is currently located in Hong Kong
Tesla will now offer its Tesla Approved Body shop program online, and welding training and recertification will be handled by I-CAR.
Tesla needs to expand its repair services quickly and efficiently, ahead of the Model 3 production ramp up. The automaker is moving from in-house, California-based certification courses, to those offered via the internet. An email from the company to its current certified repair centers reads:
“Building on the past 5 years of experience, we have been able to evaluate and dramatically simplify training, and will no longer require instructor led, onsite training. We have developed online training as a more time and cost effective way to train your technicians to be approved for Tesla repairs.
Online training offers many benefits not possible solely with instructor led training, such as unlimited reviewing of procedures, more frequent class offerings and updates for the network, and less time to train our whole technician population vs cycling everyone through constrained classrooms. Cost to you is greatly reduced, as weeks of lost production and travel expenses are eliminated as well. …
Tesla Service Center
“Structural technicians will no longer have to travel to Tesla for onsite weld training and recertification. We have created an arrangement with ICAR to achieve the necessary qualification, without the expense of lost production and travel previously required.”
While all of this sounds like welcome news, and should help Tesla with the upcoming increase in service center needs, there are some issues to consider.
First of all, will these internet trained technicians possess the abilities of those that were previously trained in-house? And, how will the current technicians feel about the fact that they spent time and money to get the proper in-house training, and now the incoming workers will simply have to access the internet?
It seems that Tesla had already thought some of this through, so as to curb possible concerns. The automaker told current service centers:
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to drive more work to our network shops while minimizing the increased costs. Like you, we recognize how unique and exceptional the Tesla instructor led training was within the industry, and we are also acutely aware of the massive commitment you as shop owners and your technicians have made to be part of the Program. As we continue to simplify the Tesla Approved Body Shop program, we are working on new pricing structures for parts and repair advisory that will take into account the level of engagement and investment made by our founding partners that will forever be ‘Factory Trained’.”
Research has shown that online courses are not a preferred method of training over hands-on, classroom-based training. We don't think that it really takes research to understand this. Anyone can access the internet, and there is no proper way to gauge a student's understanding without being face to face. However, many companies are moving to this sort of method today. This is becoming the way of the future. The hope is that a service center's veteran technicians will always oversee the work of "rookies," and realistically, most of the best "training" happens on the job sight.
Added to this, much of the online training will be offered to current employees as refresher and recertification courses. This is also becoming the norm across many industries. Employees must be reassessed, retested, refreshed, and/or recertified every so often, and it happens via periodic online training modules. Tesla Service center's can begin utilizing courses now and Tesla will reimburse for all paid training.
Source: Repairer Driven News