Until the early 1970's, consumers had no way to distinguish between incompetent and competent mechanics. In response to this need, the independent, non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was established in 1972.
At present there are more than 440,000 professionals with current certifications on ASE's rosters. They work in every segment of the automotive service industry: car and truck dealerships, independent garages, fleets, service stations, franchises, and more.
ASE's mission is to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service in the United States through the testing and certification of automotive repair technicians.
Here's how ASE certification works: Prospective candidates register for and take one or more of ASE's 36 exams. The tests are grouped into specialties for automobile, medium/heavy truck, school bus, and collision repair technicians as well as engine machinists, alternate fuels technicians, and parts specialists.
Upon passing at least one exam and after providing proof of two years of relevant work experience, you achieve ASE certification. Technicians that pass all of the exams in a specialty area earn ASE Master Technician status; automobile technicians, for example, must pass eight exams.
The tests, which are conducted twice a year at over 750 locations around the country, are administered by American College Testing (ACT). The exams stress real-world diagnostic and repair problems, not theory. They are no cinch to pass; approximately one out of three test-takers fails.
Certification is not for life. To remain certified, technicians must be retested every five years.
Consumers benefit from ASE certification. It is a valuable yard stick by which to measure the knowledge and skills of individual technicians as well as the commitment to quality of the repair facility employing ASE-certified technicians.
ASE-certified technicians usually wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of expertise (brakes, engine repair, etc.), while employers often display their technicians' credentials in the customer waiting area.
Consumers should look for facilities that display the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence logo on outdoor signs, in the customer waiting area, in the Yellow Pages, and in other advertisements.
Founded in 1979, I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) is an international, not-for-profit training organization dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of auto collision repair for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.
I-CAR has adopted a concept we call "Outward Vision". This concept is driven by the need to define the "Ideal State" of the Collision Industry relative to technical training. I-CAR's definition of the Industry's "Ideal State" is:
Every person in the Collision Industry has the necessary technical knowledge and skills relevant to their position to ensure a complete and safe repair.
I-CAR develops and delivers technical training programs to professionals in all areas of the Collision Industry. In addition, I-CAR provides a communication forum for anyone interested in proper collision repair. I-CAR's primary funding is derived from student tuition and services. This assures that I-CAR can remain unbiased in developing courses and services on an industry-wide basis.
Founded in 1980, CCC Information Services Inc. supplies the automotive claims and collision repair industries with advanced software, communications systems, and Internet and wireless-enabled technology. Based in Chicago, CCC has grown from a company that helped a handful of insurers value totaled vehicles to an industry leader powering the auto-claims evolution.
In addition to its Chicago headquarters, the company - a wholly owned subsidiary of CCC Information Services Group (Nasdaq: CCCG) -- maintains offices in Glendora, Calif. and Sioux Falls, S.D., serving clients across the country.
CCC has one overriding goal: to put people back into their cars faster. Today's technology-savvy consumers expect better and faster service. CCC's automated tools enhance customers' accuracy and efficiency throughout the claims process to deliver improved service to vehicle owners.
CCC has defined the industry, providing unique technology to drive automation throughout the auto-claims and collision-repair industries. Its industry firsts include development of the first electronic total-loss valuation tool, a personal computer-based automated estimation tool, a digital-imaging tool, and a communications system linking insurers with collision repairers, among others.
CCC's technology-based products and services maximize efficiency and smooth communication throughout the entire claims-management process. CCC has the largest claims-industry network with 15,000 collision repair facilities, 350 insurance companies, and a range of industry participants.