I-CAR Responds to State Farm Comment Published in FenderBender
July 13, 2017—I-CAR has issued a statement in response to a comment published in the June issue of FenderBender.
In the "Past the Page" section of the magazine, FenderBender published the following comment that was posted on FenderBender's Facebook page from Richard Howell, owner of Target Collision in Erie, Pa.:
I feel it is not in the best interest of our industry to not allow other sources of training ("State Farm Requires I-CAR Approved Steel, Aluminum Welding Techs," April 2017). For years I was part of my local I-CAR committee, and it really started to look more like a for-profit group than portrayed. They would offer free trips to Disney if the committee chair signed up enough students. They would also make students retake classes, if they hadn't continued with training on a regular schedule. This training will cost $1,500 for the first student and another $1,000 for each additional. Sure, I believe in proper training, but forcing us to use just one source is wrong.
The following is I-CAR's response to that statement:
I-CAR welcomes open communication about our programs which are designed to best serve the collision repair industry. In the June 2017 issue of FenderBender magazine, reader Richard Howell, owner of Target Collision in Erie, Pa., made inaccurate comments about the availability of training sources in the collision repair industry required for State Farm Select Service repairers, and FenderBender magazine published these comments without validation.
The partnership between I-CAR and State Farm, which started in 2014 as an invitation for State Farm Select Service repairers to participate in I-CAR’s Welding Training & Certification program, is now, as of April 2017, a requirement to participate. State Farm has made this change so more of the industry, and ultimately every technician, has the knowledge and skills to perform proper repairs.
It is also important to note that other sources of welding training are available in lieu of I-CAR welding-specific training. Current certification from other welding certification programs that will also satisfy the State Farm Select Service requirement include:
Steel GMA (MIG) Welding Skills Verification (WCS03)
- Toyota T300 - Welding Techniques for Collision Repair
- Lexus L300 - Welding Techniques for Collision Repair
- Lew Kinney - Welding Training and AWS Certification Testing to the AWS D1.3 Structural Welding Code - Sheet Steel
- JLR - Steel Repair - Structural
Steel Sectioning Skills Verification (SPS05)
- Toyota T460 - Structural Body Repair Techniques
- Lexus L460 - Structural Body Repair Techniques
Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding Skills Verification (WCA03)
- Audi - Aluminum Repair Training Program (9606-2)
- JLR - Aluminum Repair - Structural
- Mercedes-Benz - T0463F-AA (9606-2) / T0854F-AA (recert) / T0906F-AA (recert) / T0909F-AA (recert) / T0846F-AA
- Tesla - Aluminum Structural Welding - First Course, 9 welds
- Tesla - Aluminum Structural Welding - Recertification, 12 welds
Visit here for more information on the I-CAR welding program for Select Service repairers.
Regarding I-CAR’s training schedule for students, we publish training requirements online and communicate these requirements to students. Students must achieve the next level of training by a set date, dependent on when they complete the first course of the I-CAR Professional Development Program. There are three levels of training, called ProLevels, and each level progressively builds upon prior learning to continually advance each professional's knowledge and skills. Following completion of ProLevel 3, students participate in ongoing annual training in which credit fulfillment varies.
I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, continues to be an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. Funding for the organization is primarily derived from student tuition. This assures that I-CAR can remain unbiased in developing programs and services on an industry-wide basis.