Since CIC first compiled its definition of a “Class A” collision repair facility in the 1980s, the Definitions Committee has periodically updated the document, adding to or changing the list of equipment, training, compliance issues and other elements that CIC participants believed distinguished the nation’s top shops.
But at CIC in Boston, the committee presented its final draft of the revised document, with the term “Class A” no longer in the title. The line items in the definition are largely unchanged from the 2005 version, but it now defines simply the, “recommended equipment and capabilities for a collision repair facility.”
Several CIC participants in Boston questioned that change.
“What we tried to do over the years was distinguish those who step up to a higher level,” CIC Administrator Jeff Hendler told the committee. “Now just to be in the collision business I’ve got to meet all this? But what do we do about those who don’t? What do you call those guys?”
As he did at CIC earlier this year when the committee presented a draft of the document, Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) noted that the definition includes things like a shop management system and ongoing CSI documentation that top-tier shops may need but that aren’t required by every shop.
But Definitions Committee chairman Chris Evans of State Farm said the committee had input from all segments of the industry as it did its work on the definition. He also pointed to a vote at CIC in January which he said showed support for the change in the document’s name. At that meeting, about 45 percent of CIC participants voted to rename it as the “minimum requirements” for a shop, but over half were split among the other alternatives offered, including keeping the definition unchanged from the 2005 version, revising it but maintaining it as the definition of a “Class A shop,” or deleting it altogether from the CIC website.
As a “conference” rather than a formal organization, CIC has no bylaws nor formal voting requirements. But traditionally before any committee’s work product is considered finalized and published on the CIC website, a floor vote is taken.
Although no vote to approve the 3-page document was taken in Boston, CIC Chairman George Avery said he felt the committee had completed its work (which began last year), and the finalized definition could be turned over to the CIC Standards Committee.
“Let’s see where it fits in the work they are doing,” Avery said, although later in the meeting he said that the topic could be reviewed then or next year. “And now let’s move it into what’s happening with this process with the Standards Committee.”
As with all its work, CIC has no ability to implement the definitions or recommendations it develops. But the “Class A” shop definition has been among the CIC documents most widely used in a variety of ways over the years by insurers, associations, government agencies and other organizations.