As it continues to gather information from the collision repair industry around the needs of training, I-CAR hosted a roundtable discussion that attracted over 70 industry professionals from across the United States.
Over the past 18 months, I-CAR says it has worked to analyze roles within the industry and understand the competencies within those roles and the necessary training to meet those competencies. Roundtable attendees had the opportunity to review the training organization’s proposed new role-based curriculum model, or “Professional Development Matrix,” and offer comments around the competencies for the specific levels within various roles.
John Edelen, I-CAR president and CEO, stressed the importance of training that is relevant to a specific role.
“The organization of the training experience should be focused, provide the knowledge that is required to be successful in specific industry roles, and should progress over the course of careers by building on prior levels of experience and knowledge,” he said. “The recognized levels of training must increase the value of the training by linking it more closely to the performance of an individual’s role.”
Jeff Peevy, I-CAR Director of Field Operations, also reviewed the way in which recognition programs might be restructured under the new training matrix in the future.
“These programs need to have meaning to the industry,” said Peevy. “What we have heard is that recognition needs to be role-specific.”
Rich Dreyden, director, Auto Claim Education for Travelers Insurance, summed up the essence of I-CAR’s work.
“Career development is essential to retaining and attracting persons to the automotive repair and insurance industries,” he said. “Today’s I-CAR discussion centered on establishing career development paths that will provide consistent direction. Having better organization and structure on the training model can only help our industry.”
John Donley, president and CEO of IAnet agreed, saying, “Role-based training will provide a greater value to the independent appraiser as the training will be relevant to their day-to-day activities.”
“I-CAR has developed a sound strategy for making its training more relevant. Engaging in a peer review process involving multiple industry segments during development will make this initiative a success,” said Joe Skurka of BASF.
Participants said they were encouraged by the content of the meeting and the direction that I-CAR is moving in the development of the new curriculum.
“I-CAR has redefined training for the collision industry with this new structure,” said Tony Molla, vice president of communications for ASE. “The focus on specific, relevant training areas based on the job descriptions will provide even more value to the individual and a broad spectrum of inter-industry segments.”
Timothy Richardson of UTI added, "My daily business relies heavily on I-CAR offerings and activities, and I am very excited about the direction they are taking. From my perspective, this event today was entirely necessary and it thoroughly met I-CAR ‘s goals as I understood them to be. Everyone involved in collision repair and refinish industry training depends, or should depend, upon the input of groups such as we saw here today. To see this group here today being mostly aligned and very much supportive of the general course that I-CAR has embarked upon is very encouraging to me. I am excited for the future of collision repair and refinish training with I-CAR continuing to be the standard."