Auto Service World
Feature   February 1, 2010   by Auto Service World

AIA Canada And I-CAR Finalize Deal

Canadian Association to Take On Collision Repair Training Role

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada and I-CAR have announced that the Canadian national aftermarket association will be managing the delivery of I-CAR collision industry training in Canada.

The official announcement was made at the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) event in Toronto in late January. The current target date for the transition is May 1, 2010.

“I am very pleased that the future of I-CAR training in Canada has been secured,” says Tony Canade, CCIF chairman and president of the Assured Automotive network of collision repair facilities. “I-CAR is the most recognized source of technical training that our industry has, and there would be a huge void if I-CAR training didn’t continue in Canada.” Canade says that having a Canadian organization responsible for content in Canada, and working in both official languages, is the best possible result for Canadian collision repair shops.

“I think that they should feel optimistic with regard to the availability and the potential enhancements to I-CAR training in Canada,” he says.

The execution of a memorandum of understanding between the AIA and I-CAR (officially, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) comes after months of discussion between the AIA and I-CAR groups, which followed a request-for-proposals process that had a number of groups making overtures to take over the collision repair industry’s most respected training course provider.

Both AIA president Marc Brazeau and I-CAR president and CEO John Edelen agree that the process that was started in the fall of 2008 to put a new structure in place in Canada went smoothly and quickly, considering the complexity of the issue.

That process was begun after a yearlong study by a Canadian Advisory Committee determined that the existing structure, which grouped I-CAR Canada under the umbrella of I-CAR International, had become financially unfeasible.

Though initial plans called for I-CAR to end its direct involvement in Canada by the end of 2009, Edelen said that the level of progress in finalizing the agreement with the AIA gave the I-CAR board the assurance that a deal would be reached.

As a result, it was decided to continue with activities in Canada until the details were finalized.

“Until the transition of activities is completed, I-CAR will continue to provide an active schedule of training opportunities to the Canadian industry under its current operating practices. Joe DaCunha, I-CAR zone trainer for Canada, will continue his active support of these efforts, remaining to support the industry through this transition,” Edelen told CCIF attendees.

“I am grateful for the support of the Canadian auto collision industry, and for the significant and substantial efforts of Roland Taube and Tony Canade in leading the work of the Canadian Advisory Committee. The I-CAR International board of directors had the benefit of a well-designed and thoughtful process, and a clear direction from the industry, to support its actions,” he continued.

Brazeau also assured the CCIF attendees of an effective, efficient and “seamless” transition of I-CAR’s activities to AIA, as well as a more complete training experience for the industry in both of Canada’s official languages. Brazeau also stated that AIA had established an industry Transition Advisory Committee to ensure continued industry involvement in the process.

“Come May 1, we will have the right resources and the right people in place,” said Brazeau. “We want to work with all the stakeholders in the industry. That is the desire we have in delivering I-CAR training in Canada.”

“This is a very exciting development for the Canadian auto collision industry. It represents the industry’s best opportunity to ensure that its training needs are being met through access to the I-CAR curriculum–and one that will be managed and led by a clear leader in the automotive industry in Canada, the AIA,” said Edelen.

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