Q: Aren’t all collision repairers the same?

A: The correct diagnosis of a vehicle’s damage is critical to a proper repair. Hidden damage, improperly repaired metal, and substandard parts are factors that compromise your safety and the integrity of your vehicle. ARA Certified Collision Repair providers ensure your vehicle is properly repaired and safe.

Q: What are the differences between Certified and Certified + Aluminum service providers?

A: The complex engineering and diverse material used in today’s vehicles requires specific tools and technical training in order to properly repair them. The ARA’s Certified Collision Repair program ensures all certified service providers meet requirements in business, facility, equipment, personnel, and technical areas.

Shops with a higher level of specialized tools qualify for the Certified level, and those that are qualified to repair aluminum vehicles are granted + Aluminum status.

The ARA’s Certified Collision Repair program logo is our stamp of approval and the sign customers can trust to know they are dealing with an industry leader.

Q: The program application asks about our shop’s “quality assurance program.” What is required to satisfy that component?

A: This is the quality control aspect that speaks to the inspection process used to confirm the quality of repairs as it goes through each stage of the repair/refinish process, including the final quality control check, to ensure all repairs have been done to 100% satisfaction before the customer receives the vehicle. Some shops have automated processes; others have check sheets and quality control managers. Some shops also use an annual or semiannual review of all the processes to ensure staff are on board or to incorporate any necessary changes.

Q: What are you looking for when you ask for shops to have “a documented customer dispute resolution process in place”? 

A: If a situation with a problematic customer arises, it is important for staff to understand the protocol for how to proceed and with whom they need to collaborate with on the matter.

Q: Do you require a CSI program beyond the insurers CSI conducted?

A: No, the only CSI companies you are required to participate in is that conducted on behalf of the insurer; however, we wish to recognize the companies that carry additional private contracts.

Q: If my shop qualifies for the CCR program, does this also mean my shop also qualifies for the AIA’s Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP)?

A: The ARA and AIA have completed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines how the CCR program and CCIAP have synchronized. By completing the CCR application, you will be also registered with CCIAP. Once the application is reviewed for completeness, it will be forwarded to the auditors who will coordinate a visit of your facility to finalize the application detail. Once approved, you will be recognized nationally and afforded the benefits of both programs. Shops who qualify for Certified status in the CCR program will automatically qualify for AIA’s national program.

Q: How critical is it that a shop is registered as I-CAR “Gold Class“, as even some OE certifications do not have this requirement?

A: Many OEM certification programs do require I-CAR Gold Class status. The CCR and CCIAP programs have also adopted this standard.

Q: How do I go about determining how many I-CAR credits I have towards certification?

A: The I-CAR website will not display the credits for training already completed unless you have completed your online registration. There is an admin fee associated with this that is not part of the CCR program application fee. Journeymen are automatically provided credits towards I-CAR training (once registered).

Q: Can I complete the application form by hand, or should I use the fillable PDF document and send it back electronically?

A: Please submit the application electronically. The application carries many components that may need to be revisited and updated as the shop works towards completing the program requirements. The fillable PDF document allows the shop, program coordinator, and the auditors to update or add comments throughout the process.

Q: I have other licensed or apprentice trade employees such as licensed mechanics, should I list them on the application?

A: It is recommended to include them in your list of technicians along with the certificate of qualifications (CQ) number.

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