Editor’s Note: The following remarks were made on The NEWS’LinkedIn group,The NEWSNetwork, about technicians and North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification.

Making Customers Aware of Tech Certification

Some years back, the major appliance industry decided to implement technician certification and develop a testing system, and the number of techs and service companies that got involved was dismal. The reasons they were avoiding it in droves was because these seasoned technicians didn’t want to take a test (there was almost no opportunity for preparation), fail it, and look stupid. There was also a lot of controversy regarding whether the technician or the employer should pay for the testing process.

And, at a trade association meeting where I had about 80 attendees in a workshop, I asked them when they were going to pursue certification. Their response was, “When customers start to ask for it.”

When I asked the trade association president when they were going to get the word out that consumers should be inquiring about technician certification when requesting service, his response was, “When we have enough technicians who are certified.”

Thankfully, a significant segment of the HVACR industry has embraced certification. I’m of the opinion that certification is a win-win-win. Technicians improve their skills via the process, customers get improved service, and the HVACR industry as a whole benefits via the raising of the bar.

Jim Johnson
Owner, Technical Training Associates
Tucson, Ariz., area

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Publication date: 7/30/2012