The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has announced that access to manufacturer security data for the independent sector has cleared its final hurdle:  The body for European Accreditation (EA) has officially “signed-off” the SERMI* scheme and it will now go forward into European Type Approval.

Approval of SERMI by the EA will benefit all garage businesses that wish to access security related information, and will ensure that consumers and fleet operators have every reason to choose the independent sector for service and repair.

SERMI forms part of the international standard ISO 18541 and is the process by which garages who can meet the strict requirements of the scheme in respect of probity, integrity and technical competence will be accredited to access all areas of manufacturer technical information, including data related to the security of the vehicle.

RMI Standards & Certification (RMISC), a subsidiary of the RMI, was set up in order to accredit garage businesses against this standard and will aim to be the first accreditation body for the standard in Europe.

IGA Director Stuart James commented “A truly level playing field for the independent garage sector is now in sight and this is the culmination of many years of effort in the UK and Europe. Consumers finally get to use any garage they choose, no matter the age of their vehicle, and that garage will have the right to access all information to fix it.”

“Of course it will take a period of time for the whole process to come together and accredit the large number of garages that will require it. At this stage we would like to start auditing the first garages by the end of this year. This is a major achievement and a big milestone in the history of the motor industry.”