Repair code close to release

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THE milestone code review for the insurance and repair industry is now only months away from being ready to be presented to the industry for vital feedback.

The Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry (MVIRI) Code Administration Committee (CAC) this week said it has made significant strides in reviewing the MVIRI Code of Conduct following the review and recommendations made by Dr Michael Schaper, FAICD, in May last year.

Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce industry policy advisor and CAC representative for the MotorTrades Association of Australia Kathy Zdravevski said the presentation of the review to the industry was at the core of the CAC’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity.

“The committee is also exploring legal options for formal incorporation to bolster the code’s credibility and governance structures, as emphasised by Committee Chair, Stephen Jenkins,” she said.

In the lead-up to the release of the review, the CAC said it had received legal advice regarding options for incorporation as a formal legal entity and is considering its next steps.

“Recommendation nine of Dr Schaper’s review was that the CAC should adopt an association, company or other corporate structure. He identified that under its present informal structure, the Code may lack credibility among industry players and government bodies,” MVIRI CAC Chair, Stephen Jenkins said.

“The advice received by the CAC is a critical input to the CAC’s considerations on how it can enhance its independence and improve the overall governance of the Code.”

Mr Jenkins added, “The legal advice received is also of assistance in guiding instructions for the redrafting of the Code. The CAC is also currently in the process of obtaining proposals as to the drafting of the revised Code.”

Stephen Jenkins

“Once a revised draft of the Code is received, the CAC will engage and consult with the insurance and repair industry and other stakeholders.”

Reflecting on the CAC’s work in implementing the recommendations of the review of the Code, Mr Jenkins expressed cautious optimism on the progress made to date.

“As a committee, we have set ourselves a goal to receive a revised draft of the Code by the middle of 2024,” he said.

“I would like to thank all committee members for their hard work, but more importantly to the industry for their patience to date.”

The CAC in December 2022 announced that Dr Michael Schaper had been appointed to conduct an independent review of the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry (MVIRI) Code of Conduct and in May 2023, the CAC formally received Dr Schaper’s final report.

The report provided 15 recommendations in response to the review’s terms of reference which focused on:

  • The effectiveness of dispute resolution processes under the MVIRI Code
  • Awareness and accessibility of the Code
  • Compliance with the Code
  • Governance of the Code and the CAC
  • Other issues pertinent to the effective governance and operation of the Code

A range of stakeholders were consulted in the review process, including government bodies, regulators such as Small Business Commissioners, members of the Code Administration Committee, as well as the insurance and repair industry.

Michael Schaper

Since its inception in 2006, the MVIRI Code of Conduct has undergone multiple reviews to ensure it remains fit for purpose, with the last review undertaken in 2017.

A copy of Dr Schaper’s report can be found on the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct website as well as the MTAA website and the ICA website.

By Neil Dowling

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