I-CAR Gold Class Certified


Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.

Stewart Brand

Life used to be so simple–at least when it came to vehicle repair. There have always been collisions and other mechanical mishaps. Yet, since the very beginning of the automotive industry in the late 19th century–when Karl Benz produced his first petrol-powered car–and for many decades thereafter, the technology governing vehicle manufacture remained largely the same across all brands, makes, and models. For nearly a century it was a given that any reasonably competent mechanic could fix pretty much any car, no matter what the damage. There simply was no serious need for I-CAR or any other internationally recognized standard of automobile service training.

But then, in the 1970s, the introduction of unibody vehicle design changed forever the landscape of car repair. Since that time, the pace of advances made in automotive design and construction has only accelerated, to what is now blinding speed. Nowadays the typical consumer car contains tens of thousands of individual parts and functional components, all operating differently from one manufacturer to another. In other words, no two vehicles will ever follow the exact same repair plan.

A: I-CAR is an abbreviation for “Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair,” a not-for-profit education and standards organization that provides automobile repair technicians with the mechanical knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe, and quality automobile repairs. Much like the guild system in the Middle Ages, the purpose of this organization is to ensure the highest degree of competence and professionalism among those who practice the “art” of automobile repair.

A: In 1979 representatives from six major industry sectors related to fixing damaged cars—collision repair, insurance, OEMs, education, suppliers, and miscellaneous industry services—came together and formed I-CAR, with the express purpose of helping body shops meet the challenge of correctly repairing modern-day automobiles built using increasingly complex materials, technologies, and engineering.

A: As the industry’s most effective and rigorous provider of professional training for auto repair technicians, the I-CAR Professional Development Program has designated Gold Class recognition to be the highest role-relevant training achievement within the collision repair industry. To earn and maintain Gold Class recognition, a body shop must continually develop the knowledge and skills of its staff to advanced levels.

A: It matters a lot for this reason: a virtual “technical tsunami” in the automobile industry has been building for decades and has finally reached the shores the collision repair industry. Every year radically new vehicle designs are debuted, many of which incorporate cutting-edge materials and advanced safety systems that have completely transformed the nature of collision repair. Up-to-date training has become increasingly vital, not just for the business survival of the body shop but—more importantly—for assuring consumer safety. The I-CAR Gold Class program has prepared Keri Coach Works to meet the challenges of this ongoing technological change.

A: No! It is estimated that only 20% of repair shops currently meet the demanding Gold Class standard. By becoming an I-CAR Gold Class certified body shop, Keri Coach Works demonstrates to its customers and staff on a daily basis that our business is committed to the highest standards of professionalism in restoring your car to like-new condition without compromising the resale value or passenger safety of the vehicle.

Moreover, year after year, the nature of the technologies underlying those components continues to evolve. From…

  • special materials (plastics, aluminum, lightweight alloys); to
  • fuel systems (petroleum-based vs. electric); to
  • entire on-board computer systems (a far cry from your grandfather’s analog odometer and oil gauge built into the dashboard!)

…this avalanche of change has created what can only be termed an “information gap.” On their own it would be practically impossible for body shop mechanics, no matter how skilled, to keep abreast of such rapid and radical changes, or to acquire the deep knowledge required to maintain their competency in the field, much less achieve total mastery.

To address this information gap, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) was formed. The explicit goal of this non-profit organization was (and still is) to provide the knowledge, information, and training needed by mechanics to perform complete, high-quality, and safe repairs to damaged vehicles. Their focus on training integrates these six major sectors of the vehicle service industry:

  • Collision repair
  • Education and research
  • OEMs and material supply
  • Tools and equipment
  • Insurance
  • Miscellaneous related industry services

Such full-focus training gives you, the consumer, the confidence that body shop facilities such as Keri Coach Works possess the most up-to-date knowledge needed to perform with proficiency whatever repairs your vehicle may require. Thanks to our training we know how to:

  • spot hidden damage others may not see
  • make the right decisions for the safest repair
  • decide which parts to fix and which to replace
  • perform the most up-to-date repair procedures to spec

In essence, I-CAR is a continuing-education technical school for auto mechanics. More importantly, the I-CAR Gold Class certification awarded to Keri Coach Works means our facility has met and exceeded a standard of excellence in rigorous training and expertise in advanced collision repair that only 20% of other auto body shops nationwide are able to achieve.

Thus, we are not just really good “mechanics”; we are expertly trained technicians in servicing the finish, structural, and non-structural components of your damaged automobile. And just as advancements in vehicle design never stop, neither does our continuous training. Our learning, on the job and off, remains ongoing for as long as you see our “Gold Class” designation displayed.

We are proud of this accomplishment, not just because it shows we’re good at what we do, but because it gives our customers the absolute assurance that when their car has been in a collision, getting it repaired properly and safely is our foremost priority.

Don’t settle for anything less than I-CAR Gold Class Certified

Gold Class lets you know a collision repair shop’s technicians have received training designed to provide complete, safe, and quality repairs.