A car is a big purchase item. The second largest, in fact, to your home. For this reason alone, it makes sense to have it repaired at an accredited and graded workshop. Why? “Because an accredited workshop has to meet and comply with minimum criteria and set standards,” says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Association (RMI). “If a workshop has been accredited by a reputable association, such as MIWA, you can be assured of good workmanship but also recourse should the job not be done to acceptable standards,” he says.
Ranft adds that accredited workshops are run by highly-skilled mechanics, with excellent service-levels, administrative support and quality parts and machinery. “However, the key is to ensure you select an accredited workshop.”
He explains that during the accreditation process a workshop undergoes a thorough assessment. Aspects including the health and safety operating procedures are scrutinised as are the premises, equipment, administration, waste removal, staffing and so on. “Even aspects of the business such as parking facilities, lighting, ventilation and uniforms are inspected. The MIWA accreditation and grading process includes a document of proof of compliance to Health and Safety policies that members have to adhere to before they receive their accreditation. It is a rigorous process that we believe is essential to ensure customers know they are dealing with professionals and feel protected,” he says.
The level of staff training is also an important aspect of the accreditation process. “Unfortunately, skills shortages are a reality. To achieve a MIWA accreditation, workshops have to prove their staff have sufficient training and on-the-job experience as well as specific qualifications to meet the needs of their customers. By using an accredited workshop, customers can feel reassured that they are dealing with highly-trained individuals,” Ranft points out.
Accreditation criteria also includes standards for tools and diagnostic equipment required to correctly perform the repairs as well as having insurance, such as defective workmanship insurance in the unlikely event of an incorrect repair, in place. “Workshops have to have guarantees and warrantees in place before accreditation can be achieved.”
Possibly the most important benefit of using an accredited workshop is the knowledge that there is an association you can deal with in the event of a bad service or poor workmanship experience.
Once accredited, a workshop can then enter into the grading process. Just like the hospitality industry, workshops receive a star-rating based on a specific list of criteria. “To become a five-star Graded workshop, for example, MIWA workshops must be fully audited and deliver on requirements around workshop design and equipment, customer satisfaction assessment tools, and service options such as vehicle washing prior to delivery as well as free delivery and collection service. Many of our workshops are graded as five-star but we also have four- and three- star workshops that offer excellent service too,” explains Ranft.
“Owning a motor vehicle is a big investment. The purchase price alone is a major financial commitment and repairs don’t come cheap. It is therefore very important that you can trust the repairer to do the best job at the most affordable price. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of accreditation when contacting a workshop. If you are looking for a workshop bear in mind that there are over 2 500 accredited MIWA workshops around the country. Download the RMI Connect app to find the workshop closest to you. You have the right to an affordable and professional service so make sure you use an accredited workshop,” he concludes.