SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, will hold its fall test session for Z1-Z4 accessory installation certification on Tuesday, Nov. 9, in more than 700 locations around the United States and Canada, as well as elsewhere outside the United States. All tests begin at 7 p.m. Registration for the tests closes Wednesday, Sept. 22. The SEMA program to certify technicians who install accessories on cars and trucks includes four modules: Z1/Electric Sunroofs, Z2/Body Exterior Components, Z3/Leather Interiors and Z4/Roof Treatments. The objectives of the SEMA Installer Certification Program include enhancing the specialty automotive industry’s image and instilling consumer confidence; ensuring that consumers and new-vehicle dealers have a means of defining an installer’s competency and skill levels; and providing a reliable way to measure a company’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. “As the accessory industry becomes more competitive and vehicle technologies become more complex, there’s increasing pressure on accessory providers to differentiate their business, demonstrate their skill levels, and instill confidence in the products and services they provide,” said Ellen McKoy, SEMA’s senior director of dealer relations. “Certification is an important part of that equation, so, consequently, industry-wide support for the program continues to grow.” The SEMA certification program is a voluntary process, open to principals and employees of SEMA-member and nonmember companies alike. The exams are open to individuals involved in any aspect of the industry, including accessory installers, sales and technical support staff, engineering and design specialists and more. A non-refundable registration fee and per test fees are required upon registration. SEMA members receive substantial discounts on the fees involved. To receive the SEMA credentials, candidates must meet the two-year work experience requirement and pass one or more of the four SEMA certification exams. Candidates also have to pass the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) A6 exam on electrical/electronic systems. The ASE A6 exam is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16. Those fulfilling these three requirements will receive credentials from both SEMA and ASE. The credentials are valid for five years. SEMA-certified accessory specialists receive a certificate suitable for framing, plus a wallet card, sleeve patch and chevron. SEMA held its first test session on Nov. 8, 2001. Subsequent sessions have been held twice yearly, in May and November. To date,approximately 300 candidates have taken one or more of the Z1-Z4 exams; more than two-thirds have passed at least one exam. Currently, more than 50 individuals have met all requirements and gained status as SEMA-certified accessory specialists.