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A Higher Standard

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Stu Klein is Senior Director, Collision at AIA Canada. You can reach him at [email protected]. Photo Stu Klein

I-CAR’s Gold Class Shop and Platinum Technician Certification Offer Multiple Benefits.

As vehicles have evolved, so have collision repair requirements. Today, high levels of complexity require technicians with a great deal of knowledge and skill to perform vehicle repairs correctly. Which is why it is so important for both collision centres and technicians to be recognized for their commitment in achieving a specific standard for repair procedures.

It is one reason why, since 1979, I-CAR (the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) has consistently advocated that every person in the collision repair industry is equipped with the knowledge, information and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer motorist.

Commitment to excellence

For collision centres, I-CAR’s Gold Class program represents a continuous commitment to excellence, that is recognized across the industry. The Gold Class program is designed to provide collision centres, as well as insurers and vehicle OEMs, with a reliable framework that enables them to continue building and maintaining the requisite knowledge and skills that not only allow shops to deliver consistent, proper repairs, but also help improve business operations and reduce risk.

While Canada does have a Red Seal certification for technicians, it is not mandatory in every province or territory, nor does it require the updating of knowledge or skills once the technician has achieved Red Seal status. Furthermore, the rise in OE Certification programs, while beneficial for repairing specific vehicle makes, do not represent an overall industry repair standard. I-CAR Gold Class helps fill these gaps, by ensuring that shops are committed to providing ongoing training and skills development not only for technicians, but estimators as well.

Additionally, over the years, I-CAR has developed its Professional Development Program, which, through inter-industry representatives, identifies the various roles within each collision centre and the skills and knowledge required by each one.

Platinum recognition

Since the Professional Development Program was created, all training has been designed so that the person within a specific role can acquire that knowledge and skill. When a technician, painter or estimator has completed all of their designated training, they are recognized as Platinum certified, and by having a specific number of staff achieve this Platinum status, the collision centre achieves I-CAR Gold Class status.

I-CAR’s Platinum recognition program is designed to provide ongoing, relevant training for technicians to ensure they not only maintain, but gain and expand knowledge, skills and expertise in their specific role. To maintain Platinum recognition, structural and non-structural technicians as well as painters and estimators, must complete a minimum of six-hours of training each year, either through I-CAR directly or via a recognized Training Alliance partner.

Greater opportunities

It has been consistently demonstrated that technicians that achieve and maintain Platinum status derive a sense of pride and achievement, which in turn, translates to improved job performance and greater career opportunities. Additionally, because the collision centre must ensure its technicians have met the minimum training requirements in order to maintain I-CAR Gold Class status, the result tends to be strong, well-trained teams which, when combined with quality processes, can deliver superior KPIs and by extension, better results and brand reputation. And, in an era where customer service and reputation reign supreme, being able to distinguish your collision centre due to the investments you have made in your people and processes can make all the difference.

 

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