THE IDA CERTIFICATION PROGRAM ENTERS NEW TERRITORIES
Program Embraces Detailers Worldwide…
By Erin Reyes, IDA Communications Coordinator
The “I” in IDA (International Detailing Association) is now more appropriate than ever before. With members in 56 countries and counting, plus five international chapters, the organization is truly living up to its global moniker. Besides being able to connect with an expanding worldwide network of detailers, this also means that it has never been easier to earn your IDA Certification abroad.
Not only can international detailers easily sign up for and take Phase I – Certified Detailer (CD) online examinations thanks to an updated exam system, but now they can more readily attend in-person events, too. While the IDA has been offering certification events periodically in other countries for many years, it is becoming increasingly more frequent.
Previously, it was more likely the case that U.S.-based Recognized Trainers (RTs) had to be willing and available to travel to other countries to offer certification events. This limited the frequency with which the IDA was able to host non-U.S. events, and thus limited the international growth of the certification program, especially for the Phase II – Skills Validated (SV) portion, which must be conducted in person with an RT. However, within the past couple of years, the number of non-U.S.-based and/or multi-lingual RTs has steadily grown, allowing the program to grow as well.
Alan Medcraf, CD-SV, RT, is a member of the IDA United Kingdom Chapter and one of only a few European-based Recognized Trainers. Since becoming an RT last October, Medcraf has hosted four certification events—with five more on the schedule for the rest of 2019—and has already personally certified or validated the skills of more than 20 certified detailers.
“Since becoming a member of the IDA, I have benefited greatly from the networking and knowledge available from its members,” explained Medcraf. As an RT, he enjoys the chance to “help U.K. members and nonmembers achieve their desired status in the IDA.”
But he is not just limiting himself to certifying detailers in the U.K.—he has also certified those from Bulgaria, France and Ireland. With multiple events still on the calendar this summer, he is also looking to certify detailers from countries such as Belgium, Norway and as far away as Tunisia.
Additionally, Medcraf served as the lead RT at a certification event coinciding with Waxstock, Europe’s largest car-care show. It is through participation at large industry events such as this that the international certification program can really benefit by taking advantage of having many detailing professionals in one place at the same time. The IDA’s newest Recognized Trainer, Adam Eaton, CD-SV, RT, also assisted with testing at the Waxstock certification event. As only the second RT in the U.K., Eaton is already poised to help continue the expansion of the certification program in the U.K. and beyond.
Alan Medcraf, CD-SV, RT (second from left) with new Certified Detailers at a recent IDA Certification Event in the U.K. Photo Credit: Alan Medcraf, CD-SV, RT.
Addressing the Needs of a Global Market
It is not only the European continent that is seeing more certification action lately, though. Our Latin American community has also experienced a recent uptick in certification events, specifically in Puerto Rico.
This summer, Puerto Rico will host two complete certification events (Phase I & II – CD-SV). Though neither event will be presented by RTs based in Puerto Rico, they are still a welcome addition to the certification schedule. The event in August, presented by new RT Rigoberto Santana, CD-SV, RT, will be conducted entirely in Spanish, which is a major development for nonnative English speakers who still want a chance to demonstrate their detailing skills, but have been unable to do so within the current mold of the certification process.
As a member of the Hispanic community, this was the prime motivation for Santana to pursue his RT designation in the first place.
“I want to be able to open doors and build bridges for the Hispanic detailing community,” Santana said. “The RT designation means that I am now closer to completing [that] bridge to help fellow Hispanic detailers get closer to achieving their goals and dreams.”
Another Recognized Trainer who has been influential in the Latino community is Alan LaBergere, CD-SV, RT, based in Chile. La Bergere has been an RT for just over two years, and in that time period, he has personally certified or validated the skills of nearly 90 detailers from Argentina to Brazil to Colombia, and, of course, in his home country of Chile. His large events, presented primarily in Spanish, have been successful in drawing many Certified Detailers into the program.
The summer’s other certification event in Puerto Rico was recently presented by IDA Board Member Bob Myers, CD-SV, RT, and Clint Hintz, CD-SV, RT. Event participation was high, despite being conducted in English. This demonstrates steps toward ensuring certification is accessible to all detailers who know their way around a car, no matter the language barriers that may exist.
However, the IDA does recognize that both language and location affect the certification program. Nearly one-third of Certified Detailers now live or work outside of the United States, with many being nonnative English speakers, and this number continues to grow every day. The IDA sees the need for the certification program to continue to evolve to better meet the needs of non-US based detailers.
That is why the IDA Certification Committee is working to make Phase I exams available online and at in-person events in multiple languages and for various markets, according to Past President Keith Duplessie, CD-SV, RT. While there is a lot of work still to be done before the exams can be released publicly, this is an in-progress project, necessary to address language differences and also to speak to the safety compliance standards in other countries and regions. The certification committee is working tirelessly to develop these new exams to help bring IDA certification into truly global territory.
It will also be important to continue increasing the number of international Recognized Trainers to accommodate the growing certification program. Currently, the IDA has active RTs in five non-U.S. countries, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Italy and the U.K. With another 28 active RTs in the U.S., there is still plenty of room for growth.
It is easy to understand how the increase in RTs alone would lead to an increased number of certification events and, subsequently, Certified Detailers. It’s also been shown, though, that in-person events can actually be more accessible for nonnative English speakers compared to Phase I online examinations. For example, a nonnative English speaker may not be able to fully comprehend an exam question online, but when hearing it read to them in person by an RT—whether in their native tongue or not—can respond accurately. Until the multi-lingual exams are available, this is an essential component for nonnative English speakers. This is also helpful in general for those who may not be superb written test takers but who excel at in-person event.
The IDA is excited to continue to expand its certification program internationally. If you are interested in aiding the program’s growth, consider joining the IDA Certification Committee.
If you would like to become a Certified Detailer, visit our website for a list of all upcoming certification events and check if there is one scheduled near you. If there is not an event scheduled in your area, use our Recognized Trainer directory to contact an RT to see if the trainer is willing and able to set up an event in your area. To learn more about IDA Certification, visit the website, the-ida.com/Certification.