The RV Learning Center has designated next week, March 10-16, as RV Professional Certification Week.
According to a press release, certification candidates who prepared in advance and take the certification test during RV Professional Certification Week will receive a free, one-year subscription to RV Technician magazine. Even if dealer techs are not ready for testing, this week is also an opportune time to assess their training needs and begin preparing them for certification.
The release advised dealers to: “Take a moment during RV Professional Certification Week to talk to your staff about the importance of maintaining up-to-date skills through professional training. Certification is just the beginning. The rewards of education serve the industry, the dealer, and the individual employee over time, as increased professionalism makes our industry perform better. Consumers recognize the benefits of dealing with a business that uses certified employees and will often choose a dealership on that differentiating factor.”
“My sincere advice is that if you want to separate yourself from the competition, then train, train, and train some more,” said RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch. “Allow your people to separate your company from the pack.”
Dealers and employees reap multiple benefits from certification, including
• Higher rates of employee retention.
• Greater dealership profitability.
• A higher level of professionalism among staff.
• Enhanced customer service.
• Increased credibility with customers.
For individual employees, certification means:
• Greater self-confidence.
• A respected career path.
• Evidence of competence, dedication, accomplishment, and professionalism.
• A validation of their knowledge and skills set as an RV professional.
Learn more about certification and training opportunities for technicians, warranty administrators and service writer/advisors by listening to free recordings of recent informational web seminars. Thirty-minute web seminar recordings are available on the RV Learning Center’s website at www.rvlearningcenter.com. Three recordings are available:
• Technician Training Online and Technician Certification Preparation.
• An Introduction to the RV Learning Center’s Service Writer/Advisor Certification Program.
• An Introduction to the RV Learning Center’s Warranty Administrator Certification Program.
Nearly 100 RV service technicians are participating in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Trouble Shooter Clinic, taking place Feb. 27 – March 1 in South Bend, Ind.
According to a press release, the program helps technicians build their skills through the new track-focused format that features more hands-on diagnostic training on the major RV systems.
This is the second Trouble Shooter Clinic with the revised format that offers tracks covering Foundation, Chassis, Power Sources and Appliances. Tracks are offered independently, providing technicians the ability to receive training suited to their individual needs and job focus. Attendance in the Chassis, Power Sources and Appliances tracks requires technicians to be certified or have previously attended the Foundation track. Those that attended a Trouble Shooter Clinic within the last two years are also eligible to attend.
The Foundation track is open to all technicians and covers basic RV knowledge, including propane, electrical, plumbing, pre-delivery inspection, preventative maintenance, and fire, life and safety topics. The Foundation track is at full capacity at this week’s Trouble Shooter Clinic.
“We are very encouraged by the strong participation in this week’s Trouble Shooter Clinic, which is the second trial with the new format change,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA’s vice president of Standards and Education. “The reaction to the track-based curriculum from the industry has been very positive, and we look forward to enhancing this approach for future clinics.”
RVIA reorganized the Trouble Shooter Clinics to align the popular training sessions with the new RV Technician Career Ladder that was introduced last fall to provide technicians with two paths to technician certification. The new track format is more customizable to a technician’s specific needs, limits the time needed to participate in the training, and offers more class time and smaller class sizes. In addition, technicians can earn continuing education credits toward recertification while limiting the time away from the shop.
With an eye toward increasing the number of technicians eligible to participate in the RVDA-RVIA RV Technician Certification Program, both the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) boards approved a new “career ladder” proposed by the program’s governing board and recommended by the RV Service Training Council (RVSTC). Both boards met separately in Washington, D.C. last week.
According to a press release, the career ladder begins by allowing new and novice technicians to test as a trainee, then as a registered technician as they start their journey toward certification. The program will then certify technicians in five specialties that will be eligible for certification through the RV Technician Certification Program, including plumbing, appliances, electrical systems, chassis and body.
When fully implemented, each specialty will be tested and awarded certification. Technicians who successfully complete testing in all specialties will be designated as Master Certified Technicians.
The RV Technician Certification Program will continue offering the current certification test, which is a comprehensive measurement of all the specialty areas.
“This new career ladder recognizes that there are specialists working in many RV service departments,” says RVDA Chairman Tim O’Brien. “Now these specialists will be able to attain industry certification and recognition while the program continues to offer a comprehensive certification for technicians who work in all of these areas.”
“This is a tremendous step forward for the certification program,” said RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore. “It is strongly supported by the industry, it will boost confidence in the certification process, and, it provides technicians with a comprehensive, designated path to certification.”
The RVDA-RVIA Technician Certification Governing Board is working on tests for the five specialties, which are tentatively scheduled to be implemented in October.
For information on RVDA-RVIA Technician Certification, visit www.rvtechnician.com.
Starting with the February/March issue, The RV Learning Center’s RV Technician magazine will move to an online, six times per year publication schedule. The move to an online edition will provide more timely information to subscribers, more often, according to a news release.
Back issues of RV Technician from 2006 to the present will be also be available through a special subscribers-only website, which will provide easy access to content from a total of 17 magazines. It is an instant library of technical articles available to RV service and parts professionals, whenever they need them.
Highlights of the February/March issue, to be distributed on Tuesday (Feb. 23), are RV battery charging, new developments in tankless water heaters and advice on which tools RV technicians really need, along with updates on recalls, training date, and new products.
Previously, the RV Learning Center published a print edition of the magazine four times per year. Because of a decline in print advertising, the RVDA Education Foundation board of directors determined the best way to continue to serve the RV industry was to move to a more frequent publication schedule online.
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For more information on the RV Learning Center, visit www.rvlearningcenter.com, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or a fax to (703) 359-0152. The RVDA Education Foundation is a tax-exempt organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions may be tax deductible as charitable donations.