|I-CAR to roll out changes to Gold Class and Platinum Individual designations|
|News - Training|
|Thursday, 06 September 2012 15:00|
By Mark Kimmich
Ottawa, Ontario -- September 6, 2012 -- Big changes from I-CAR are being rolled out over the next 18 months that are going to affect many shops across the country. By July 1, 2014, all shops who hope to maintain Gold Class designation, and individuals who hope to maintain their Platinum Individual designation, will have to adhere to new standards for training.
Specifically, training is being divided into four primary roles: Refinish Technician, Steel Structural Technician, Non-Structural Technician and Estimator. An individual will need to complete all of the courses in a given role in order to achieve their Platinum Individual designation, and a shop will need to have individuals designated in all four roles in order to achieve their Gold Class designation.
“Philosophically, it makes sense,” says Andrew Shepherd, Director of I-CAR Canada. “It is a step up from the ‘random acts of training’ approach we had before - it gives people more of a path to follow and it puts collision technicians on par with professionals in other fields like real estate or insurance.”
To help implement these changes, particularly in Manitoba where I-CAR designations are mandatory, a couple of systems have been put in place.
First, as of January 1, 2014, shops and individuals will be able to achieve Gold Class or Platinum Individual-in-Progress designations. This will allow shops who have a long list of courses to complete before meeting the actual designation requirements to still meet Manitoba’s provincial requirement. The same designation will be available throughout the country.
Second, there is a new one-on-one consulting service being offered by I-CAR that will give shops help in either achieving or maintaining their designations.
Of course, this type of shift is never seamless. According to Shepherd, “the biggest fear that people have is that they will have to go over the basics again to maintain their designations and we want to avoid that.”
“We’ve done an analysis of the Red Seal program and in Quebec of the DEP,” says Shepherd. “If you show us you’ve done your Red Seal, you get 29 credits towards your designation.” In Quebec, it looks as through the crossover will be even higher. “The DEP equivalency program looks like it will come out at 40 credits towards designation.”
The final change in the program will be the cost. As of January 1, 2013, the price point will be shifting upwards though, as Shepherd indicates, this change has met with the lowest resistance from the shops that he has spoken with.
“We’ve had no negative feedback in that regard whatsoever. The previous price had been in effect for seven years, so essentially everyone that I’ve spoken to feels that that is an appropriate change.”
While “there is room to go if the industry wanted to move further,” Shepherd feels that “the new recognition system should settle in place where it is for a long time. There might be minor tweaks made to some of the core skills over time, but the four roles are foundational, and by definition they shouldn’t change much.”
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