The Automotive Industries Association of Canada recently announced that Andrew Shepherd has been selected as the new Collision Training Director, to oversee the delivery of I-CAR and partner training to the collision sector in Canada.
With his extensive background in training and professional development as well as experience in association operations and national committee support, Andrew will be responsible for building the infrastructure in Canada to deliver, monitor, track, and grow training for all aspects of the collision repair industry. Additional duties will include strategic planning, partnership development, industry relations, business planning, data collection, committee and advisory group development, creation of a trainer network, and liaison with the I-CAR head office in the U.S.
“Our priority in the short term will be to solidify and simplify the administration of the system, by bringing some more automation and Web-based access. Secondly, we’d like to expand geographically, particularly in B.C. where we’re a little slim, and in Quebec with more material in French,” says Shepherd.
Support for the new posting is also apparent around the industry. “Andrew clearly demonstrated that there is a strong fit with his experience and his passion for execution and our industry needs. I am truly excited that Andrew is joining our industry and will lead the training and continuing education requirements for our industry at a time when we need it most,” states Larry Jefferies of CARSTAR Automotive Canada, a participant in the AIA I-Car Transition Committee.
“AIA recognizes the diverse needs and priorities of its membership base and is pleased to have been granted the opportunity to develop a program that significantly addresses the training needs of the collision sector. Andrew is passionate about training and eager to take up his leadership role with this project. We hope you will all join us in welcoming Andrew to the association as of March 8th,” adds AIA president Marc Brazeau.
Following I-CAR’s 2008 decision to cease collision repair training operations in Canada as of 2010, a memorandum of understanding has been signed by I-CAR International and AIA Canada, and a full license agreement designed to specifically meet the needs of the Canadian marketplace is in progress. AIA Canada will assume the management of the delivery of I-CAR products and services in Canada, and is committed to making the transition as seamless as possible for all parties involved.
The launch date in Canada for I-CAR under the AIA umbrella will be May 1, 2010. Upon that launch, Shepherd says that one of his chief goals for the program would be to provide top-quality human resources training through the I-CAR network. “I ran a similar program in the construction industry, and saw firsthand the impact that HR training can bring in terms of professionalism,” he says. “The professionalism of practitioners can be a tremendous motivator to attract new people to the industry, as well as in employee retention. So, in the near future, I’d like to see an integrated HR training kit as part of the overall toolbox, and the more easily accessible that training the better.”