Volume 9, Issue 5 - October 2007

Independent's Day
an iga viewpoint

Is Certification on Your List?
by Dave Zoldowski

Gloves? Check. Suction cups? Check. Cutout tools? You think you've got all the tools you need to complete the installation job today, but what about an Independent Glass Association (IGA) certification? Can you check that off your list?

Why It’s Important
Certification lends credibility to a company and a technician. It proves that those who are certified have taken the time to master their craft and, more importantly, prove to others that they have learned it well. It may seem superfluous, especially considering that the general public doesn’t know much about the industry, but telling a customer that you are or that you employ certified technicians puts his mind at ease.

Doesn’t facing an employee with official patches make you a little more confident in that person’s ability to help you, more so than someone who had nothing to show his credentials for doing the work you require? If nothing else, look at certification as another tool that endears you to the customer.

What’s Available?
There are many options, of course; some urethane manufacturers offer training and there are many private and other association certification programs out there. This year, the IGA has rolled out its online certification program. It allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the industry and proper installation technique from anywhere in the country via the Internet. IGA also is offering an adjunct training program online.

This training is comprised of ten basic and four advanced modules, each section includes study aides and information and a final section test. The certification offered is for technicians, with customer service representative and shop manager certifications to be available soon. 

How Is It Different than Other Programs?
The goals of the IGA certification program include improving the level of professionalism on an individual basis and throughout the auto glass industry; providing recognition to those who have proven knowledge of the general principles and practices of auto glass replacement, customer service and/or management; informing the public, auto glass customer and members of the auto glass industry of the qualifications of auto glass professionals; encouraging and assisting auto glass professionals in maintaining and increasing their knowledge and competence through continuing education; and professional development activities.

Consequently, a technician’s certification can be revoked or denied as well, for failure to meet certain criteria, including but not limited to:

  • Failure to pass the qualifying exam; 
  • Failure to maintain adequate professional education credits in the correct time period;
  • Failure to perform work in accordance with knowledge learned;
  • Providing inaccurate information about professional employment experience, academic background or other inaccurate information; and
  • Violation of professional ethics. 

To become IGA-certified, a technician must pass the online exam. Online courses are available at www.igacertification.org to help guide individuals through the knowledge necessary to pass the test(s), but are not required for certification. The program offers three course options for certification.

Module Package 1 provides students with any two training modules or electives in course and one final exam This option gives students 60 days access to materials in any two modules and take one final exam. 

Module Package 2 provides students with any five training modules or electives in course and one final exam This option gives students 120 days access to materials in any five modules and take one final exam. 

For module packages 1 and 2, interested persons wishing to take additional exams beyond the one offered must purchase them separately.

Module Package 3 provides the entire training course (all ten modules and four electives), one final exam and diploma for graduates. This option gives students six months’�access to materials in all ten modules and includes one final exam and diploma for graduates.

The online course and exam options help keep the cost of the certification program at a reasonable price, with Module 1 costing only $99 and the full training session affordable at well less than $300 for IGA members. IGA certification is not exclusive to the association membership, though non-members will be charged at the higher, non-member rate to enroll. See the chart on page 12 for pricing.

Who Should Be Certified?
Everyone! It makes our industry safer and adds credibility not only to you and your employees but also to the industry as a whole. There’s no better tool to help legitimize an industry—our industry—that needs as much good PR as possible. 

 

IGA Certification 2007-2008 Pricing

  IGA Member Non-Member
Individual
Testing Only $59-$69 $149
Individual training (Includes One Test)
Up to 2 modules $99 $195
Up to 5 modules $149 $295
Up to 10 modules $199 $395
Full Course + electives $249 $495
Company-Wide Training Subscription (Includes One Test)
Up to 10 modules $390 $600
Full course + electives $495 $995
Additional Tests - $59

Dave Zoldowski is president of Auto One in Brighton, Mich., and serves as president of the IGA. Mr. Zoldowski's opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.


AGRR
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