Volume 10, Issue 4 - July/August 2008

the latest in safety

Accreditation Committee Work on Track for 2009 Third-Party Validation

The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council Inc.’s Accreditation Committee continues to develop the model for third-party validation, which is expected to debut in 2009. All aspects of that process are running smoothly and on time, according to committee chairperson Carl Tompkins (see related story in March/April 2008 AGRR, page 28).

“Fulfillment of the registration process begins in 2009,” accreditation committee chairperson Carl Tompkins says. “We’ll be enacting the final phase of the registration program that will provide the highest level of credibility in validating AGRSS compliance, and that’s through third-party validation.”

The validation team is a subcommittee of the accreditation committee and is chaired by Cindy Ketcherside. Currently, the team is culling proposals from independent third-party validation organizations across the country that are interested in handling the job for the AGRSS Council. In mid-April, more than 50 organizations were sent a request for proposals (RFP) and Tompkins reports that within three weeks “a number of companies responded that they [would] be submitting a full proposal and model by the end of [April],” which was the deadline.

AGRSS CAP Program Grows in 2008
This spring, members of the AGRSS Council Inc. worked to finalize a process to help interested AGRSS-registered companies organize and enact a Consumer Awareness Program (CAP) event in their community and the best way to do it with the support of local government, media and the insurance industry. The first CAP event was held last August in Rochester, Minn. (see related story in the October 2007 issue of AGRR, page 46).

Brochures outlining what CAP events are and how to host them are among the marketing materials available to AGRSS-registered companies. 

AGRSS Chair Reacts to Belron US AGRSS Statements
AGRSS Council Inc. president Cindy Ketcherside recently expressed concern about statements made by Belron US executive vice president Tom Feeney at the Independent Glass Association’s (IGA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas and follow-up comments made by company spokesperson Jenny Cain in an interview with AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.com™ (see related stories on pages 32 and 48).

When asked during a presentation at the IGA conference about his position on AGRSS, Feeney advised Belron US doesn’t intend to register because it doesn’t support third-party validation. 

Afterwards, Cain advised AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.com™ that company officials believe that its own training and certification program, SafeTech, “takes the [AGRSS] Standard as adopted to a higher level.”

In response to these statements, Ketcherside notes there seems to be confusion about the actual content of the Standard and what it addresses.

“The comment Tom Feeney made at the AGRSS Conference, as well as the subsequent statement issued by Belron/US, lead me to believe there is tremendous confusion within the Belron US organization of the actual document ANSI/AGRSS 002-2002, the industry’s Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard and the AGRSS-registered company program,” she says.

She also speaks to the involvement of Belron US in the development of the Standard.

“The disturbing part of these statements is that AGRSS is, and has always been, a full industry-wide effort, including individuals from the Belron US organization who helped write the Standard and develop Phase I and Phase II of the AGRSS-registered company program,” Ketcherside adds. “It belongs to our industry as a whole without partisanship or politics. It was developed to help advance our industry in auto glass installation that complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.”

Finally, Ketcherside says she hopes that Belron US will remain a part of the effort-and perhaps even become a registered company in the future.

“As the largest provider of auto glass services in this country, we would like Belron to be part of the effort to create a healthy industry,” she says. “Having Belron US embrace, rather than discount, AGRSS registration would be one of the strongest and most effective leadership statements the company could make in the United States. Having seen Belron’s leadership role in other countries, we are extremely surprised at its parochial view of the AGRSS Standard and the AGRSS-registered company program.”

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