Auto Service World
Feature   April 1, 2001   by CARS Magazine

Mazda Tuned Into National Accreditation

Ali Maksoud juggles several important roles these days! As an Instructor, Service Training, with Mazda Canada Inc. he is on the road lending his training expertise to Mazda dealership staff across Canada.

He has also been one of the organizers of the Mazda Master Technician Canadian Competitions for the past two years. This competition involves intense testing in five regions across Canada, “It can take some technicians up to twelve hours to complete the test,” notes Ali, “It’s a challenge!”. Regional winners and their spouses are then invited to Toronto for the National Competition, which involves a comprehensive hands-on test. The technician with the top combined marks from the written and hands-on tests earns recognition as the top Mazda Master Technician in Canada.

In addition to this, Ali is also Vice Chair of the CARS National Accreditation Board of Directors and has been a Director on the Board since its inception. With all these roles and responsibilities, Ali is certainly kept busy but he is always ready to lend his enthusiasm and assistance!

“The concept of nationally accredited post-secondary training programs is important to the industry,” states Ali. “The board’s role to ensure a modular procedure is followed in the evaluation of motive power programs will raise the benchmark for training across Canada. Better-educated technicians will be more successful in the workplace and the accredited college is provided a marketing tool to attract students. In the end, everyone comes out ahead.”

As part of the accreditation process, a team of industry representatives is organized and conducts a site evaluation of the training facility. Board members have been instrumental in the recommendations of individuals to the site teams and Ali is no exception.

Site evaluation team members dedicate time and effort into their evaluation process orientation, the site visit and into the preparation of the final report, which is presented to the National Accreditation Board for review. Several site evaluation teams have included Mazda representatives and the Accreditation program has benefited from their commitment.

To lend further support to education, Mazda has recognized various colleges across Canada with donations of training aids such as prototype vehicles, training materials and literature.

“Because our organization has participated on the evaluation site teams, we have a first-hand knowledge of the work and commitment a college makes to comply with accreditation evaluation criteria. It’s important to reward this commitment by way of vehicle donations and learning materials and support the college’s endeavor to offer quality learning opportunities.”

Industry support has been the cornerstone of the National Accreditation Program. The board’s commitment and work, to ensure the accreditation program continues to grow and evolve, is the basis for the program’s success.

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