Motor Codes, the OFT-approved self-regulatory body for the automotive service and repair sector, heads into 2012 with renewed strength-in-depth, announcing the membership of its Compliance Panel – one that builds on links with government, vehicle manufacturers and consumer organisations.

The Independent Compliance and Assessment Panel (ICAP) meets quarterly to review Motor Codes subscriber compliance and code effectiveness. A keystone of OFT approval, its independent scrutiny of operations within Motor Codes and across its network of subscribing garages ensures that industry and consumer interests are best protected.

Previously operating on a rolling membership basis, the announcement of a set panel membership for the year, at the request of Trading Standards chief executive and Panel Chairman, Ron Gainsford OBE, will bring clarity and continuity and, ultimately, ensure that standards are fully maintained.

Chris Mason, managing director at Motor Codes, explains the significance of the move, “The presence of Ron Gainsford over the past year has ensured effective regulation of our operations, with sanctions for businesses that fall below the mark. The calibre of people that have responded to Ron’s call to strengthen the Compliance Panel demonstrates the growing importance of our robust industry code for both business and the consumer.”

Membership of ICAP 2012 comprises:

  • Ron Gainsford OBE, Chief Executive, Trading Standards Institute, Chairman
  • Stuart James, Director, Independent Garage Association
  • John Lally, Director General, National Caravan Council
  • Arnold Pindar, Chairman, UK National Consumer Federation
  • Steve Settle, Director of Customer Services, Toyota (GB)

“Motor Codes established itself in 2011, gaining full OFT approval, but it is vital that we are continually challenged and directed by people with broader experiences. A panel of such status is a sign of how far Motor Codes has come and signals an industry intent to maintain a collective grip on standards for the consumer.”

During 2012 ICAP will be asked to determine the level of sanction against poor performing garages under the Service and Repair Code, advise on areas for development and ensure the business is performing to the all-important OFT criteria.