Poirier was just one of the many technicians from Canadian Hail Repair who recently underwent a certification process offered by Vale Training Solutions. The company developed the process after numerous requests from PDR industry professionals.
The certification is a timed evaluation of actual PDR work on steel and aluminum panels, using a state-of-the-art, digital-optic surface measurement device. According to Vale Training Solutions, this test is totally unique to the industry as a purely objective, hands-on demonstration of skill. Timed repairs must pass a very high standard to qualify the technician for certification.
Properly repairing various grades of dent can earn a technician one of three designations: journeyman, craftsman and master craftsman. The certification processes uses a special â€œdent gunâ€ to create dents of uniform size and depth, in addition to a precision scanner.
Alan Anderson and Jon McCreath are respectively the Programs Director and President of Vale Training Solutions, and were on hand to conduct the certification process. Both noted that, in all of the testing and certification theyâ€™ve done since the program was developed, no one has ever come closer than Poirier during his test.
In addition to the PDR certification, Vale Training Solutions also conducted Remove & Install (R&I) certifications with Canadian Hail Repair.
â€œThe final result was 23 certified PDR technicians and 21 R&I certifications, including having more of our PDR techs also certified in R&I,â€ says Bing Wong, Managing Director of Canadian Hail Repair. â€œOf those 23 PDR certifications, 18 achieved master craftsman, the highest level.â€
The number of certifications issued makes this the single largest PDR certification event ever held in Canada. Itâ€™s an impressive achievement. There are very few barriers to an untrained and unqualified person simply buying some equipment and calling themselves a PDR tech. The certification from Vale Training Solutions helps to distinguish professionals.
â€œWeâ€™re very proud of Yannickâ€™s achievement, but weâ€™re very proud of our all of our techs,â€ says Doug Best, VP and General Manager of Canadian Hail Repair. â€œWe had another technician get back to .02 of the standard deviation in 16 minutes, and another who passed his Master Craftsman test in just nine minute. All of these tests were on aluminum panels, which are more challenging than steel.â€
Canadian Hail Repair held an information session on Wednesday, April 15 at The Auto Dentist in Oakville to brief partners from the insurance and collision industries on the certification process. Lunch was provided by food truck The Dirty South.
The company held its annual technician's meeting at C Hotel in Hamilton, Ont. Technicians with Canadian Hail Repair spend the majority of their time on the road, so it was a rare opportunity for staff to reconnect.
The objectives for the meeting were to improve service in four areas: appraisal integrity, professionalism, audit trail and client satisfaction.
â€œOur chief focus at this meeting was to improve appraisal integrity,â€ says Best. â€œThese meetings are effective. Our 2013 tech meeting focused on quality control, particularly in regards to R&I. The result of that focus was that we didnâ€™t have a single notable warranty claim in 2013 despite performing over 4,000 repairs.â€
Best says the intent behind the focus on the integrity of the appraisal process is to bring the same level of accountability to hail damage appraisals as current exists with collision appraisals.
Canadian Hail Repair also took the opportunity to introduce three new management staff and acknowledge that the company intends to bring more collision management experience into the ranks. Two of the new managers have over 10 years of collision repair facility appraisal and management experience.
â€œWe also discussed emerging trends in performance management and the policy structures of dealership inventory insurance,â€ says Wong. â€œWe showed our third party audit program where we have independent appraisers review work-in-process and offer opinions on our appraisal quality, with the reports going to the insurer.â€
Much of the afternoon was taken up with a discussion led by John Mills, who joined Canadian Hail Repair in 2013 and manages the company's national catastrophe centre efforts. The conversation focused on how the company expects to exceed expectations of the vehicle owner and the insurer in large scale repair operations.
For more information on Canadian Hail Repair, please visit hailrepair.ca.