I-CAR Works to Redevelop Curriculum Alongside Collision Repairers - BodyShop Business
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I-CAR Works to Redevelop Curriculum Alongside Collision Repairers

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I-CAR has announced that it will redevelop its curriculum from the ground up – using real-time information from current technicians – in order to “provide rigorous, efficient role-based training that makes sense for today’s specialized repair professional.”

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“When we launched our Professional Development Program (PDP) in 2010, we worked directly with the industry and defined the structure of the different roles in each shop as well as the required knowledge areas for those roles,” said Josh McFarlin, director, curriculum and product development for I-CAR. “We intentionally did this work in isolation from our existing curriculum so that it would not inform the end result. Our next step was to align the existing I-CAR curriculum with the knowledge areas of the PDP. There were instances where a particular knowledge area did not necessarily match up to its corresponding training course; there was some redundancy and some overlap. This was not the optimal experience for our learners, because there was some information in their then-current training that was not relevant to their role.”

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I-CAR says it is first working on clarifying training curriculum for three roles: non-structural repair, steel structural repair and aluminum structural repair. In re-establishing the processes and procedures for each of these roles, I-CAR went straight to the source: the collision repair technicians themselves.

“Our goal all the way through was to do a detailed curriculum analysis, and so we recruited several repairers through our Inter-Industry Segment Advisory Council (ISAC) group to ask them to share with us exactly what they need to know and do to be great at their job, as well as what is not useful to their role. This helps us create duty areas within each role, as well as tasks and sub-tasks that correspond with them. We then take that information and create learning objectives, go back to our current curriculum and rebuild it to match each specific learning objective. The goal is that any tech in the industry will be able to take a course that’s specifically meeting a set of requirements and needs that are pertinent to them.

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“In looking for technicians to provide us feedback and information, we turned to Lou DiLisio, Jr. (Automotive Industry Consulting Inc.), who helps organize our ISAC groups. He has connected us to members of the industry who are willing to support I-CAR’s efforts, and who have something valuable to add to the industry.”

Two of the technicians involved in the initiative – Wheldon Gardner and Will Perry – come to I-CAR straight from the shops of SCRS board members Gary Wano, Jr. (GW and Son Auto Body Shop, Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Barry Dorn (Dorn’s Body & Paint, Richmond, Va.). Gardner, who has worked for GW & Sons for nine years, is a Tier 2 Mercedes-Benz aluminum-trained and Tesla technician for the shop. He is currently working on training for Jaguar and Land Rover as well. Perry has been with Dorn’s Body & Paint for eight years, and is the company’s Tesla, Jaguar and Land Rover technician.

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“When we were approached by I-CAR to be a part of this endeavor, we knew we weren’t going to go in and be yes-men,” said Wano. “If we were dedicating this sort of commitment, we were going to tell it like it was. I-CAR was happy to work with us, and now, while the curriculum itself has not changed yet, we see a plan in motion. The whole process has been incredibly encouraging.”

Added Dorn, “After being a part of several different advisory councils over the years and being involved in the industry to the extent we are, we had come to believe that I-CAR was broken. However, you can definitely see a culture shift; there’s a difference today in how I-CAR does things. They’re attentive; they listen to our needs, and we are seeing activity from our discussions. The end result has not yet come to fruition, but the fact that they’re committed to an ultimate goal and are working so hard to achieve it has us very optimistic. ”

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“The main complaint we have heard over the years from our colleagues has been, ‘I-CAR training is not relevant to me,'” said Wano. “Well, this initiative is redefining the shop roles with actual, real-time 2015 knowledge from superior technicians hand-picked by I-CAR. They are creating a knowledge base that may not have been there before, applicable to today’s vehicles, processes and methods.”


More information: I-CAR

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