October 1997 INSIGHT Feature:

I-CAR's Uniform Procedures for Collision Repair

A detailed examination of the ambitious reference work and its intended use

I-CAR launched their Uniform Procedures for Collision Repair (UPCR) CD-ROM this year after two years of development. The subject of a lot of interest in the collision repair industry, the purpose and intended use of UPCR remains a mystery to many collision repairers. Many shops have heard of UPCR, but what are they to do with it?

To help answer this question INSIGHT obtained the July release of the UPCR from I-CAR. The following article seeks to provide repairers and insurers with a thorough review of the product and how repairers, insurers and educators can use the product in their work.

What is UPCR?

The stated goal of I-CAR’s UPCR is deceptively simple. According to I-CAR’s documentation for UPCR, "UPCR is a one-stop source for Industry-accepted collision repair procedural information. Each UPCR procedure contains the minimum requirements for a satisfactory repair, as agreed upon by representatives from all segments of the Industry. UPCR contains procedural information, equipment and material requirements, safety and hazardous material information, and salvage part requirements for every job a collision repair facility will face."

At the heart of the UPCR’s proper use is communication. Repair facilities, insurers, educators, etc. can use the UPCR as a baseline for communicating the minimum steps necessary to perform a repair.

If you’ve taken any of I-CAR’s available training courses, you are familiar with the wide variety of industry accepted repair techniques covered by their training offerings. Simply put, the UPCR seeks to take all of the recommended repair techniques taught in I-CAR classes and put them in one electronic document. An enormous task to say the least.

The theory goes like this: Having the minimum requirements for a successful repair procedure displayed in a single well-organized, cross-referenced document that can be used as required, users can better access information of preferred repair techniques when they are needed.

In essence, as the UPCR continues to grow, users will be able to replace a significant portion of their bookshelf of reference material with one CD-ROM. A great idea and a significant time saver when used properly. Users can view the information on the computer screen or print out individual procedures to reference in the shop or to communicate with insurance personnel or customers.

The UPCR is available as an annual subscription. Each quarter, I-CAR will release a new CD-ROM containing new and updated procedures. The price of an annual subscription to UPCR has been reduced. The new price in the United States is $295 and in Canada it is $370. A $50 discount will be given to Gold Class Professionals.

The Procedures

The July 1997 release contains 70 individual repair procedures in 21 content areas. In addition, other reference sources are listed such as vehicle manufacturers and paint, materials and equipment suppliers. (Editor’s Note: See the chart at right for a complete listing of procedures.)

Repair procedures included in the UPCR were developed by I-CAR and were presented to a review committee of roughly 400 people representing all segments of the industry.

By April 1998, I-CAR plans to include nearly 150 individual procedures in nearly 40 content areas in the UPCR.

The repair procedures are generic, often directing the user to seek manufacturer recommendations concerning specifics. I-CAR intends to include more vehicle specific information in future releases of the product. But, the information is thorough enough to serve as a best practice benchmark for technicians and encompasses key areas of contention that often crop up between shops and insurers concerning included and non-included items that must be performed for a quality repair.

The UPCR is viewed through Adobe Acrobat software, included on the CD-ROM. Acrobat is a widely-used program that enables documents to retain their look and feel from computer to computer. System requirements and a screen capture of an actual procedure page are shown at right.

Conclusion

The current release of the UPCR does an excellent job. Though it will not replace formal training programs, it is a valuable reference tool and its utility will only grow as the review process encompasses more procedures. Enhancements, such as video and manufacturer specific data, will also increase its value.

Demo disks are available from I-CAR by calling 1-800-ICAR-USA or in Canada at 1-800-565-ICAR.

Reprinted from the October 1997 Issue of Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT.

© 1997 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT. All Rights Reserved

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