CSN Collision Centres: Setting the Standard

CSN Collision Centres

Larry French, VP, Sales and Marketing, CSN Collision Centres, Lorenzo D’Alessandro, CSN – 427 Auto Collision;
Andrew Shepherd, Executive Director, I-CAR Canada, Frank D’Alessandro, CSN – 427 Auto Collision
and Flavio Battilana, COO CSN Collision Centres with the shop’s new I-CAR Gold certificate.
(Photos: Huw Evans)

With new I-CAR Gold Class Certification, CSN and I-CAR Canada are establishing a new benchmark in collision repair training and quality for the industry.

Times are changing in collision repair. As vehicles become increasingly advanced in terms of technology and construction, so do the skills required to repair them to OEM standards. A growing number of different materials are now employed in vehicle construction, such as aluminum, high-strength low alloy steel, carbon fibre and composites — required to enable automakers to achieve higher fuel economy targets. This also means that collision facilities and technicians need to develop new skills and utilize new tools in order to perform OEM level repairs.

Furthermore with insurance providers increasingly demanding efficient, high quality repairs, lower cycle times and exceptional customer service from the collision centres they partner with on direct repair programs (DRPs), those facilities need to ensure they meet and/or exceed those requirements.

More Definitive Recognition

As part of a plan to help collision repair facilities meet these objectives and reflect the level of expertise required for repairing today’s vehicles, I-CAR Canada has developed a new strategy and training process to enable shops to achieve Gold Class Certification.

Initiated in 2014, the new I-CAR Gold Class recognition program was designed as a more definitive training process and awards system that’s built around four key roles within the collision repair facility.

These four roles are:

  • Estimator;
  • Steel Structural Technician;
  • Non-Structural Technician;
  • Refinisher.

To achieve Gold Class recognition, each individual within each of these disciplines must complete 45 to 60 hours of training in their designated role and achieve Platinum Status in order for the shop to qualify for Gold Class recognition.

Furthermore, each individual is also required to participate in ongoing training to maintain Platinum certification status.

Additionally, to achieve and maintain the new I-CAR Gold Class recognition standard, each shop must have a current I-CAR welding certificate.

Raising the Bar

At CSN Collision Centres, ensuring customers receive the highest level of service and quality of repairs is a top priority.

And as part of that objective, CSN chose to partner with I-CAR Canada for the new Gold Class Recognition program. The aim is to ensure CSN Collision Centres across Canada achieve the highest level of training certification within the industry, providing peace of mind and top tier status for CSN, its member shops, their DRP insurance partners and customers.

“A partnership with I-CAR is critical for all industry stakeholders, not just for CSN,” states Mark Roesch, Network Performance Manager for CSN Collision Centres. “We all have a responsibilty to the driving public to ensure we deliver on the promise of safe, quality repairs. As an industry, we have to be able to back it up with verifiable certification. That’s why CSN is committed to the I-CAR Gold Class partnership.”

The first facility to receive I-CAR Gold Class Recognition under the new system was CSN – 427 Auto Collision in Etobicoke, Ont. To mark the occasion, a special ceremony was held at the facility on April 22, which key staff from CSN and CSN – 427 Auto Collision as well as other key stakeholders and members of the media attended.

The New Standard

During the ceremony, Andrew Shepherd, Executive Director, I-CAR Canada, said that the new Gold Class Recognition program is representative of the “trend in the industry worldwide, to become trained, qualified and professional in the [collision repair] trade.

”Four staff members at CSN – 427 Auto Collision were recognized for achieving Platinum status: Lorenzo D’Alessandro for Estimator, Thomas Grunstein for Steel Structural Technician, Mike Araujo for Non-Structural Technician and Woosung Kang for Refinisher.

Lorenzo D’Alessandro, who is also co-owner at CSN – 427 Auto Collision notes that I-CAR has provided an excellent training platform for collision repair centres to utilize and by doing so, enables their staff to receive a comprehensive program of knowledge and skill development that serves to not only advance each individual employee but also to benefit the business as a whole.

More Stringent Requirements

And as the collision industry advances, a trend will be for more and more OEMs in Canada to require I-CAR Gold Certified training as part of a mandate to enable repairs to be performed on the vehicles they manufacture.

“Today’s consumer has access to so much more information regarding their vehicles and we want to ensure that they have confidence that every CSN Collision Centre is committed to updated repair procedures and ongoing training,” states Jay Hayward, Vice-President of Operations, CSN Collision Centres. “Any repairer today that doesn’t engage training at the highest level is demonstrating a lack of commitment not only to their profession, but also to their community.”

Already, Honda Canada, Toyota Canada and Volkswagen of Canada have introduced their own specific, certified collision repair program guidelines and more automakers are set to follow.

This growing need for high-level collision repair training and increased specialization will help ensure that the shops who participate and receive recognition for achieving I-CAR Gold status will be in the best possible position when it comes to being preferred facilities for OEM repairs.

Following CSN 427 – Auto Collision, other CSN Collision Centres across Canada will receive the new I-CAR Gold Class certification, helping ensure their technicians continue to meet the highest standards of technical training in the industry and by doing so, continue to advance the level of service and professionalism in the collision repair industry.

CSN Collision Centres

CSN – 427 Auto Collision’s I-CAR Gold certification marked the beginning of a new era
in collision repair training and professionalism.

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