Auto Service World
Feature   August 1, 2001   by CARS Magazine

Technicians’ Image Enhanced Using Industry Standards

Technicians in Canada now have access to a tremendous new tool to make their jobs easier, and at the same time, be seen in a more professional light. A technician's job is challenging enough on the be...


Technicians in Canada now have access to a tremendous new tool to make their jobs easier, and at the same time, be seen in a more professional light. A technician’s job is challenging enough on the best of days, but it becomes very trying and at times nearly impossible without having proper information and standards to support their role. Without the proper information and documentation, a technician’s recommendations are often misinterpreted by a service advisor or supervisor. What happens when these misinterpreted recommendations are then miscommunicated to the customer? Whose image and credibility suffers? Technicians and the whole repair and service industry know the answer.

North American Industry has developed a series of seven Uniform Inspection and Communication Standards (UICSs) covering all major automotive systems – exhaust, brakes (incl. ABS), steering & suspension, engine maintenance & performance, electrical, HVAC and drive train & transmission. The UICSs identify conditions found during an inspection and categorize all repair recommendations as ‘Required’ or ‘Suggested’ – based on industry standards.

Brent Simpson, Performance Analyst with Sears Canada’s Automotive Division, says that his technicians are telling him that “this is great – for the first time, there is an industry standard that I can use to make sure information gets to the customer accurately”. According to Brent, one of the primary reasons Sears Canada implemented the Motorist Assurance Program of Canada (MAPC) standards was to “force the use of a standardized communication piece internally so that external communications to our customers can be done effectively”.

Technicians are using the UICSs to virtually eliminate judgment calls during the course of an inspection. Consistency between technicians and shops makes life much more comfortable for techs, and gives the consumer a greater sense of confidence and trust in the process. The Consumers’ Association of Canada is so confident that MAPC’s program can make a difference to motorists, they agreed to join industry at the boardroom table.

The Motorist Assurance Program of Canada is provided as a service by leading independent retailers, corporations and associations (including CARS) in Canada’s automotive repair and service industry. MAPC’s mission is to strengthen the relationship between the motorist and the automotive service and repair industry through education of the motorist and service provider, and through the creation of industry standards.

For more information on the Motorist Assurance Program of Canada visit the Canadian link at www.motorist.org or call (613) 725-2286.