I-CAR® (the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) shared details of its safety guidelines and plans for re-starting its Hands-On Skills Development™, Welding Training & Certification™ and Live Courses, which have been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual inter-industry announcement, I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne, together with Lori Barrington, I-CAR Associate Vice President, Delivery, detailed the organization’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy training experience for all students as well as I-CAR Instructors and Assessors. I-CAR temporarily paused in-person training in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The safety of everyone is I-CAR’s number-one priority in consideration of the plans and timelines for re-starting our Hands-On Skills Development, Welding and Live courses,” said Barrington. “These are unprecedented times with no reference guide, which is why we designed guidelines to support the safety and health of I-CAR Instructors, Assessors and all of our Students.”
Barrington shared three basic conditions that must be met to proceed with any I-CAR In-Shop training:
- States must be open; currently all 50 states are open for in-person/student educational training courses. Any changes/updates related to individual state guidelines will utilize data from www.kff.org, a reporting source offered through the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on national health issues, and a non-partisan source of facts and analysis.
- Customer/Student must be willing/comfortable with I-CAR Instructor/Assessor in their facility.
- Instructor/Assessor must be willing and comfortable to deliver training in the facility and area of community.
Barrington also provided adjusted procedures to support safer delivery of Welding Training & Certification and Hands-On Skills Development events:
- Collaboration and support between I-CAR and Customer is necessary
- Proper PPE must be worn at all times upon arrival
- Proper physical distancing guidelines will reflect the type of training delivered and consideration of dedicated activity stations
Barrington noted that key drivers for class and event size restrictions follow protocols which align with in-person restaurant dining and gathering limits.
I-CAR’s Scheduling Team continues to reschedule Welding and Hands-On Skills events that had been postponed due to COVID-19, in addition to beginning to schedule new customer requests in states, as they open, with new requests scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Barrington outlined a Preparedness Plan detailing Instructor and Student Responsibilities designed to uphold the highest levels of classroom/event safety.
Finally, Barrington noted that delivery of live classes will remain on pause until the majority of
I-CAR’s Fixed Training Sites (FTS) – technical schools or colleges – re-open.
“Approximately 75% of our Fixed Training Sites currently remain closed due to COVID-19, making it impossible at this time to deliver I-CAR Live classes consistently across the country,” she said.
As I-CAR continues to monitor the situation and update its Live course re-start plans accordingly, including new processes to support physical distancing guidelines, Barrington shared that four key PDP role required Live courses have been converted to instructor-led web delivery (virtual) training, and will continue to be offered through summer, 2020.
Barrington further noted that I-CAR has also adjusted program requirements during the COVID-19 Live and In-Shop delivery pause allowing Platinum™ individuals and Gold Class® businesses to maintain annual renewal requirements.
“Above all, I-CAR is committed to safety and doing the right thing on behalf of the industry and appreciates everyone’s patience and understanding during this challenging time,” said Van Alstyne
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About I-CAR: Founded in 1979, I-CAR is a not-for-profit education, knowledge, and solutions organization designed to support the evolving needs of the Collision Repair Inter-Industry. I-CAR is focused on improving the quality and safety of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of both the industry and the consumer. www.i-car.com