Repairify's New Partnership with ATG Will Provide Industry with Advanced Diagnostic Training
Written by Stacey Phillips, Autobody News
Published Sept. 1, 2022
With the growing need for collision repair technicians to understand the mechanical components of vehicles, Repairify is taking steps to equip them with the skills they need to repair vehicles properly.
In July, Repairify announced it acquired the Automotive Training Group (ATG) to create and offer advanced diagnostic training for the industry focused on both mechanical and collision repair.
"Their content and workbooks are the best in the industry," said Chris Chesney, Repairify's vice president of training and organizational development. "I'm really looking forward to bringing them on board and integrating them into what we do."
Founded in 2004, ATG offers live and virtual technical training worldwide. Chesney has a long history of working with the ATG team over his career and has great respect for the company and team of instructors for presenting excellent information in an understandable and interesting format.
As a result of their new partnership, Repairify will support ATG in such a way that they can produce and deliver meaningful content to a wider audience. This includes offering classes that focus on scanning and calibration, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and electric vehicles, as well as vehicle data networks.
"Part of that network might have been damaged or had corrosion or resistance in connectors or whatever that are not a part of the of the collision but affect the overall results or capabilities of that one network," said Chesney. "It's important for [technicans] to know how to triage those and validate that they're actually working as designed."
Working in this field for the majority of his career, Chesney understands the importance of connecting with technicians so they have a full picture of what needs to be done to be successful on the shop floor. He has worked as a shop owner, service advisor, trainer, training manager and training program owner. All these roles have focused on the mechanical side of the business.
In 2002, Chesney moved to Raleigh, NC, to build out an automotive training team. When he left that organization in 2021, it was hosting 150,000 active learners who were taking self-paced online courses or participating in the 3,000 to 4,000 in-person or live virtual classroom events held each year.
About three months after Chesney's retirement, Cris Hollingsworth, president of Repairify, asked him to join the company in 2021 to head up its training arm.
Most of Repairify's training is currently targeted to internal trainers and technicians and is offered both virtually and in-person. The company also offers product-oriented training to customers in a virtual setting.
"Up until now, the primary focus has been to rightsize and enable the internal training team so that our own people can be best prepared to serve our customers in their remote services that that we have made tremendous headway with," he explained.
Future training will be presented in what Chesney refers to as an adaptive learning model in which online course materials are customized to the learner for an experience not available in a traditional classroom setting.
"Imagine the instructor of a virtual classroom knowing the skills gap of every student on the call," said Chesney. This will allow instructors to better focus content during the lessons and interact with students.
He said Repairify will be working with I-CAR to align ATG content with I-CAR standards to count toward accreditation.
Training will be developed with a diagnostic approach, combining OEM support information with real-world technician experience using actual case studies where possible.
What sets ATG apart from other training, according to Chesney, is the company's specialization in OEM repair information and its approach to learning.
"What ATG does is take that factory information and dissect it," explained Chesney. "When it's a competency around a standard that's used by all brands, then they level the terms and the diagnostic approach so that it's brand agnostic."
An important aspect of the training will include learning how to find OEM service information.
"The big myth in the industry is the belief that OEM service information is hard to get a hold of," said Chesney.
He stressed the importance of checking the repair information on every vehicle.
"In the case of things like ADAS, it changes daily and you need to go look at it for every repair or calibration," recommended Chesney. "Otherwise, it can catch you by surprise and get you in trouble."
Repairify's ultimate goal is to help prepare technicians to repair future vehicles and present information in a way they will understand.
"We look forward to enabling technicians with skills and technology so that what happens in the classroom sticks more and it gives them the ability to apply it when they get back to the shop," he said.
The company also plans to offer career paths for potential collision and mechanical technicians that are appropriate for their roles.
"Bringing ATG alongside what we're doing on the collision side really allows us to leverage our existing content, so our internal team of technicians and remote techs can be better prepared to help our customers," said Chesney.
For additional information about ATG, visit www.atgtraining.com.