I-CAR has had to take on an all-new approach to delivering its training courses amid the pandemic.
On March 15, “pretty well all colleges across the country closed down their campuses,” Andrew Shepard, senior director of Industry Programs and executive director of I-CAR Canada told Collision Repair.
However, I-CAR Canada quickly reacted to the closures by implementing online course formats developed by I-CAR U.S.
Shepherd said the online courses were well received, especially among insurance agencies.
“The insurance side of the equation has really jumped on our free courses.”
Shepherd did note, however, that since collision repair is such a hands-on industry, in-person training is a more practical style of learning and will likely return when COVID-19 restrictions allow for it.
“I think the sense is, when things are safe to do so, we will go back to the live delivery of [courses]. It is just so much more effective for the class to be participating in the activity rather than watching it.”
Shepard also urged collision repair facilities to continue to stay up to date on their training throughout the pandemic.
“There’s going to be a slice of shops—it would be foolhardy of me to guess how big that will be—who are not going to make it. The shops that are going to come out of this, are going to have to participate in a bigger world, with efficiency demands from insurers, with technology demands, etc. So, training to me remains a core-mandate for a successful shop.”
Shepherd has I-CAR has restarted its in-shop certifications, though only in cases where the manager, technicians and the trainer are all comfortable with it.
Andrew Shepherd, executive director of I-CAR Canada, said online courses have been well-received, especially among insurers.