shops receive significant cost savings while being recognized as a member of the national program. The CCR program has the added benefit of differentiating service providers beyond OEM certification criteria to provide consumer and insurer confidence that your facility is qualified, competent, and fit to complete repairs on today’s complex vehicles.

In late-December, Economic Insurance became the first public insurance corporation to declare that its repair partners would be required to be accredited through CCIAP. This followed announcements by Fix Auto, CARSTAR, Assured Automotive, Craftsman Collision, and CSN Auto that they were behind CCIAP as a national, not-for-profit accreditation program.

Harmonization Update
As occasionally happens, programs evolve as they react to changes in technology, challenges faced by industry, or the adoption of new norms.

I am pleased to state that the ARA has been able to work toward some of those changes on behalf of industry.

1) The ARA’s CCR program originally allowed a timeframe by which industry had to attain I-Car Gold Class, as we recognized the challenges in B.C., since ICBC training had all but removed I-CAR from this province for a considerable period of time. Therefore, industry (other than those who were astute enough to determine industry needs) was behind in the training requirements for Gold Class. When we harmonized our program with CCIAP, a sacrifice had to be made, requiring full Gold Class for acceptance.
Change: the CCR requirements now allows time to achieve Gold Class:

 Current I-CAR Canada Gold Class recognition (or Gold Class in Progress, with Gold Class to be achieved by the first accreditation renewal date)

2) Aware of the cost challenges to industry, and staying abreast of industry technology, the ARA pushed for and received acceptance to include “Dry Vac” technology.
Change: the requirements for Aluminum capabilities have been expanded; as such, the new wording now states the following:

 Maintain an Immersion-Type, Wet Mix dust extraction system OR a dry vacuum system using compressed air only, at a low cfm rating (less than 10 cfm) with no electric input that captures aluminum dust, fines, and particles at the source and removes them to a disposable bag meeting the appropriate safety certifications.

BC collision repair shops are encouraged to contact David Ribeiro at the ARA to begin the registration process to demonstrate your leadership position in the BC collision repair marketplace and see what you require to become a member of the program.

Below are some key components related to the program.
Program materials including the application form can be found at