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I-CAR makes key enhancements to core education, recognition programming

Changes designed to better serve the inter-industry’s needs
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 07:00
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ATLANTA — Following a nearly five-year comprehensive process of gathering and applying industry insights and feedback about its education and recognition programs, I-CAR today announced a variety of groundbreaking enhancements designed to better serve the rapidly evolving needs of the collision repair inter-industry.

I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne announced the enhancements during NACE Automechanika 2018 in Atlanta at the Georgia World Conference Center. Together, these enhancements will elevate industry training standards and provide a more comprehensive, relevant and affordable solution to collision repair training programs while making it easier for customers to interact with I-CAR. They will also help shape the future of the collision repair industry and advance I-CAR’s vision that every person in the collision repair industry has the information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer. A first quarter 2019 launch is targeted.

Van Alstyne at NACE Automechanika in Atlanta

“This has been a work in process for several years. We wanted an educational program that was relevant to cars today, that was explainable, something that was sustainable that could carry on into the future and something that was affordable. At the end of the day, we want a much better learning experience,” said Van Alstyne.

As a result of extensive input from industry organizations, committees, advisory councils, benchmarking, and DACUM (Designing A Curriculum) workshops, I-CAR has significantly enhanced its industry training standard, which since 2010 has been focused principally on knowledge requirements.

I-CAR's updated Automotive Collision Repair Industry Knowledge and Skills Protocol, revealed today for 2019 implementation, is a "complete refresh," reflecting the knowledge required to repair cars of today and tomorrow, plus it puts an expanded emphasis on requisite skills. This same protocol provided the inputs required for a complete update to I-CAR's core supporting curriculum. I-CAR's future courses will be more hands-on, generally shorter, more interactive, with far less course-to-course redundancy. I-CAR will also be launching Spanish versions of all core courses. All of this has been coordinated, reviewed and embraced by industry subject matter experts, including Repairers, OEMs and Insurers.

I-CAR will also play a more integral role in repair shops, visiting annually to conduct ongoing assessments and advise on knowledge and skills gaps that exist within the shop, thereby supporting achievement and ongoing renewal of its expanding Gold Class® population, currently exceeding 5,800.

The 2019 enhancements leverage the work I-CAR has done over the past several years to build more relevant offerings geared to current and future industry needs. These enhancements have been optimized and integrated with new products and programming to offer shops a richer educational program that better aligns with collision repair technical realities, or the Technical Tsunami™, as I-CAR refers to it.

A summary of the key planned enhancements includes:

  • I-CAR Automotive Collision Repair Industry Knowledge and Skills Protocol
         - Updated and industry-backed knowledge and skills protocol that focuses more extensively on specific skills and role performance requirements
  • Enhancements to I-CAR's recognition programs (Platinum™ and Gold Class)
         - Heightened Platinum and Gold Class requirements aligned with industry benchmarks and repair requirements
         - Optional Aluminum Structural Gold Class recognition for shops that complete I-CAR's aluminum structural requirements
  • Complete refresh of all core curriculum (263 courses) aligned to the updated Protocol
         - Incorporating more hands-on live training, shorter course times, more online courses with increased interactivity, all leading to less time out of the shop and off the floor for technicians
  • Increased frequency of Welding Training & Certification™ skill reverification, moving from 5 years to 3 years, and no longer requiring course repeat when skills are reverified.
  • Automatic recognition for training with other providers that are I-CAR Sustaining Partners through I-CAR's Training Alliance
  • Industry Training Relative to I-CAR Knowledge and Skills Area published as a companion cross-walk to acknowledge both OEM and Supplier Training Alliance courses approved to Protocol and Alliance qualification criteria
  • New tools for completing, planning and tracking I-CAR training
         - New learning interfaces, mobile technology and reporting functionality to make completing, tracking and planning I-CAR training much easier for customers
  • An unlimited training subscription for Gold Class shops to protect shops from turnover, and encourage building bench strength by better training for all technicians

"For nearly 40 years, I-CAR has served as the industry's trusted partner for knowledge building," Van Alstyne said. "As the automotive industry is now moving faster than ever before, and with support of our industry stakeholders, we made a conscious decision that it is time for the knowledge and skills bar to rise. At the same time, it is time for I-CAR's programming to also make a bold step forward. Vehicle repairs today are more challenging than ever and will become increasingly complicated as we move toward the future. I-CAR's new programs, services and technology have been designed to keep pace with the rate of innovation our industry is seeing."

Van Alstyne added, "Consistent with I-CAR's industry defined vision statement, we call on every shop and every technician to take that next step to train. Our 2019 programming will be better than ever, and in return, the knowledge gained will better prepare you for what's ahead, while also instilling confidence that you are doing what you can to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of your customers. By doing the right things, especially gaining proper levels of training, not only can you survive the Technical Tsunami, you can thrive while doing so."

Additional details regarding the enhancements discussed are accessible at I-CAR's new website.

Founded in 1979, I-CAR is a not-for-profit education, knowledge and solutions organization designed to support the evolving needs of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. I-CAR is focused on improving the quality, safety and efficiency of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.

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