I-CAR Works to Redevelop Curriculum with Help From Collision Repairers

This article originally appereard in Fender Bender.

Nov. 6, 2014—I-CAR has begun an initiative in which it is using real-time information from current technicians in order to provide rigorous, efficient, role-based training that makes sense for today's specialized repair professional, according to an announcement from the Society of Collision Repair Specialists.

"When we launched our Professional Development Program (PDP) in 2010, we worked directly with the industry and defined the structure of the different roles in each shop as well as the required knowledge areas for those roles," Josh McFarlin, director of curriculum and product development for I-CAR, said in a release. "We intentionally did this work in isolation from our existing curriculum so that it would not inform the end result. Our next step was to align the existing I-CAR curriculum with the knowledge areas of the PDP.”

Today, I-CAR's continuous improvement of PDP has started in earnest, with the organization first working on clarifying training curriculum for three roles: non-structural repair, steel structural repair and aluminum structural repair. In re-establishing the processes and procedures for each of these roles, I-CAR went straight to the source: The collision repair technicians themselves.

Two of the technicians involved in the initiative—Wheldon Gardner and Will Perry—come to I-CAR straight from the shops of SCRS Board members Gary Wano, Jr. (GW and Son Auto Body Shop, Oklahoma City, Okla.) and Barry Dorn (Dorn's Body & Paint, Richmond, Va.).

"When we were approached by I-CAR to be a part of this endeavor, we knew we weren't going to go in and be yes men," Wano said in a release. "If we were dedicating this sort of commitment, we were going to tell it like it was. I-CAR was happy to work with us, and now, while the curriculum itself has not changed yet, we see a plan in motion. The whole process has been incredibly encouraging."