Between tightening fuel efficiency laws and technological advancements, the automotive industry is rapidly altering how their vehicles are constructed. In 2016 alone, 200 new models will debut. Mild steel is quickly being replaced by high strength steel, aluminum, plastic, carbon fiber and metal alloys. This changes mean these vehicles will require different techniques for repair.
How do you know if a body shop is up to the task of repairing a late model vehicle? That’s where I-CAR comes in. The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair was formed to give workers in the auto body repair industry the education they need to repair vehicles safely and effectively. Only shops whose employees meet I-CAR’s most stringent training requirements can get Gold Class certification.
What Does I-CAR Do?
I-CAR’s Professional Development Program (PDP) is a continuing education program, keeping repair techs up-to-date on the latest techniques in the industry. Their courses are built around four core roles: estimator, non-structural technician, steel structural technician and refinish technician. They also offer training for three specialty roles: production management, aluminum structural technician and electrical/mechanical technician.
Platinum Status Technicians
Employee training with I-CAR starts with three ProLevel courses. Technicians earn Platinum status by completing ProLevel 1. To keep that status, they must progress to the next ProLevel each year until they complete ProLevel 3, then maintain their training with refresher courses.
Gold Class Certification
For a shop to reach I-CAR Gold Class certification, all employees directly involved in vehicle repair need to train through I-CAR, and every employee involved in their four core roles must achieve Platinum status. That means everyone working on your car from start to finish at a Gold Class shop has the most up-to-date training available. Just 10% of body shops meet this standard.
Gold Class: The Sign of Proven Quality
CynCast, the company behind I-CAR, may not be a household name yet, but their software connects almost every part of the auto repair industry from insurers to rental car companies. To better understand collision repair, CynCast developed an objective evaluation to judge shops based on factors like repair quality, repair time, estimate accuracy and customer satisfaction. In 2013, they analyzed over 18,000 shops and found that on average Gold Class-certified shops scored 51% better than non-certified shops.
Moreover, shops that earned Gold Class status during the study greatly improved their work: the time technicians need to make repairs decreased by one third, while total time in the repair shop decreased by 11%. The number of overlooked repair issues also decreased by 11%. This means the initial estimate matched up with the actual repairs more frequently. When insurance companies fill claims, they prefer to have the work done at Gold Class shops because they know they’re paying for quality work, and the estimate they receive will be right the first time.
Why Gold Class Shops are a Good Choice for You
When you have your car repaired at a certified shop like Merton Auto, you can rest assured it will be done right, and you’ll be without your vehicle for the shortest time possible. Our crew of trained technicians will get you back on the road with a smile on your face. Stop by and let us show you the Gold Class difference!