The first year of the new I-CAR Professional Development Program/PDP is in the books. Many shops were able to reach Gold Class status. However, there are many MSOs, who began to question if the cost is justified, and are still weighing their options.
There were others, who due to insurer relationships, decided to bear the cost and complete the task. As an Instructor, I heard more than once it was all about the money, and I-CAR made the changes only for financial purposes. It is true that every business has a life cycle; and it is necessary to reinvent ourselves sometimes, but this is just not the case this time.
When I-CAR introduced the 5&2 program for Gold Class in 2007, it was an opportunity for many shops to get on the Gold Class train. There were two assumptions that did not prove to be true. The first assumption was that shops would start training, see the value and train more than the two classes each year once they became Gold. That was not the case.
The second assumption was that shops would make sure their techs trained in areas that pertained to what they did each day. In reality, they put techs in whatever was available. The result, although self-inflicted, led to murmurings that I-CAR training had lost its value. This led to development of the new PDP, and here are some questions that followed: “How do I achieve the new requirements without breaking the bank? How do I meet the requirement without shutting down multiple locations at one time to get all my techs in the required classes? Is there really value in the training, and is there any way to capitalize on additional value? How do I prevent employee turnover and prepare for the future?” Let’s take a look at these issues one at a time.
The cost of training is always a consideration, even if it has value and is recouped in the long run. The cost of meeting the requirements of the new I-CAR PDP has a little sticker shock. The question quickly becomes, “How do I minimize the cost?”
First, you will need to appoint someone in your company to be the manager of this process. This person will need to call I-CAR customer service to set your company up on the training manager tool that can be accessed on the I-CAR website. Once you have all your locations and employees listed, you can begin to put people in the right roles.