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I-CAR outlines initiatives to support collision repair industry

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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 12, 2012—During a scheduled press conference at NACE on Thursday, I-CAR provided detailed information on the organization’s most recent initiatives designed to support Gold Class businesses in 2012, especially collision repairers.

Businesses that have achieved the Gold Class designation have cited increased operational efficiencies, reduced cycle time, and minimized repair mistakes, thus making the need for highly trained and skilled employees more relevant than ever in today’s business environment.

The I-CAR Professional Development Program (PDP), which was developed through industry-led direction and introduced in 2010, requires an increased level of knowledge to maintain Gold Class status in 2012.

In support of the Inter-Industry during the 2012 PDP transition, I-CAR worked to help repair facilities, especially Gold Class repairers, understand the 2012 program requirements and secure the training required to achieve PDP ProLevel 1 this year. For those businesses that were behind schedule on their Gold Class renewal requirements in 2012, grace periods were extended to provide more time to achieve the ProLevel 1 training requirements. However, as the PDP transition requires completion of ProLevel 1 in 2012, no grace periods have been extended beyond the end of 2012.

In response to the increased training demand, I-CAR enhanced its customer support systems, course offerings and delivery formats. This year alone, I-CAR has launched a number of new online offerings and introduced new training formats, such as the Virtual Classroom and additional Live Demo training.

“To fully serve the growing training needs of the inter-industry and in particular Gold Class businesses, I-CAR has implemented many enhancements this year to its customer service model, which we now call I-CARE,” John Van Alstyne, I-CAR CEO and president, said in a company statement.  “In 2012, we doubled the size of our customer care team, implemented a pro-active process to reach Gold Class businesses and help them achieve their training requirements, and launched many new tools to support this effort, such as our new Training Schedule Report.”

Van Alstyne also reported that, year-to-date through Q3 2012, I-CAR has held over 10,000 Live classes, up 8.3 percent and 37 percent, respectively, versus the same times in 2011 and 2010. I-CAR also has launched a total of 19 online courses this year. In September, it launched 14 ProLevel 1 courses.

Van Alstyne also recognized that today’s evolving vehicle technology requires more technical and hands-on training, which I-CAR responded to with training such as the new Live Demo course, Blueprinting Process and Damage Discovery (BLU01). Live Demo courses are designed to provide a more interactive training experience, achieving increased student engagement and learning. During this course, the instructor uses an actual vehicle to demonstrate technique and engage students in the learning process.

According to the statement, Van Alstyne continued, “Our clear objective in 2012 was to support all Platinum Individuals and Gold Class businesses who have committed to achieving excellence in knowledge and education and who are striving to attain ProLevel 1 this year.”

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