I-CAR has announced a collaborative partnership with Audi of America’s Collision Repair Network, in which I-CAR will deliver expanded training to all new network members as Audi seeks to augment the knowledge of technicians and shop management amid a new era of vehicle sophistication and repair complexity.
I-CAR Gold Class has been a “foundational prerequisite” for any member of Audi’s Collision Repair Network, prior to progressing to Audi-specific repair training, explained Mark Allen, collision and equipment manager, Audi of America. Now, Audi is “deepening its knowledge and skills benchmark” for all new network members by expanding I-CAR training requirements to include approximately 93 online, virtual and live Professional Development Protocol (PDP) courses, effective June 1. A complete list of expanded I-CAR Audi training courses/requirements can be found here.
In addition to maintaining Gold Class status, shops will have one year to complete the additional I-CAR courses, many of which focus on advanced vehicle technologies and electric vehicle (EV) awareness.
Audi of America’s expanded training requirements are applicable to new collision repair network members only. However, Allen explained that existing, in-network shops are encouraged to review the updated course path and requirements and complete any needed training. Courses are role-specific, addressing the training needs of production manager, estimator, structural technician and refinisher.
“Audi of America is raising the bar on training for our collision repair network in an effort to lead the repair needs of our future vehicles,” said Allen. “While all members of Audi’s Collision Repair Network are Gold Class recognized and new, pending members are in the process of achieving Gold Class, we are going the extra mile to prepare our Audi Authorized Collision Repairer community for the future.”
Allen explained that expanding the knowledge base of technicians and shop management is critically important to the “front side” of the business, as the investment in additional training exponentially results in enhanced customer care, with stronger communication of repair process/explanations, as well as continuous improvements to repair estimates, blueprinting and guidance to the insurer.
“One hundred percent of our Audi Authorized Collision Certified shops are I-CAR Gold Class; bottom line, we will not permit network certification without this foundational Gold Class achievement – it’s just that important,” Allen said.
“With the proliferation of ADAS and EVs, combined with the rise of more advanced materials and emerging technologies which continue to be central to Audi vehicles, the complexity of today’s collision repair cannot be overstated, and Audi is positioned to lead the repair industry forward through expanded knowledge and skills inherent in I-CAR’s leading curriculum.”
Added Stacey Moellering, associate vice president, Marketing & Segment Development. I-CAR, “I-CAR is proud to support Audi’s exceptional commitment to training, which benefits the industry and I-CAR’s vision of ensuring complete, safe and quality repairs on behalf of the consumer.”
For a full list of I-CAR’s training portfolio, visit I-CAR’s course catalog. To see the enhanced training requirements for the Audi network, see the dedicated I-CAR Audi webpage. Specific questions can be directed to [email protected].