In every profession, it’s always honorable to continue your education. Regardless if you’ll receive a certification, license, or distinction, only positivity comes about when someone pushes themselves forward. It’s said that your success will never outpace your own personal development. When we take a step back and think about it… it’s (arguably) true.
Doctors, lawyers, dentists, surgeons, insurance agents, accountants, you name it. There’s someone in every industry offering to challenge the thinking of those within it, so that the profession can continue to flourish.
The body shop industry is no different. We may not wear fancy lab coats or sport coats, but there’s a professional development track for every single role within our shop.
We could hire trainers from The Four Seasons hotel, or a group from Zappos, Disney, Marriott, and the list goes on of people that can push our front office staff forward. Since our amazing front office staff are in customer facing roles, the world of “service training” is almost endless.
If we think about the shop–the body techs, painters, detailers, etc.–there’s actually industry specific training that’s widely available and accepted as the industry’s standard. It’s put on by an organization called I-CAR; the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. Formed in 1979, they set the watermark for what constitutes proper training for a variety of roles and repair methods for body shops. Within the I-CAR organization, technicians–individual employees–receive credits, much like you would for college courses, towards a Gold or Platinum designation. If a certain number of techs are Gold or higher, the shop, as a whole, qualifies as being designated “I-CAR Gold.”
Like other continuing education programs for any profession, Painter’s is not afraid to invest in the continued learning of our staff. For a variety of reasons, it’s critical to our ongoing success. Every piece of equipment in our shop can only be used one way properly. Understanding how to make certain repairs while maintaining the integrity of the vehicle holistically requires training. Knowing which parts need to be repaired or replaced requires training. Knowing how to read diagrams made by vehicle manufacturers requires training. So on and so forth, and thus importance of training.
The easiest way to think of I-CAR is to think of it as a continuing education or collegiate program for our employees and every employee in the body shop industry. It’s the one distinction that is instantly recognizable and indisputable; which is why it’s so highly sought after.
So, because it’s so important, we, oftentimes, will send a tech or two to training. Sometimes these trainings are in our shop–a training will come and teach a class–sometimes they’re across town, or sometimes it’s needed to fly a tech to a training center in a different city so he or she can earn the required credits.
Ensuring our staff is properly trained is a revolving door. As repair standards change, as vehicle designs change, as new metals and part types are introduced to the market change, as repair equipment change, or even something like OSHA standards change, putting staff through updated training classes is only see as something positive. It offers us a chance to make sure each and every single repair performed at our shop is done properly, efficiently, and to the highest industry standard possible. Ultimately, all of this training is for the sole benefit of the vehicle owner. Knowing we will continue to invest in proper training should provide vehicle owners throughout Queen Creek, Phoenix, and Arizona as a whole plenty of comfort.
Think of it this way. Would you buy auto, home, or life insurance from someone with an expired license? Would you have your cavity filled by a dentist whose license was revoked? You certainly wouldn’t allow a lawyer to represent you whose license was terminated.
So, why would you have your vehicle repaired after it’s been in an accident by a shop who doesn’t invest in the proper training?
Unfortunately, not all body shops in the country subscribe to this same mentality. To be very clear, Painter’s Collision Centers was and will always be committed to proper repairs. Not only is it our moral obligation, but it’s our pleasure to return your vehicle to you the same way it rolled off the production line the day it was born. It’s that simple. So, those shops who do not ensure their staff is properly trained can put you and your vehicle at risk; and that’s just not something we want our name or reputation to be attached to.
So, the next time you’re in our shop, ask one of our front office staffers to show you the plaques hanging on our wall and what they mean. As we continue to earn more designations and certifications, our lobby will continue to showcase these. Why? Because we’re proud to offer proper repairs as efficiently as possible. And, making sure our staff is properly trained is part of that equation.
For more information on I-CAR, please visit their website.