The maturing industrywide satellite technician training program scored big when more than 540 service technicians — more than four times as many as last year — took the RVDA/RVIA certification test on July 27.
“We are very pleased,” said Bruce Hopkins, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) vice president for standards and education.
Test results will be available in late September.
The number of participants was the largest to take the test since the certification program was established in 1993, in part because of the increase to 47 testing sites as opposed to about a dozen last year, but also because more than 200 dealerships and manufacturers signed up for the 40-week training session that ended in June.
Technicians taking the test also are likely to be certified more quickly this year. In past years, techs have had to wait to take a practical hands-on test separate from the written test.
Written practical questions were incorporated into the test this year if a local supervisor certified that a tech had performed 14 hands-on procedures.
While 133 techs took the written test last year and 110 passed, 52 remained to be certified in July because they had not taken the hands-on practical test, which previously had to be arranged separately from the written test.
Students receive certification if they answer more than 75% of the test questions correctly. Those answering more than 85% accurately are designated as master technicians.
A new series of 1 1/two-hour classes telecast Wednesday afternoons from Lake City (Fla.) Community College will begin on Sept. 17.
Access to satellite training costs $1,300 per location, but is free to members of the Florida Recreation Vehicle Trade Association (RVTA), which originated the program before the Recreation Vehicle Service Training Council (RVSTC) took it national in 2001.
The council expects more than 200 paying dealers to enroll — up from 155 last year. Advanced classes — some of them product-specific — are available via satellite on Tuesdays and Thursdays.