ACtion Magazine - May 2014 - (Page 8)

New technician training curriculum By Jacques Gordon A t most of the conventions I've attended over the past several years working tech should know, it doesn't necessarily reflect the skills needed (MACS and others), an unscheduled discussion of technician for working day-to-day in a real-world shop. training has broken out. When the room is filled with mostly In 2011, the job of setting tech school curriculum was taken over by techs and shop owners, the same opinion is always repeated; entry level the National Automotive Technician's Education Foundation (NATEF). techs aren't being taught the right things. They learn a lot in school, but Previously their role was to evaluate tech school programs and award they aren't prepared to do the work that makes money for the shop and accreditation to schools that (among other things) teach the broad-based for themselves. skills and knowledge reflected in the ASE exam task lists. But in July That will begin to change soon. of 2012, NATEF published a new model The curriculum taught in most tech schools is for technician education standards that are based on the task lists for certifications issued by The tasks are focused based not on automotive systems but on the National Institute for Automotive Service Exthree levels of capability: Maintenance & on vehicle service Light Repair (MLR), Automobile Service cellence (ASE). Since 1982, ASE has been setting knowledge standards for professional technician rather than area of Technician (AST), and Master Automobile certifications, and a task list outlines what a tech Service Technician (MAST). Each succestechnical expertise sive level includes all the tasks of the previshould know and be capable of doing on specific automotive systems; brakes, air conditioning, enous level plus additional tasks appropriate to gine performance, etc. Those task lists are based the more advance certification. almost entirely on input from techs, shop owners and others working in This new model for training program accreditation became effective the service industry. While that list is a reasonable description of what a on July 1, 2013. The Accreditation Standards document describes things that a NATEF evaluation team has always inspected, like program administration, student services, the physical facility itself and much much more. What's changed is the program instruction requirements. They still define the number of classroom and lab/shop hours and the activities required for each certification, but as you might expect, the specific tasks the student should learn to perform are focused on vehicle service rather than area of technical expertise. For instance, under the Engine Repair task list for the Maintenance and Light Repair certification, the student should learn how to: * Inspect, replace, and adjust drive belts, tensioners, and pulleys; check pulley and belt alignment. * Remove, inspect, and replace thermostat and gasket/seal. * Inspect and test coolant; drain and recover coolant; flush and refill cooling system with recommended coolant; bleed air as required. * Perform engine oil and filter change. There's more, but the point is this: the program should include 540 hours of instruction and practice in these and other basic tasks, so a graduate is more likely to be productive on the job almost immediately. As Donny Seyfer pointed out in the Shop Owner's Panel at our last MACS gathering in New Orleans, shop owners aren't looking for a tech who can rebuild engines, "We want someone who can do the things we do 90 percent of the time, and do them well." The new NATEF curriculum is designed to produce exactly that kind of entry-level tech. The full 159-page document can be found at: Program-Standards.aspx ❆ " You can reach Jacques at 8 ACTION * May 2014 Reader Reply

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - May 2014

Selling the right things
Season opener
Freeze Frame
Leonard's Law
Service Port
Virtual View
Last Watch
Member Profile
By the Numbers
Cooling Corner
Industry News
Association News
Letter to the editor
New Products

ACtion Magazine - May 2014