It’s natural for veterans of auto body repair to think that they’ve seen it all when it comes to repairing and refinishing crash-damaged cars that enter their shops. That may have been true in decades past, but now that an advanced array of new technologies are being used in today’s cars, it would be mere hubris for any auto technician to think that he or she knows everything that needs to be known about repairing and refinishing cars.
Some of today’s cars are so complex that do-it-yourself repairs are simply no longer possible. If that is the case for owners, what it means is that the technicians we entrust our cars to must have the proper skills and knowledge to repair these complex cars. Many countries have government-recognized institutions that issue certifications to individuals based on skill and aptitude tests. In the U.S., the coveted ASE certification is issued only to people who have undergone a battery of tests and show proof of at least two years experience in a specific field. And lest one think that these certifications are only a diploma mill, the failure rate for first-time test takers is 30%.
Professional auto body repair workers can also get skills development from other sources. These include training from the manufacturers themselves who want to ensure that their certified shops are up to par as well as programs such as I-CAR who aim to maintain consistent repair standards. Other skill improvement resources can also come from suppliers, such as paint manufacturers, who want to see to it that their products are used properly to achieve optimum results.
Employers can also show their obligation to excellence by undertaking their own shop certification. There are criteria for these, but being able to display your shop and your personnel’s certification at the front office gives customers and other visitors the added assurance that the shop has the skills to undertake the services your business is offering. You are showing these people that your technicians are a step above technicians who don’t have these certifications