The Benefits of Certification Includes
by Sahely Mukerji
While less than 10 percent of auto glass technicians in the country are
certified to do their job—either by the Auto Glass Safety Council™ (AGSC,
formerly the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council Inc.) of
Glen Ellyn, Ill., the Independent Glass Association of Chandler, Ariz.,
or the National Windshield Repair Association of Stafford, Va., (see sidebar)—auto
glass professionals say they cannot emphasize the importance of certification
“Lacking the government regulation for licensing, the next best thing
is to develop some kind of quantitative measurement of competence,” says
Bob Beranek, president and CEO at Automotive Glass Consultants Inc. in
Madison, Wis., and chairperson of AGSC Standards Committee. “So, [the
AGSC] program is important for the consumer to make sure that the technician
has the knowledge to do the job correctly. It’s not a measurement of skills,
There are basically two kinds of certification offered by the AGSC: individual
certification for technicians; company-wide certification called the Registered
Company Program. The registration program is offered to auto glass shops,
as opposed to individuals. Shops are audited once a year per the registered
shop program by an independent auditor.
Last year, the AGSC also acquired the National Glass Association’s auto
glass technician certification program (see related story
in November/December 2011 AGRR™ magazine, page 30), and both programs
are now under the same umbrella.
“The [individual technician] test was never designed to measure hand skills.
It validates that somebody knows right from wrong, and has the basic knowledge,”
says Dale Malcolm, technical manager at Dow Automotive Systems, Aftermarket,
in Dayton, Ohio, and co-chair of AGSC Education Committee. “I’d like to
see the number of people taking the test to be much higher, and that’ll
be a task of the committee to come up with a plan. We’d like to have a
seminar on this at the Auto Glass Week™ and show them how to use the tool.
People are encouraged to email questions about the test.”
“I’d like to see the number of people
taking the test to be much higher, and that’ll be a task of the committee
to come up with a plan. We’d like to have a seminar on this at the Auto
Glass Week™ and show them how to use the tool.”
—Dale Malcolm, technical manager at Dow Automotive Systems, Aftermarket,
in Dayton, Ohio, and co-chair of AGSC (formerly the AGRSS Council Inc.)
Carl Tompkins, global marketing resources manager for Sika Corp. in Madison
Heights, Mich., agrees. “First off, the aspect of certifying is a means
of differentiation,” he says. “Certification validates and is important
in the realm of technician training, because our industry is one that
affects the safety and well-being of the public. And when lives are at
stake, it’s important to make sure the technician is accountable for his
work. We have a standard that provides 32 specific instructions for people
to follow. That is the code to best practices.”
“Lacking the government regulation
for licensing, the next best thing is to develop some kind of quantitative
measurement of competence.”
president and CEO of Automotive Glass Consultants Inc.
It is also important for a technician to be certified “because the integrity
of windshield repair is at stake,” says Kerry Wanstrath, president of
National Windshield Repair Association and Glass Technology Inc. of Durango,
Colo. “If consumers see poor quality repairs over and over again, their
opinion of windshield repair will be one that the windshield repair is
less than what it actually is capable of being. The true repair quality
of the industry leaders is amazing, in my opinion. Windshield repair is
so much better than what it was even 10 years ago. Companies are innovating
with better methods and resin and curing technology.”
Glasspro in Charleston, S.C. “It’s an example of how seriously we take
being sure that a windshield is installed correctly,” he says. “There’s
no higher or more rigorous certification than the AGSC certification.
We use that in conjunction with working with our urethane supplier, Dow,
on helping our people continuously be trained. We have an internal training
program led by Jeff Olive; he’s the training manager. It gives our whole
company pride and our customers confidence.”
Registration Versus Certification
There’s more in it for a company to get registered and its technicians
certified than customer commitment and validation.
Companies should look at certification as a marketing tool, says Olive,
co-chair of the AGSC Education Committee. “[Individual] certification
is a plus for any company to have, because it’s a great marketing tool
to validate the skills of their technicians,” he says. “The AGSC program
is very in-depth in that the technician has the knowledge to do a safe
“Certification validates. It
is important in the realm of technician training, because our industry
is one that affects the safety and well-being of the public.”
—Carl Tompkins, global marketing resources manager for Sika Corp. and
former chair of Auto Glass Safety Council (formerly the AGRSS Council)
The other reason to become certified is the insurance aspect, Heinauer
says. “More than 90 percent, if not more, of all insurance companies through
third-party administrators say you must install to the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard,” he says. “AGSC is the only certification
program connected to ANSI.”
Olive agrees. “The insurance industry looks to do business with AGSC-registered
companies,” he says. “Registration is a selling point that AGSC has achieved,
but now the insurance companies should look for certified technicians,
for the safety of the customer. AGSC-registered companies will do the
installation in the proper manner that AGSC requires. Their technicians
are validated through the AGRSS Standard. [However] AGSC-certified techs
are a step further and each technician achieves certification.”
AGSC-registered companies and AGSC-certified technicians go hand-in-hand,
Heinauer says, because “as a company owner, what comes first is having
your company AGSC-registered, and then technicians [certified] within
that. They’re both significant. If you had to choose one, the AGSC-registration
is more encompassing and it’s done in person, by a third party, face-to-face.
However, we’re very bullish about having our technicians AGSC-certified.
It helps them make more and at our company, Glasspro, we tie certification
to the wage scale.”
“If a technician is doing both repair
and replacement, both [AGSC and NWRA] certifications are valuable and
—Kerry Wanstrath, president of National Windshield Repair Association
and Glass Technology Inc. of Durango, Colo
Any person installing auto glass can become individually certified, Olive
says. “It’s an individual achievement, rather than a company being a member,”
he says. “Both company registration and technician certification are great
marketing tools for each individual technician and company to achieve.”
When it comes to the consumer, insurance plays a part in their decision,
Olive says. “When it comes to a knowledgeable consumer, they ask for both,”
he says. “Possibly 30 percent of the customers have a concern about it.”
When there’s low deductible in auto insurance for windshield replacement,
it generates more customer calls in a certain location, he says. In states
such as South Carolina, there’s no deductible applied when a glass replacement
is done, so it’s covered 100 percent by the insurance company. “Those
jobs come mostly through the insurance,” he says. “We find customers asking
fewer questions when they have to pay cash. You need to make sure that
your customer-base is aware of the AGSC-certified techs.”
“The insurance industry looks to
do business with AGSC-registered companies. Registration is a selling
point that AGSC has achieved, but now the insurance companies should
look for certified technicians, for the safety of the customer.”
—Jeff Olive, training manager at Glasspro and co-chair of AGSC Education
Some customers look at price, and other customers look for quality rather
than the price, and they’ll look for AGSC-certified techs, Olive says.
“You are ‘best of’ when you take safety into factor, and the safest way
to get that is to get a tech that’s certified,” he says. “That would be
the best choice for anyone who needs auto glass replacement … ”
Sahely Mukerji is the editor of AGRR™ magazine. She can be reached
Follow her on Twitter @agrrmagazine, read her blog at http://fortherecord.agrrmag.com/,
and like the AGRR magazine on Facebook to receive the latest updates.
Association Certification Programs
There are several different certifications available in the market.
Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC, formerly the AGRSS Council Inc.) is a
not-for-profit organization dedicated to the safe replacement of auto
glass, according to its website. AGSC was founded and is supported by
companies in the auto glass replacement industry that keep safe installation
as their primary goal. Though the group began as a standards-development
organization, today it has its own technician certification program—acquired
last August from the National Glass Association (see related story in
November/December AGRR™, page 30) and a robust company registration program.
The AGSC is an ANSI standards development organization. It has developed
the North America’s only auto glass replacement standard, the AGRSS Standard
(ANSI/AGRSS 002-2002 Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard). The
AGRSS Standard addresses procedures, education and product performance.
It takes 45 minutes to take the individual technician test, and that includes
70-80 questions, says Dale Malcolm, technical manager at Dow Automotive
Systems, Aftermarket, in Dayton, Ohio, and co-chair of AGSC Council Education
Committee. “The master test has 50 questions and that may change,” he
says. “If you have basic training, are going by ANSI standards, reading
trade magazines, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
manuals, keeping up with the adhesive requirements, you should pass the
test. Some people might struggle with some safety questions, but those
are valid questions.”
“We reduced the number of repair questions, so if a technician is doing
only repairs then they’d take the NWRA repair test, but if they’re doing
replacement, they should do the AGSC certification,” Malcolm says.
Pricing for the test is $89 each for members and $149 each for non-members,
Beranek says. You can take both tests for $178 if you’re registered with
AGSC or [be a member of] NGA, says Jeff Olive, training manager at Glasspro
Inc. in Charleston, S.C. and co-chair of AGSC Council Education Committee.
The AGSC registered company program is a company-wide validation program,
says Debra Levy, president of AGSC. “It allows companies to have their
compliance with the standard independently verified by third party independent
auditors,” she says. “We’ve seen tremendous benefit to this both to the
industry and the driving public. We’ve also seen shops able to reduce
their insurance costs, win court cases and rely on the program in other
of ways. Shop owners who’ve been through the process tell us it’s one
of the best things they’ve ever done.”
IGA: The Independent Glass
Association was founded in 1994 to meet and advance the needs of independently-owned
glass companies throughout North America, according to its website. Membership
is open to all glass companies that do not also provide claims administration
services and that have less than 100 locations.
NWRA: In September 1994
a group of eight windshield repairers met in Tucson, Ariz., and founded
the National Windshield Repair Association, according to its website.
The founders are Richard Campfield, Jackie Newman, Paul Gross, Ed Fields,
Bill Batley, David Taylor, Dave Schuh and Steve Oyer.
NWRA, glass repair certification program deals with compliance to the
Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Standard (ROLAGS).
NWRA conducts certification testing online. Certification is valid for
two years, and expires on the day on which you became certified.
In order to maintain certification, each person must successfully complete
1 continuing education units (CEUs) learning units during the period above.
A CEU consists of 20 questions primarily in the areas of technology, political
and regulatory as well as the general state of the industry. The questions
are developed testing current knowledge of the windshield repair or auto
glass industry. If your certification remains current, you do not need
to reapply, nor do you need to take a new written or practical test. If
your certification lapses, you must start over, according to the website.
“If a technician is doing both repair and replacement, both [AGSC and
NWRA] certifications are valuable and equally important,” says Kerry Wanstrath,
president of National Windshield Repair Association and Glass Technology
Inc. of Durango, Colo. “Presently, the NWRA has the windshield repair
certification approved by the NWRA for the ROLAGS standard. Since the
NGA sold [its] repair program to AGSC and the NWRA picked it up (see WGR
Reports on page 36) and
is the processes of combining the two knowledge sets into one, there is
only one Industry: windshield repair certification. Some manufacturers
have their product specific training program and that is all good and
fine, but we are interested in training to the industry standard ROLAGS.
Right now we think we are the best equipped for that.”
“Certification and the understanding of ROLAGS ensure that the repairer
has the correct knowledge to qualify and repair damaged laminated glass,”
says David Casey, president of SuperGlass Windshield Repair Inc. in Orlando,
Fla. “The distinction of certification can increase the level of pride
in workmanship and effort towards excellence in repair and procedures.”
to learn about adhesive training programs.
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