CONFERENCE NEWS (CIC 2010): I-CAR revamps collision repair training

July 21, 2010
Andrew Johnson reports from the I-CAR session at the Collision Industry Conference in Chicago.

CHICAGO, July 21, 2010—I-CAR announced the launch of its Professional Development Program, a new role-based training program, at the I-CAR Industry Conference in Chicago today.

The program addresses six roles in the collision repair industry and one in the insurance industry, says John Edelen, I-CAR CEO. The program offers three tiers of training to better match repairers’ expertise.

“We’re moving to a curriculum where the training experience is role-specific and focused on specific competencies needed for success,” Edelen said. “Our content has been re-engineered to eliminate redundancy and to bring awareness to the trainings already available in the industry.”

By implementing the new program, Edelen said, I-CAR will re-engage with the industry and ensure that the organization is providing products and services that create value in the

“When people are actively engaged in training—training that relates directly to the role they’re in—it has the potential to improve the efficiency and overall quality of performance,” Edelen said.

The new training program is in place now, and its new website launches tomorrow, July 22. Our August issue, online Aug. 1, features an in-depth interview with Edelen. Here’s a sneak peak excerpt:

What’s the basic set-up for the new training model?
[There are] six roles in the collision repair segment, and one role in the insurance segment. The six roles in the repair segment, around which we will have specific curriculum for each one, include:
• refinishing technician,
• steel-structural technician,
• aluminum-structural technician,
• non-structural technician,
• electrical-mechanical technician and
• estimator.
We have three training levels. Individuals begin at level 1, and progress through level 3 training for their role within the industry. … The structuring of the courses themselves align with the role and level that an individual is in, and the knowledge and competencies they need to have to be successful in that role.

How do I-CAR’s Platinum and Gold Class recognition programs factor in to the new training plans?
Going forward, a Platinum individual will be one who has completed the requirements for Level 1, 2 and 3 training, specific to their role in the industry.
Gold Class builds on Platinum. The industry position is that Gold Class needs to mean something more than just “random acts of training.” An I-CAR Gold Class shop should have people with advanced knowledge and competencies specific to the shop’s business activities.

What will shops need to do to update their Gold Class standing?
It means that a shop needs to have a minimum of one Platinum individual as an estimator, non-structural technician, structural technician and refinish technician. In shops that have just three or four technicians, it’s not unrealistic to have your non-structural technician also be your structural technician.
For that shop to be Gold Class, that technician needs to complete the non-structural and the structural training at a Platinum level. And maybe your refinishing tech is also the individual who does the estimating. That individual would need to complete Level 3 training for estimator and Level 3 training for refinishing.

Describe the transition to the new model:
We’ve ended up with a four-phased transition period. It began with the launch July 21, 2010. The transition will end in December 2014. Phase 1 is the longest, from July through December 2011. Phase 2 is calendar year 2012. Phase 3 is calendar year 2013. Phase 4 is calendar year 2014.

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