You just walked into a body shop and you’re obviously not in a wonderful mood, because you got into a car accident and that’s never fun. Now you have a lot of details to deal with and finding the right body shop for you is one of them. You look on the wall in the shop’s reception area and a large sign says “I-CAR Gold Shop”. What does that mean to you and what exactly is I-CAR?

At 1stCertified Collision Center, we believe in I-CAR and the training it brings to the collision industry. By knowing the proper way to repair your vehicle, I-CAR benefits consumers, shops and the insurance companies alike by making this a better industry for all parties involved.

Well, in short I-CAR (stands for Inter-Industry Conference of Auto Collision Repair) is an international, not-for-profit training organization that offers classes, activities and resources that focus on helping the collision industry to achieve a high level of technical training. The I-CAR vision is that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair.

With more than 200 new vehicle introductions or redesigns planned for the next three years and with many of these containing new lightweight vehicle designs and advanced safety systems that will change the way collision repairs are performed, collision repair professionals have to be more knowledgeable and skilled than ever before. Without I-CAR, it would be difficult for body technicians to get all of the current repair information on today’s newer vehicles.

I-CAR’s Platinum™ recognition program provides them with a reliable roadmap for continued expertise and skill development in a universe of ongoing technological change. The industry-recognized Platinum designation is given to collision repair professionals who achieve and maintain high levels of role-relevant training that contributes to complete, safe and quality repairs. Training to Platinum keeps collision professionals current on vehicle technology, improves their job performance and assists their career development—all things that can only benefit you—the consumer.

The Platinum level of recognition is for individual body techs and paint techs, so please always inquire about how many Platinum level I-CAR trained professionals work at the body shop you’re considering for your repairs.

For body shops themselves, the Gold Class recognition is the highest role-relevant training achievement recognized by the collision repair industry. If you’re considering a Gold Class shop, you can rest assured that they are one of the finest in the nation. It’s estimated that only 10% of all the collision repair shops in the U.S. currently meet the rigorous Gold Class standard. The I-CAR Professional Development Program provides collision repair and insurance businesses with a reliable training framework for acquiring Gold Class and maintaining the up-to-date knowledge and skills that contribute to proper repairs, improved business performance and risk reduction.

To earn the Gold Class recognition it’s not easy, because once they earn it they still have to do the right things to keep it. Body shops must achieve and maintain a high level of role-relevant training across each of the major collision repair roles. It’s an arduous ongoing process of continual training, testing and re-testing to make sure a shop is truly worthy of this highly coveted Gold rating.

By becoming Gold Class, a body shop has demonstrated to their customers, staff and the industry as a whole that their business is committed to the highest standards of professionalism.

With top instructors throughout the country, I-CAR leads the way when it comes to education. Many of our techs go through extensive schooling to reach their goals professionally and by constantly pursuing the latest classes, all of the professionals at 1stCertified Collision Center are some of the very best in the business.