Drivers in Nova Scotia, and those who repair their vehicles, will be better protected thanks to new regulations that require motor vehicle body repairers to obtain a certificate of qualification. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development was asked by the collision repair industry to implement compulsory certification in the trade. The move will improve workplace and public safety by helping ensure Nova Scotia’s motor vehicle body repairers are aware of current safety practices and are trained to a high industry standard. “Motor vehicle body repairers work on the vehicles that travel on the roads of this province every day,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More. “We want to be sure proper and current technical and safety practices are being followed when repairing these vehicles, to better protect the repairers and the public.” Motor vehicle body repairers fix, restore, replace and refinish structural and non-structural parts on vehicles. They also repair some mechanical and electrical components, and restraint systems on vehicles damaged only in collisions. The change in status to a compulsory certified trade means only people with a certificate of qualification, a valid temporary permit or registered apprentices, will legally be permitted to work in the trade. To build the number of journeypersons in the trade, and in preparation for compulsory certification, the department began waiving fees in October 2007 and provided examination preparation courses for those who qualify to write the exam. Since that time, 101 motor vehicle body repairers have written the exam, with an 88 per cent pass rate. The fees will continue to be waived until Aug. 4, 2011. Enforcement will not begin until then, so those in the profession have time to write the exam. Practical exams are being developed for those who may have difficulty with a written exam. “In addition to increased safety, certification could lead to better employment opportunities and increased wages,” said Ms. More. “With a large number of tradespeople expected to retire over the next several years, this move will better equip industry and the province to meet the labour force needs of the future.” “Implementing compulsory certification in this trade is all about increasing safety for the motoring public in this province,” said Lindsay Gates, executive director, Collision Repair Association of Nova Scotia. “We are in full support of the move to specify this trade as a compulsory certified trade.” For more information about compulsory certification, visit www.gov.ns.ca/lwd .