The passage rate for service technicians fell dramatically in testing held July 26, with 279 of 441 participants passing the written comprehensive test and only 25 passing a new written practical exam designed to replace the hands-on practical test required for certification.
Seventy-seven people were certified, however, because 52 passed the written comprehensive test with a score of higher than 85% and weren’t required to take the practical test.
The results were announced by the RVDA/RVIA Certification Board on Wednesday (Nov. 5), six weeks later than expected.
The overall 63% passage rate was down from 76% last year, when 101 of the 133 people who took the test passing.
Bruce Hopkins, vice president of standards and education for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), attributed the overall decline to tested dealership employees who weren’t “wrench turners.”
Most of those who took the test participated in a 40-week service-technician training program via satellite sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Service Training Council. The satellite program has increased the number of technicians seeking to be certified in the annual testing to several hundred rather than several dozen. More than 1,000 people are enrolled in the new satellite training session that began in September.
“This is the highest number of people we’ve ever tested on a single day,” Hopkins said.
Many dealerships enrolled parts, sales and other employees in the satellite training who decided to try to become certified, Hopkins said.
He blamed the failure rate on the written practical test to a delay in getting training material to technicians.
The training material consisted of 14 review sheets that tested a technician’s specific problem-solving knowledge. Without completing the review sheets, it would have been difficult to pass the test, Hopkins said.
“The review sheets weren’t finished until June and there virtually wasn’t any time for the technicians to review them properly,” Hopkins noted.
He said the review sheets now have been incorporated into the satellite program and techs should have sufficient time to go through them before testing next year.
Tests were given July 26 by independent proctors at 47 off-dealership locations. A passing grade of more than 74% on the written comprehensive test and 84% on the written practical exam are required for certification.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), which coordinates testing, earlier incorrectly reported that 540 people had registered to be tested.