Volume 10, Issue 1 - January/February 2008
AGRSS Sets Sights on Next Phase
It’s been four years in the making: a program to independently verify the proper use of the AGRSS Standard is one step closer to being complete. The AGRSS Committee charged with the task has started working on the final stage of developing a validation process: the third-party audit.
“We’re entering the final stage of registration, called level-three, third-party audit. This is where we needed to go from the very beginning,” says validation committee chair Carl Tompkins.
The final model of part three is expected to be completed by this time next year, and implementation of level 3 is anticipated to go into effect sometime in the first quarter of 2009.
Tompkins says that the committee is creating an auditing process to ensure that the industry has had plenty of time to become accustomed to each previous stage before the next element is introduced.
“We had to approach this with patience, having introduced our first registration in 2003—which gave the industry time to identify the standard and to discover what policies needed to be built into [it] at their company, for technician compliance. That’s why for the first, two-year term of level one—2003-2005—we only asked industry participants to declare that they would [be AGRSS-compliant],” says Tompkins.
Once members of the industry have had time to make any necessary changes to individual shops to bring them into compliance with the Standard, they have been asked to prove it with the second stage of the self-auditing process, known as “self assessment and deliverables.” Tompkins describes it as moving from “I will” to “I do” and requiring shop representatives to show their work.
“They sent back a contract stating that their locations are compliant and offered further credibility of compliance by submitting a list of eight product pieces or deliverables. This level 2 of registration that began in 2005 will continue through 2008, which gives the industry a full four years to validate compliance through their own, detailed, internal testing,” Tompkins explains.
The third-party audit will provide two advantages to those who are AGRSS-registered and compliant, Tompkins says. The first benefit is that that the insurance industry will have a verifiable means of recognition and the second is that it will bring a higher degree of validity within the concept of AGRSS registration. A company can claim to be in compliance, but if the audit finds that a registered company is not in compliance, that company will be required to make serious changes.
“While details are in the midst of being analyzed, researched and developed into how this will take place, you can rest assured that people who are not compliant and cannot come into compliance will not be able to participate in the AGRSS-registration program. There’s your teeth,” Tompkins adds, referring to one of the most frequently heard challenges to the auditing program: that it has no “teeth.”
Meet the Validation Committee
Committee members are as follows:
Subcommittee teams and chair people include: