2016: A Year of Progress For I-CAR

Hoffman Estates, IL
February 23, 2017

In 2016, I-CAR® achieved double-digit growth in shops and technicians trained, rolled out new products and services, and forged new industry partnerships, all in an effort to better serve the collision repair inter-industry.
The not-for-profit organization, which delivers education, knowledge and solutions across the industry eco-system, saw its total numbers of Gold Class® recognized shops rise to 4,277, a 16.5 percent increase over 2015. The total number of Gold Class shops and those on the Road to Gold™ increased 22.7 percent over the previous year, and I-CAR trained 70,706 students in total, up 12.8 percent.
“None of this happened by chance,” said I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne. “We have listened closely to the industry, our customers and our volunteers and instructors. Five years ago, we built a robust strategy with the objective to improve all we do, to grow, and to increase our relevance. The increasing impact we are having across our industry shows that our strategy is working.”
The new Vehicle and Technology Specific Training™ curriculum was launched in 2016, with 26 existing courses rebranded to form the initial portfolio at mid-year, and seven additional new courses were recently launched. More model-year specific courses will be released in the fall of 2017 and each year thereafter.
I-CAR’s Repairability Technical Support (RTS) portal continues to grow. RTS puts solutions for technicians, appraisers, shop owners and managers at their fingertips. Just two years after its launch, a survey by Collision Advice and Crash Network found that RTS is the number two source used for collision repair technical information, behind only ALLDATA. RTS also rolled out the first-ever OEM Calibration Requirements Search portal at the end of 2016.
I-CAR’s Welding Training and Certification™ also saw dramatic increases in 2016. The number of welding events increased 71.6 percent and the number of welding students increased 60 percent in 2016.
The I-CAR Professional Development Program™ - Education Edition (PDP-EE) saw dramatic growth in 2015. The curriculum package provides the latest in training materials for schools and students.  Launched in 2012, PDP-EE is now used in 604 schools around the country, up 51.9 percent from 2015.
In 2016, I-CAR announced a number of high-impact joint initiatives with ASE for the benefit of technicians, students, schools and the industry.
ASE now recognizes I-CAR ProLevel® 2 or 3 Platinum™ status to satisfy the requirements for ASE collision repair and refinish work experience. I-CAR now grants two credit hours towards Platinum annual training requirements for technicians who hold an ASE Collision Repair certification.
I-CAR is offering training classes at the ASE Industry Education Alliance Instructor Training Conference each year, and presented the first-ever I-CAR Collision Repair/Refinishing Technician of the Year Award at the ASE Fall Board Meeting. The two organizations also worked to clarify the alignment between PDP-EE and the NATEF Collision Repair and Refinish Standards task list and update the “curriculum crosswalk.”  Students can now graduate from NATEF accredited programs with I-CAR’s Platinum™ recognition and the ASE Collision Repair and Refinishing Student Certifications. 
“In addition to what we accomplished in 2016, we have a number of initiatives in the works for 2017 and beyond,” Van Alstyne said. “All are designed to address needs the industry has expressed, and all are expected to contribute to the ongoing transformation and success of our industry as we face the impact of the ‘Technical TsunamiTM’ and growing repair complexity.”