This Gold Class recognition is one of the highest designations that an auto body shop can obtain. It is estimated that only ten percent of repair shops currently meet the rigorous Gold Class standards. The requirements for Gold Class Designation are to maintain ongoing training and testing to keep repair technicians up-to-date on the latest vehicle models, technologies and repair methods. Gold Class is not a certification that lasts a certain number of years, but rather a designation indicating that a shop undergoes ongoing, up-to-date training annually.
Per Gold Class standards, technicians who are involved in collision repair must understand new vehicle technologies and repair procedures, and the role-relevant training achievement must be recognized by the collision repair industry. Trained experts represent each of the four key collision repair roles of Estimator, Non-Structural Technician, Steel Structural Technician and Refinish Technician. According to the company, Conner Brothers Body Shop in Midlothian has in-house knowledge across all of the collision repair roles necessary for complete, safe and quality repairs, and up-to-date training in how to fix vehicles properly.
The educational programs required to meet Gold Class Certification include the I-CAR Professional Development Program (PDP). The I-CAR PDP trains collision repair professionals in essential role-relevant knowledge and skills. I-CAR Platinum Certification is designed specifically to meet the demands of the changing industry, especially as new models of vehicles are being designed every day. Technicians that have I-CAR platinum certification meet the industry standards of safe and quality repairs.
“Our work is done to meet safety standards; we call it ‘crash worthiness,’” said Kevin Conner, owner of Conner Brothers. “Crash worthiness focuses on driver and passenger protection to reduce the number of injuries that occur in the United States each year. The crash worthiness research program is responsible for developing and upgrading test procedures for evaluating motor vehicle safety. At Conner Brothers, we guarantee our repairs for as long as you own the vehicle. In fact, we were the first in Virginia to offer such a warranty.”
There are several certifications required to meet the Gold Class Standard. Conner Brothers Master Body Repair Technicians are certified welders. Master Paint Technicians are certified both in I-CAR Platinum and with Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes.
“We take training very seriously," Connor said. "We ensure our technicians use the proper techniques through theory instruction, hands-on practice and coaching. The objective is to improve production and maintain the highest quality repair.”
More information can be found on Conner Brothers’s website at http://www.connerbrothers.com.