Safe and secure: Online technician certification
I’m a huge NFL football fan, so when I heard that New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick videotaped the defensive signals of the New York Jets’ coaching staff during a game this September, I was pretty angry. It’s frustrating when your team plays by the rules and others do not, especially when the guilty party enjoys such success.
The same is true for auto glass shop owners whose competitors cheat in regards to technician certification. That’s why the National Glass Association incorporated a number of security measures into its online technician certification program to stymie would-be cheaters.
First, technicians who wish to certify or re-certify online must take the test at their shop location under the supervision of a shop manager. That manager signs a document stating the technician did not receive any outside help during the exam.
Second, technicians must correctly answer a number of personal questions that pop up throughout the exam to verify their identity. These questions have a time limit.
Third, test controls prevent technicians from browsing the Internet or skipping questions during the exam. These same controls prevent techs from copying and pasting test questions in a separate document to share with others.
Lastly, technicians must electronically sign an agreement stating they followed test rules.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to prevent cheating entirely. Some technicians will find a way to beat the system. But they’ll have to face the consequences.
Technicians who cheat on the online certification exam will have their certification immediately revoked, and the Auto Glass Certification Council will determine if further disciplinary action is required, said Tonya Johnson, senior manager of customer service and certification, in an interview. “They could be forever barred from the certification program or required to take the traditional onsite proctored exam.”
These security measures do not reflect the integrity of the many hard-working, honest technicians in our industry, just like Belichick’s actions do not reflect those of the entire Patriots team. However, competition can drive individuals to make bad decisions.
Just look at the San Diego Chargers. After firing head coach Marty Schottenheimer, they brought on Norv Turner. As a die-hard Washington Redskins fan, I wish the Chargers luck. Marty and Norv didn’t have much success in D.C.