Working With CIECA Standards

CIECA has developed a suite of standards designed to address specific business needs or use cases. Each use case is designed to support the workflows and data needs unique to a specific business process. CIECA Standards are organized by use cases and may include one or more 'messages' that comprise the use case.

Types of CIECA Standards

CIECA was founded in 1994 to solve a specific business problem—the exchange of estimate data across estimating platforms. Over the years, the standards have grown to encompass all facets of collision industry workflows and processes. As technology has evolved, CIECA has evolved with it, developing standards that meet the needs of the industry. 


The BMS or "Business Message Suite" is a suite of standards that address a wide number of business processes. The BMS is XML-based and includes data dictionaries, code lists, schemas and supporting documentation for a number of business processes.


The EMS was the first CIECA standard and was designed to address a single use case—the export of an Estimate. The EMS is a dBase4 format that transmits the full content of an estimate in the form of a database record. 


CIECA API Standards (CAPIS) are currently in development to provide JSON based standards for today's business needs. As new CIECA API standards are published, they will be available here and organized by their corresponding use case.

Use Cases

All CIECA Standards are organized by the use case they support. Within each one, there are detailed instructions and information about the purpose of the use case and how businesses use it, which are supported by industry-standard workflows, schemas, codes lists and implementation guides. Below are details about how each use case is structured.


Provides an overview of the purpose of the use case and corresponding standards.


Includes a list of all the businesses or company types that may be a party to a use case or workflow.  

Business Segments

Identifies the various business processes that the standards support.

Industry Benefits

Detailed list of the benfits a company can leverage by using a CIECA industry standard vs developing a proprietary solution.


Defines the business processes or events that give rise to the use case.


Identifies any processes or sub-processes that may arise in advance of this use case.


Detailed graphical workflows that represent industry standard processes.


Defines the expected outcome or deliverable from the message.


Each use case contains one or more messages that define the exchange of information between trading partners. All supporting documentation is defined by the messages.

Standards Documentation

Each use case is tied to a number of supporting documents that contain the actual standards documentation, schemas, code lists and other CIECA intellectual property (IP).


Access to this information is restricted to active CIECA members who are licensed to use CIECA IP.

Release Packages

CIECA publishes updated standards twice a year. The most current and past release packages are available from within

Data Dictionary

A data dictionary defines all the data elements included within the message.  

Code Lists

Defines the industry standard codes included in all messages. 


Defines what specific data elements and code lists are required for each message.

Implementation Guides

Documentation that provides guidance and examples for implementation of CIECA Standards.

Test Instances

Validated test instances for positive and negative testing.