Third-Party Validation to Launch September 1; Fees Officially Set
May 12, 2009
The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) Council's third-party
validation program will officially begin on September 1, and the fees
for the program have been set, as announced by AGRSS accreditation committee
chair Cindy Ketcherside at today's Independents' Day Conference and Spring
Auto Glass Show.
Though some in the industry previously feared that AGRSS registration
fees might soar into the thousands, Ketcherside announced that the new
fee will be $494 per company and $99 per additional location for each
company. The fees will remain as they are currently ($225 for a new registration,
$200 for a renewal) until September 1; after that, as each company comes
up for renewal, the new fees will take effect.
"I know that's a big difference in price, but there's also a big
difference in what you're getting," she said.
She also described a bit about the auditing/validating process itself.
Orion Registrar Corp., which has been contracted to conduct the auditing
program, will assign five to ten auditors to handle the AGRSS validation
program; Automotive Glass Consultants' Bob Beranek will provide technical
training to them this August.
"We found that it's easier to train an auditor in the glass business
than to train a glass person in auditing," Ketcherside said.
She also noted that the auditors will be trained to work with a company.
"It's not like the IRS coming in-it's someone who's going to be working
with you," Ketcherside added.
The auditing will be conducted by cluster; the current 1,600 locations
will be divided into 160 clusters of 10, and 10 clusters will be audited
per annual validation period. The clusters will be created geographically
and picked randomly.
For companies who wish to register with AGRSS after September 1-until
the following September 1-the company will need to pay to be audited to
"keep the model sound," Ketcherside said. The cost of an audit
is $1500 per company.
"If you don't want to do that, wait until September 1, 2011, and
just pay the registration fee at $494," she explained.
Companies to be audited will be given 30 days notice, and the auditor
will work with them to figure out when to visit the shop. The audit will
commence with an opening meeting during which the auditor will explain
what's going to happen during the audit. All technicians at every location
will be audited, and, if one isn't available, the shop owner will have
to provide documentation for why they're not there.
Ketcherside also explained that items that could compromise the safety
of the windshield installation and could cause it to function improperly
in the event of an accident would be considered major nonconformities.
She provided examples such as failure to follow the urethane manufacturer's
instructions; use of chemical agents that might be against the urethane
manufacturer's instructions; improper storage of urethane; and failure
to explain safe drive-away times.
Once the audit is complete, the auditor will provide a closing report
to the company owner and will discuss it with him/her, Ketcherside said.
Companies that do not pass an audit will be allowed to be re-audited,
but will be required to pay the full cost of the audit.
Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com for more information as the conference,
which runs through tomorrow, May 14, continues. (CLICK
HERE for video footage from the first day of the conference.)
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