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Friday, 03 April 2020 23:34

I-CAR Announces Measures to Ensure Safety & Well-Being of Industry Stakeholders

Written by John Van Alstyne, I-CAR President & CEO
I-CAR President & CEO John Van Alstyne I-CAR President & CEO John Van Alstyne

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This is, undoubtedly, an unprecedented time for our industry.

With stay-at-home orders in effect, miles driven will fall, thus demand for vehicle repair can be expected to fall.

 

We are thankful the U.S. government has deemed automotive repair and maintenance facilities to be essential businesses. This prevents full shut down. We expect the industry will rebound as the virus ebbs and life returns to a more normalized pace.

 

I-CAR stands ready to support the industry today and tomorrow, in a manner responsive to the impact this has on our various stakeholder groups, and in the interest of maintaining our industry’s commitment and ability to perform complete, safe and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.

 

I-CAR recently announced measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its instructors, assessors, staff and other stakeholders by:

 

  • Suspending all live and in-shop events through May 3. We will monitor the situation and inform the industry of our plans for post-May 4 the week prior.
  • Encouraging the industry to continue working toward annual training and recognition requirements for Gold Class® and Platinum™ programs, and generally continuing to build upon the knowledge that supports complete, safe and quality repairs, by providing students access to more than 239 online courses---in addition to nearly two dozen virtual web-delivered events that are facilitated by I-CAR instructors. I-CAR’s course portfolio was recently refreshed, so the industry now has access to the latest and greatest training relevant to repairs required today.
  • Moving its annual conference (was to be held in early March in Phoenix, AZ) to an online webinar series, “Navigating a New Era of Collision Repair” (with pieces being deployed as available). More details will be announced shortly.
  • Working to inform and protect staff members and instructors since early March. This includes health best practices, education on COVID-19 and links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) information websites.

 

Effective March 17, we shifted to a full work-from-home policy for all staff members.

 

We encourage everyone in the industry to continue following health care best practices and COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC as it relates to employee safety and well-being, and to use best judgment in your in your daily operations.

 

We also encourage students and collision repair facilities to take advantage of training opportunities.


I-CAR’s portfolio is mostly available online, and easily accessible, not requiring out-of-shop time or travel. Our new course offerings were designed on the principle of ‘Purpose Built,’ meaning if it’s an online course, it must be interactive and under one hour in duration. We’re finding this is a much better experience than the online courses we sunsetted in October 2019.

 

Our new Gold Class subscription provides for unlimited live, online and virtual training for all employees in the shop, and covers employee turnover training at no extra cost.

 

I-CAR understands repair facilities may have challenges achieving Gold Class or individuals achieving Platinum and/or welding credentials, especially as we are not delivering live and in-shop training at present.

 

To this end, we implemented a COVID-19 recognition policy that is flexible to support those individuals and businesses with upcoming renewals, currently automatically extending renewals in 30-day increments until the individual/shop is able to complete requirements.

We will soon be shifting to more definitive requirements for the duration of 2020. These requirements will be reasonable considering both the COVID-19 situation our industry is currently managing and I-CAR’s delivery capabilities. We will also continue to actively monitor the situation and be prepared to act accordingly.

 

We know that during challenging times like these, it’s so important to communicate. We appreciate everyone’s support during this time; we are in this together!

 

I-CAR launched a webpage with resources, policies and procedures as it relates to COVID-19.

 

For questions regarding training or accessibility issues, contact I-CAR Customer Care at (800) 422-7872.

 

Source: I-CAR

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