‘We’re responsive to our industry’s needs and many of our developments have come about through our conversations with it,” says Trish Serratore, ASE, in an interview with Aftermarket Matters
Leesburg, Va.—The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has been busy and on the move lately, introducing and developing new programs, and launching a new website and app.
“Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a really great year for us,” said Trish Serratore, senior vice president communications for ASE, which is an independent non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals.
“We were able to move many projects forward that had been on the drawing board, and we’re excited to see them come to fruition in 2021.”
A few of those initiatives include the following:
ASE Renewal App
The ASE Renewal App is a tool that ASE has developed to help ASE-certified professionals extend the expiration date of their certifications. This is done without having to take time off or go to a secure test center, all while increasing knowledge and awareness about the technology found in today’s complex vehicles.
New ASE website
ASE’s new website launched earlier in January with a new and fresh design, Serratore said, which represents the site’s first refresh in more than a decade. “It’s much easier to navigate in order how to register, get into myASE portal, as well as test preparation and question activities. It also makes it easier to manage certifications, purchase tests, and link to employers who pay for testing. Everything is in one place and we’re really pleased with it.”
Spanish language translations
Beginning in early January, ASE is now offering its entire automobile series in Spanish, with the exception of A9. “It’s very simple,” Serratore said. “When a test screen comes up, the individual can select the language and the test question will appear in both English and Spanish so there’s context in both languages — it was a big industry request.”
ADAS test development
As ADAS is becoming increasing prevalent in today’s vehicles, ASE recognized a need for a qualified credential to service and repair such systems. “There needs to be a high level of skill and competency with ADAS to work on them, as well as for liability reasons.”
ASE has been working on the credential and task list for more than a year with input from the industry. A “composite vehicle” has been created with various ADAS for learning, and now ASE is in the process of building test questions to address the task list.
“Our goal is to have the test and credential available in 2022,” she said.
Military certification program
ASE has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Army to develop a military certification program that began launching in January. It will eventually be a three-tiered program that will more closely align with the Army’s needs, Serratore said. “ASE’s current professional tests don’t always match what the military needs, such as for tanks and other tactical-wheeled vehicles.
“They also want to identify individuals who have a propensity for that kind of vehicle repair as they enter the military. Intermediate and master levels are designed to assess and verify the skill levels of those performing service and repairs, as well as provide a level of recognition of growth and advancement within the Army.
“We also anticipate working similarly with other branches of the military.”
Adjusting to pandemic and meeting industry needs
As a result of test centers being closed because of Covid-19, ASE had extended credentials to the end of 2020. One of its top concerns as the pandemic unfolded was to keep its technicians safe during ASE testing.
“Today, as there are still pandemic challenges for certain testing locations in a number of states, we have further extended credentials for our non-automotive folks to June 30, 2021,” Serratore said. “We’re trying to help to ensure they don’t lose their credentials because, in some cases, there are pay incentives and other benefits tied into them.”
For testing centers that are now open, all are following CDC safety guidelines for the coronavirus so technicians feel comfortable for their safety and well being, she added.
“We want to remind the industry that it created ASE so that there were professional credentials for technicians. It was the industry that also put forth the energy and resources together to create us nearly 50 years ago.
“We want to let the industry know that we’re still here for them and that we’re a solution for many of the challenges it faces — whether it’s new talent recruitment through ASE-accredited student programs, providing credentialed technicians who display great productivity and even better retention, or support from our ATMC organization for training.
“We’re responsive to our industry’s needs and many of our developments have come about through our conversations with them.”