I-CAR to Reduce Course-to-Course Redundancy

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At NACE Automechanika in Atlanta, I-CAR announced it would overhaul it’s programming—aka the Automotive Collision Repair Industry Knowledge and Skills Protocol—in the first quarter of 2019, referencing a variety of enhancements designed to better serve the rapidly evolving needs of the collision repair industry.

And those enhancements, says John Van Alstyne, stem from five years of feedback from I-CAR’s industry segment advisory council (ISAC), which is comprised of 78 shops broken up regionally across the U.S. that meet a few times each year to discuss potential improvements to I-CAR.

“So we get lots of feedback,” says Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO and president. “We take copious notes, look for common themes, and then prioritize.”

In this series, FenderBender will be looking at some of those upcoming changes with Van Alstyne.


Some of the most common feedback I-CAR received was the redundancies that ran across various courses, Van Alstyne says.

When I-CAR’s Professional Development Program was developed eight years ago, there were classes for refinish techs, structural techs, and non-structural techs. But as I-CAR has discovered from ISAC feedback, not only did that core training need to be updated, but some of the training would be repeated across those different courses.

“We never knew which courses people had taken when they came to the course,” Van Alstyne says. “People would have redundancies.”

Thus, I-CAR nixed the redundancies that repeated throughout its 263 different courses, resulting in shortened classes that are more modularly constructed. Now courses will be more focused and have prerequisites so you “can’t take this class until you’ve taken this one.”

“At the end of day, the curriculum redevelopment is ‘purpose built,’” Van Alstyne says. “Courses are meant to convey skills in most efficient manner possible.”

Van Alstyne says I-CAR also ran through Designing a Curriculum (aka DACUM) workshops with technicians and asked what skills they needed that courses didn't fully cover. I-CAR used those sessions to flesh out details of its 2019 refresh.

As a result of that “purpose built” mentality, I-CAR will be incorporating more hands-on live training, shorter course times, more online courses with increased interactivity, all leading to less time out of the shop and off the floor for technicians.

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