Launched next January, bodyshop owners who feel their businesses meet a predetermined set of standards called PAS 125 can apply for a Thatcham BSi Kitemark.
Hailed as a new vision for crash repair, the launch of the scheme should also ensure fleets meet part of their duty of care obligations, experts say.
The launch is in response to suggestions that bodyshop skills are struggling to keep pace with new car technology.
It aims to give fleets and consumers peace of mind that any body repair work undertaken on their vehicles is done by properly trained repairers with the correct equipment to complete the job.
The new quality standard is being launched by the Motor Insurance Repair Centre, known as Thatcham, and BSi (British Standards Institute).
A spokesman for Thatcham told an industry briefing: ‘We’ve had a lot of interest from fleets about the scheme.’
And Mike Pearson, head of projects – new product development at BSI, added: ‘Fleet companies and any organisation with at-work drivers have a duty of care to their employees so they need to be sure that any crash repair carried out to a vehicle is safe Employees expect their employers to look after them.’
Earlier this year, fleets made a damning attack on repair standards among some bodyshops and smart repair companies.
Members of the North East and Tyne Tees region of fleet operators’ association ACFO complained that standards were getting worse (Fleet News, August 17).
Jason Moseley, director of quality and IT business systems at Thatcham, said: ‘Although the publication of the new PAS 125 standards is a fantastic achievement for all involved, we do not see this as the end of our work.
‘Indeed, this is the beginning of the road in term of providing the repairer industry with a mechanism to benchmark their services and in so doing demonstrate an ongoing commitment to quality and integrity of repairs.’
Pierre Lefèvre, chief executive of Groupama and also chairman of the Thatcham board, said the launch of the Kitemark itself should have no negative impact on insurance premiums.