Professional Development


As an association, AIA has always recognized the value of high quality events as a way to provide opportunities for members to network, remain up-to-date on industry trends and best business practices, and discuss business challenges in an open forum. Regardless of the format, the events consistently bring people together from coast-to-coast and from all levels of the supply chain. Some events have been around for many years due to their popularity, while other are launched to meet new needs of members and the industry at large.

Whether members were seeking a hands-on workshop, a discussion on strategic trends, mentorship, or interactions with potential customers, the association’s events offered unique opportunities for everyone.

Check out the calendar for details of upcoming events!


ICAR_CANADAI-CAR Canada is a training and recognition program, run by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, aimed at skills updating for the collision repair industry. I-CAR training has been available in Canada since 1978 and has been operated by AIA Canada since 2010.

Training is available in both official languages and in live class and distance learning formats. Individuals can achieve Platinum recognition by completing a series of role-specific courses. Collision repair facilities can achieve Gold recognition by maintaining qualified staff with annual skills updating.

More information about  I-CAR Canada is available on the program website.



The Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF) provides a national venue for all collision industry stakeholders – collision repairers, suppliers, insurers, associations, OEs, and educators – to network, share information, and collaborate to develop solutions to common industry issues and challenges.

CCIF meetings take place three times per year, in different provinces from coast to coast, and are open to all who have an interest in contributing to the future success and sustainability of the collision repair industry.

The events kick off with an evening CCIF Reception, and continue the next day with a full-day agenda of speakers and panel discussions that address the three main CCIF priorities: profitability, vehicle repair complexity, and people.

More information about CCIF is available on the forum website.

Recruitment and Retention

One of the greatest issues facing the automotive aftermarket today is a shortage of qualified professionals. Recognizing the impact it has on members, AIA and its HR committee are taking steps to address the issue by researching professional development opportunities and recruitment strategies.

Salary and Benefits Survey – The survey focuses on nine key roles within the automotive aftermarket – Automotive Technician, Heavy Duty Technician, Automotive Tire Technician, Commercial Tire Technician, Service Advisor, Shipper/Receiver, and Store Manager. The results were released in the spring of 2015 and  were meant to help members make decisions about their compensation competitiveness.

Professional Development Survey – The survey looked at members’ perceptions of professional development needs, accessibility of programs, and gaps in services. Among other things, the survey found that:

  • 52 percent of respondents were not aware of available resources to help them plan and achieve their career progression in the industry;
  • 48 percent of respondents would find online career information helpful;
  • 60 percent of respondents felt that their employer values professional development; and
  • 77 percent of respondents think that AIA should play a role in increasing professional development opportunities.

Evaluation of Gaps in Services and Programs
– There is a current lack of knowledge about existing professional development programs for the automotive aftermarket. To address this issue, the HR committee is working on an environmental scan to determine what programs and professional development services are currently being offered by AIA and/or other similar organizations. Once these gaps and opportunities have been identified, the committee will create a strategy to address the needs of the industry and develop programs and resources.

Recruitment – To address the labour shortage in the automotive aftermarket, AIA is promoting the industry to employment services professionals through specialized media advertising and editorials. A career fair tool kit was also developed. It includes information on the types of jobs available and the requirements for those jobs, industry-related promotional materials, and resources dispelling myths about the industry.

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