The Proof is in the Process

Jan. 1, 2023

When it comes to training its students, the Repairify Institute aims to prioritize complete competency.

When a customer returns to a shop to pick up a repaired vehicle, the proof of a technician's skill set is fully on display. A customer can tell if a job is not done well. Ensuring consistency and quality work is achievable with effective vetting and training, but results can vary. 

Repairify’s new Repairify Institute aims to counteract some potential lapses in knowledge by offering a comprehensive educational avenue designed with service readiness in mind. 

Industry veteran Chris Chesney is Repairify’s vice president of training and organizational development. Chesney is leading the Repairify Institute, which was announced at the 2022 SEMA Show in November.  

“I am privileged to lead a team of amazing people who are bringing this program to life,” Chesney says. “The Repairify Institute is essentially the education umbrella that covers all the different deliverables from content development to content delivery, to mentoring programs to proof of skill concepts.” 

Understand The Steps 

Chesney explains that the Repairify Institute is a comprehensive technical training program that will help find and establish quality technicians. This includes an adaptive learning content model that Chesney calls revolutionary. 

Chesney says the Repairify Institute is currently active on an internal training level. The adaptive training content is currently being actively created for internal purposes, and he shares that customer-facing content will begin its rollout in early 2023.  

“We write micro-objectives, very finely and described probes or questions that assess the student’s knowledge at the very beginning and all the way through the course with the goal of finding out what you already know and moving on,” Chesney says.  

This adaptive model also allows the student to get the most out of the Institute. Chesney explains that this is because time won’t be wasted on information that the student already knows. But if they don’t know something, that won’t be overlooked.  

“When we do run into that area of a knowledge gap, we stop and we remediate it with content,” Chesney says. 

He explains that this remediation could involve the student watching a video, reading a pertinent document or even completing a take-home assignment. The latter could involve the student practicing and performing the skill, and then taking a picture of something like a scan tool screen to prove it was completed. Then, they can submit it for evaluation by the team, who will determine if that knowledge has been fulfilled accurately enough for the student to move to the next step.  

Show What You Know 

Proof of skill is another key component of the Repairify Institute. Chesney says this step is valuable because it ensures the transfer of knowledge.  

“We want to put them through the process of gaining the experience and then proving without supervision that they can perform that skill under stress, not knowing what they're going to be asked to perform,” Chesney says.  

This is a process that Chesney says doesn’t exist yet in this industry, which is why the Repairify Institute is attempting to bridge the gap.  

“The proof of skill concept makes sure that the technician can actually tell us why they do what they're doing [and] to define it and actually teach it,” Chesney says. “Also, to demonstrate in a lab in one of our Centers of Excellence, that they can perform that task under stress accurately and perfectly every time. If they can do that, then we will provide them with a credential that identifies them as a technician who not only has the knowledge, but also has the practical skill set to be able to perform that skill without supervision, and [in] that shop owner’s shop with the customers vehicle every day in an accurate and safe manner.” 

But before students can get to that point, they must go through the rest of the Institute’s process first.  

“The entry into the Repairify Institute will more than likely start with online training and virtual training, and even some classroom training,” Chesney says.  

Chesney explains that, for example, if the student were interested in ADAS target placement certification, they would go through e-learning, adaptive learning, virtual learning and even a live demonstration class.  

“Then they’ll go back and get some practical experience and take a written exam,” Chesney says. “That written exam might be L4 from ASE or the I-CAR ADAS calibration certification. But once they’re comfortable with that practical experience, then they’ll be able to make an appointment at our facility to take an oral examination and if they pass that [then they] can take the practical examination.” 

This is where the Repairify Institute Centers for Excellence come into play. The first center is going to be in Richardson, Texas, near Dallas. It will accommodate students taking oral and practical examinations, and it is anticipated to open in late Q1 or early Q2 of 2023.  

“[Students] will be able to satisfy multiple certifications [and] multiple proof of skills that they desire during one visit,” Chesney says.  

The Institute is planning for upwards of six other Centers of Excellence. Chesney says putting multiple centers on the map will allow shops to identify a facility that is accessible to them to send their technicians to without needing to plan for expensive travel costs.  

As for the Institute’s certification time commitment, Chesney explains that it depends on the skill being explored and the pace at which the student wants to engage with the process.  

“A simple skill could be completed in a matter of a couple of months and a complex skill may take more than a year,” Chesney says.  

Watch The Model Work 

The Repairify Institute seeks to establish what Chesney calls competent and conscious technicians by providing them with a resource that will ensure a thorough understanding of various skill sets. Chesney said Repairify sees the potential in this Institute model and in the long-term they are interested in working with the greater industry to make the largest impact possible.  

“We want to model it, prove it and then scale it by partnering with the rest of the industry,” Chesney says. 

The Repairify Institute model is something that Chesney believes will help shops provide quality work done by knowledgeable technicians who have been fully supported through adaptive learning, mentorship, and all that the Institute has to offer.  

“[The goal is] to provide a resource for shop owners … [in] the industry as a whole, with an education program that can provide clear pathways to usable skills that they can put into action at the end of the day so that they have confidence that, by sending a student or a technician through this process, that they’ll get back somebody that can actually perform that skill,” Chesney says.  

About the Author

Hanna Bubser

Hanna Bubser a digital editor at Endeavor Business Media, providing written content for Ratchet and Wrench, FenderBender, and National Oil and Lube News.

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