I-CAR to Simplify Certification Renewals in 2019

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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 83 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.


Initially rolled out in 2016, I-CAR began to trial its new shop assessment program to make it ready for 2019, when the company plans to make it easier for shops to keep their technicians certified.

In you’re a Gold Class shop, Van Alsytne says I-CAR will send an assessor to a shop for an annual renewal process and go through various knowledge areas required for techs. The idea is to require live or web training when someone wants to obtain a new certification, but not when someone wants to retain a certification.

“I-CAR will...advise on knowledge and skills gaps that exist within the shop,” the company wrote in a press release, “thereby supporting achievement and ongoing renewal of its expanding Gold Class population, currently exceeding 5,800.”

Even if you have 10 technicians, all of them will get individual sessions in order to retain their certification. Whether they're Pro Level 1, 2 or 3, whether it’s a welding or an estimating certification, they’ll need to prove they understand the skills expected of their level of expertise in order for that certifications to be renewed. If a certification last three years, then that employee will only be assessed every three years.

“It’s more like a conversation than a test,” Van Alstyne says, as the assessor will determine if the technician possesses the knowledge to receive an automatic credit. “We’re getting away from defaulting to training when knowledge exists.”

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