But how do potential customers know all this? How can they judge whether your employees are more or less qualified to repair their vehicles than employees at the shop down the street?
A good way to answer this question is with certification of collision repair technicians.
If you’ve read the headline, you might have surmised this editorial would be a plea to support ASE certification. Headlines are sometimes misleading; this one isn’t. Certifying bodymen and painters is an important step in upgrading the skill level and professional image of the collision repair industry.
Certification serves several functions:
1. It ensures employees that their bodymen and painters have acquired the basic skill levels needed to make accurate repairs.
2. It offers technicians the opportunity to show themselves, their employers and their customers that they’ve achieved a level of competence in their chosen field.
3. It gives customers confidence that they have a technician competent in diagnosis and repair working on their vehicles. They’re relying on a certified professional repair technician.
The non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts voluntary certification tests for painters and bodymen twice a year at more than 700 locations across the country. The registration deadline for ASE’s next test is March 30. The test dates are May 1, 3 and 8. Call ASE at (703) 713-3800 to learn more.
Of course, ASE certification is only a test – a test of a technician’s skills. It sets standards for basic levels of competency. Certification can’t turn an unskilled repairperson into a qualified technician. It can’t even make a good technician better.
Certification is simply a measuring stick. It’s a benchmark of competency in an industry striving to improve its reputation as a respected profession.
Isn’t it time the collision repair industry put itself to the test?