South African Insurance Association

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National Grading Standards Project update

The SAIA and the Associations representing the Motor Body Repair (MBR) industry are proud to announce the introduction of the National Grading Standards for MBRs who want to be certified to do repair work on cars that are out-of-warranty.

The standards are a product of collaborative work between SAIA members who are motor insurers and MBR Associations under the Motor Transformation and Sustainability Forum (MTSF) banner.

What are standards?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) stipulates that standards are “specifications, guidelines, or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for purpose”. Research shows that complying with standards helps organisations to build customer confidence that the product / service is safe and reliable; can help reduce costs; increase productivity and give the organisation competitive edge.

Why we are introducing standards?

The main purpose of the standards is to create independent criteria, by which all MBRs regardless of their affiliation, size or background, can be graded. The MTSF identified lack of standards as a barrier to entry into the short-term insurance industry’s supply chain, by small black-owned motor body repairers. Introducing standards should help lift the level of service for the MBRs and allow them to be more competitive.

The quality of the service that certified MBRs deliver will be of good standard, the service will be delivered more efficiently and effectively, increasing productivity and work load. This will result in improved service delivery to customers and overall customer satisfaction, and may increase work opportunities tremendously.

Who should be certified?

The MTSF appointed an internationally recognised certification company, Bureau Veritas to conduct the inspections and certification.

The National Grading Standards apply to all MBRs in South Africa that want to do either structural or non-structural repair work, or both on out-of-warranty motor vehicles. MBRs that have Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM) approvals are also required to be certified if they want to do work on out-of-warranty motor vehicles.

Certification process

MBRs are encouraged to contact Bureau Veritas as soon as possible in order to get an understanding of how the certification process works. Once Bureau Veritas has received an enquiry from the MBR, a qualified inspector will contact the MBR and take them through the certification process.

MBRs must contact Bureau Veritas on the following email address: or call them on 010 900 3011.

The Inspector from Bureau Veritas will offer support to the MBR over a period of time to help the MBR in getting ready for a physical inspection.

Once the MBR is ready to be inspected and certified, the MBR has to set up an appointment with the inspector. Two inspectors will come and visit the MBR and go through the certification process.

Should the MBR not meet the requirements to be certified, they will be given six months to put in corrective measures.

Once the inspectors are satisfied that the MBR meets the standards, a certificate will be issued by Bureau Veritas. The certificate is valid for two years from the date of issue.

The details of the MBR will be uploaded onto a database that has been specially created to keep a list of all certified MBRs. This database will be available to all, including the public.


The certification comes at a rate that has been agreed by the MBR Associations, SAIA and Bureau Veritas. For more information on the certification fee, please contact your association or Bureau Veritas on:

Financial Assistance

The SAIA, in partnership with its members, have created a fund that will be used specifically to pay for certification fees for MBRs that meet a certain qualifying criteria. This criteria is:

  • The MBR must be an Exempted Micro-Enterprise (EME) black-owned MBR (EME as defined in the Financial Sector Code),
  • The MBR must be 51% or more black owned or 30% black woman owned,
  • Turnover must be R2 000 000 or less per annum,
  • The MBR must have been in operation for a period of not less than two years.

Due to limited funds at SAIA’s disposal, only the first 300 MBRs will be assisted financially.

Project Duration

The National Grading Standards implementation phase started at the beginning of May 2017 and will run until the end of April 2018.

How the short-term insurance industry can support the project

The SAIA would like to invite all players in the short-term insurance industry, including brokers and underwriting managers, to encourage MBRs in your panels to go through the certification process.

For further information and other exciting opportunities, please visit:  

For more information contact:
Zanele Gigaba, SAIA Insurance Risks Manager