A DIRECTOR of a vehicle repair business has stepped up his campaign for better regulation in the industry.
Clint Hudson of Panelcraft at Tromode told Business News: ‘We are serious about safety.’
The company was featured in the Examiner two weeks ago after Mr Hudson claimed the repair business currently lacks regulation which he said means customers have no way of knowing if a crash repair, for example, is up to scratch.
Now Mr Hudson says the company has put its money where its mouth is by spending thousands of pounds to send staff to special courses in the UK. He said: ‘Panelcraft is one of only five per cent of vehicle repairers throughout the British Isles to have passed the pioneering Repair Standard Kitemark/PAS125 first time.
‘This accreditation cannot be bought; it has to be earned and kept. Even for a progressive vehicle repairer such as Panelcraft a considerable investment was required. A major consideration in these difficult financial times. But what price do you put on safety?’
Ross Charlton and Chris Mash hold the coveted V.D.A. (Vehicle Damage Assessor) status. To achieve their accreditation Panelcraft’s assessors must have acquired at least five years’ industry experience with a minimum of two years in an appropriate role. The examination was a three stage event. which included a two day practical examination at Thatcham Research Centre in the UK.
All of Panelcraft’s vehicle technicians have achieved Senior ATA status in their respective disciplines. ATA is the Automotive Technician Accreditation which proves that an individual has undergone a three to five day stringent written and practical assessment at a British Standards Institute (Kitemark) approved independent assessment centre.
They are: Gary McElroy, senior ATA panel technician; Darron Castle and Martin Emeny, senior A.T.A. M.E.T. (mechanical, electrical and trim) technicians; Jason Hinstridge and Tony Searle, senior A.T.A. paint technicians. Since acquiring the accreditation Panelcraft undergoes regular stringent unannounced checks by the BSI and its insurance company work providers to ensure that standards and working practices are being adhered to, equipment is maintained and recommended parts and materials are being used.
Clint Hudson, director, said: ‘There is a misconception that our costs are higher because we provide this reassurance to our customers. This is not the case, as our numerous insurer sole approval contracts will testify.
Repairers do not have to hold the kite mark, but since 2007 he said most insurance companies have stipulated only kite marked body shops can carry out accident repairs.
Infrastructure Minister David Cretney has told the Examiner there were no plans in the pipeline to introduce legislation in the island but he was planning to do some research.
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