Why Gamble with Your Future?

Jan 1, 2024 | Certification

By Sue Schauls

Hedging your bet by investing in your business through ARA’s Certified Automotive Recycler (CAR) Program is a sure thing! The CAR Program is the tool you need to keep your business on the path to excellence.

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CAR Certification adds value to your automotive recycling business by identifying for you and your employees the required environmental and safety compliance regulations that professional automotive recyclers should be following. Resources such as program checklists, suggested photographs to take, templates, sample plans, safety manuals, and more are available for anyone to reference via download at www.aracertification.com. Once you join the CAR Program, these resources and more are also available through the online certification record. The other certifications available in the program such as High Voltage Vehicle, Recall and, of course, the quality standards of Gold Seal certification, also have checklists available for reference.

The designation as CAR Certified is the badge of honor that you can proudly display to be recognized for this important achievement! Marketable excellence is one step away.

For those interested in going beyond utilizing the CAR program resources on their own and desiring to achieve certification, simply purchase a CAR record at any time via the ARA University shopping cart: https://arauniversity.org/product/certification-record-car-gs/ and get started on the path to excellence and regulatory peace of mind. An electronic record must be purchased every year.

In 2023, auto recyclers completed their own CAR electronic record as it was a self-audit year. This means that an employee, such as the safety supervisor or business owner, completed the on-site audit and filled out the electronic record themselves. The CAR electronic record can be utilized to record the findings of the physical audit conducted each year. 

The designation as CAR Certified is the badge of honor that you can proudly display to be recognized for this important achievement!

2024 is a professional audit year, meaning that a 3rd party audit is required. Industry auditors familiar with the CAR Program are available for the on-site professional audit process. For the most up-to-date list of approved auditors see the Downloads List on the homepage of https://aracertification.com/ find link at https://www.a-r-a.org/certification.html or contact ARA staff (staff@a-r-a.org).

You may run an audit report at any time throughout the year to see any questions flagged in red that need attention or to see if you have achieved the required 70% compliance threshold in the safety and environmental sections. In any year, members will be able to start, stop and update the audit record as they reach new levels of compliance based on the outcome of the annual audit. The value-added aspect of certification lies in the compliance verification AND the continuous improvement process!

While working with your auditor, make sure to add information about your facility in the first section and if interested, complete the High Voltage Vehicle, Recall and Gold Seal sections to complete the certification process. Once all the questions have been answered and photos uploaded, submit the CAR Record, which will then be sent to ARA for review.

Did you know? CAR with Recall certification is now required to sell recycled air bags on the eBay Motors platform. eBay trusts the CAR brand protocols, and automotive recyclers who meet these standards are seen as top-tier facilities. 

CAR and Gold Seal certification also afford salvage acquisition opportunities to ARA members through the SHiFT Program, an end-of-life vehicle donation program operated by the Automotive Recycling Training Institute (ARTI). And CAR with High Voltage Vehicles or HVV certification opens access to list electric vehicle batteries on a registry targeting buyers involved in the re-purposing of the energy storage devices.

So many exciting endorsements have made certification more appealing, in addition to the peace of mind regulatory compliance brings to your facility. Backed by ARA’s Certification Committee, made up of dedicated auto recyclers to provide the most practical compliance assistance in the industry, and supported by knowledgeable staff and industry experts, certification is a tool that all ARA members – regardless of size, years in business, and current challenges – can utilize to work on their business in the new year. The Certification Committee has several projects in the works for 2024, including updates to the CAR Guide and other resources to put your business on the path to excellence. 

Sue Schauls is an environmental and safety expert whose career started 28 years ago at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at University of Northern Iowa. She is currently the Executive Director of the Iowa Automotive Recyclers trade association and is the compliance consultant to the industry through the ARA’s Certified Auto Recyclers (CAR) program and the I-CARE program – Iowa Certified Automotive Recyclers Environmental Program. Sue assists recyclers in maintaining environmental and safety compliance.

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