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WIPCORP grading: Where do we stand?

WIPCORP is preparing to rollout MIWA’s grading programme to areas beyond Gauteng by April.

It’s been nine months since MIWA appointed WIPCORP Project Management to grade our members. 

Since then, a number of member workshops have been subject to unannounced audits, with WIPCORP assessing workshops according to criteria like tooling, administration, housekeeping, business premises, and occupational health and safety into the criteria. 

Added to this, workshops must adhere to seven mandatory fields before they receive their grading:

  • Does the business operate out of bona fide premises?
  • The establishment must have at least one fully qualified motor mechanic in its full-time employ.
  • Defective workmanship insurance.
  • Does the business premise have a grease trap/oil separator?
  • Compressor, and pressure equipment register?
  • Hoist (two or four posts)
  • Lifting equipment (hoist 2/4 post, engine cranes, trolley jacks, hydraulic pumps, gearbox hoist) register

The audit is conducted by service partners who have been given a tablet, which has a purpose-designed app allowing interaction with the member and which syncs information onto the WIPCORP system, automatically generating a report about the exercise. Workshops have 14 days to correct any problems noted in the Initial Audit Outcome Report and may apply for a seven-day extension if necessary. Once corrections have been made, the workshop’s score is adjusted and the member receives their final grading certificate.

According to MIWA’s Pieter Niemand, the grading process is working well and has been warmly received by most members. Although some members have experienced the unannounced audits as challenging, these are proving an important and informative exercise. For example, the process has made it clear that most workshops’ health and safety documentation is not up to date, usually because members do not have registers for compressor and pressure or lifting equipment. WIPCORP has provided assistance where necessary by providing members with templates for registers.

While the rollout has, for now, focused on Gauteng, MIWA and WIPCORP are preparing to extend the programme to outlying areas and other provinces from March, starting with KwaZulu-Natal.