Auto Body Shop Certifications and Why They Matter
When you’re in need of repair after an auto accident, it’s important to pick an auto body shop that you can trust. All vehicles are made differently, so technicians typically hold a multitude of auto repair certifications to ensure they have the training necessary for different types of vehicles. Many shops and technicians hold dealer-specific certifications, meaning they’re more qualified to work on specific makes of cars like Audi, BMW, Ford, and more. Many newer vehicles can be made with aluminum components. If your vehicle has aluminum components, make sure to choose a shop that holds updated aluminum repair certifications. In this post, we’re going to walk you through the different types of auto body shop certifications, and what to look for when you’re choosing a shop.
I-Car, short for Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repairs, is a global non-profit-based training and certification program whose primary responsibility is to improve auto repair safety. As technologies and equipment continue to advance in vehicle innovation, it’s important for technicians to be continually trained on repair techniques, which is why employees are required to take and pass annual exams. I-Car provides a multitude of different advanced trainings for technicians, as well as for different types of auto repair positions like insurance providers, shop managers, estimators, and more.
I-Car offers a variety of different classes within a multitude of categories. For example, they have welding training and certifications, reparability technical support, and even introduction to collision repair services training. From there, shops can apply for their own I-Car programs, Gold Class or Platinum Class. When shops hold these certifications, it means that 100% of all structural technicians must be trained to Gold class standards, and 50% of all estimators, refinishers, and non-structural technicians. There are also a number of additional training requirements that shop technicians must complete in order for a shop to hold these standards. At Colorado Coach Auto Body, we hold a Gold Class I-Car certification. Learn more about the standards here.
ASE, short for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, is a non-profit organization that provides testing and certification methods for auto professionals to help improve vehicle repair standards. Having technicians that hold ASE certifications gives customers peace of mind when choosing auto shops for their repairs. It truly protects consumers, shops, and auto technicians by reducing any guesswork in auto repair.
To become ASE certified, technicians begin with two years of training while working, or one year of working and a two-year automotive repair degree. They then apply to take an ASE certification test. Upon approval, technicians take their exam, choosing from more than 40 which are categorized in a multitude of sub-specialties including collision, automobiles, trucks, truck equipment, and school buses. At Colorado Coach Auto Body, our technicians hold ASE certifications.
Dealer certifications or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) certifications mean that an auto body shop is approved by the auto manufacturer to repair their vehicles. Dealers hold auto collision repair facilities to very high standards in the quality and precision in repairs, which is why they require specific tools to be used within the shop, and for technicians to be trained to their vehicles specs. Shops that are dealer certified are typically required by the manufacturer to purchase and use only OEM factory-approved parts when repairing as well. So, if you’re looking for a trustworthy auto collision repair shop, make sure to go with one that is approved by your vehicle’s brand.
At Colorado Coach Auto Body, we hold Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Subaru, Aston Martin, and many other dealer-specific certifications.
Choosing an Auto Collision Repair Shop
Now that you understand the various types of certifications that are important for auto body shops to hold, you might be wondering what else you should look for when choosing a shop. See below for our list of tips for choosing an auto collision repair shop partner.
- Online Reviews – Make sure to read reviews on Google or other review platforms about the various auto shops in your area.
- Certifications – As mentioned above, make sure to choose an auto repair facility that holds a multitude of certifications like I-Car and ASE.
- Call Your Auto Dealer – Get a recommendation for which shops to work with by calling the auto dealer that you purchased your vehicle from.
- Get a Recommendation – You can also call your friends for a recommendation, or your trusted auto mechanic.
If you’ve been in an accident in the Front Range of Colorado, we’d love the opportunity to be your preferred auto collision repair shop. Plus, we hold the certifications that you can trust for quality, precise auto repair work.