The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has announced new certification tests for electric/high-voltage vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), as well as leadership changes for the upcoming year.
The ADAS Specialist Certification Test L4 is an “intense level” test for technicians to become certified in ADAS, according to Trish Serratore, senior vice president of communications. (Serratore is stepping down from her role at the end of this year after 35 years with ASE. Donna Wagner, who was the assistant vice president of the ASE Education Foundation, will take over as vice president of industry and media relations at the beginning of the year).
The L4 requires completion of either the A6 Electrical/Electronic Systems or the B5 Mechanical and Electrical Components. Anyone interested in taking those exams in advance of the L4 can find study materials at PasstheASE.com.
The need for this certification test came from ASE asking its members what their needs are in the ADAS world.
“They came back to us and said, ‘We need to know that our technicians understand these systems and the steps needed to service, repair and maintain them properly,” says Serratore.
The certification test covers diagnostic and calibration issues and is available on the ASE website for technicians with three years of experience.
“We wanted to have a degree of experience behind this test,” explains Serratore about the three-year experience requirement.
The EV/high-voltage certification test came to fruition in a similar way by asking the industry what they wanted, according to Serratore.
ASE’s new xEV High-Voltage Electrical Safety Standards cover “protection and safety – basically anything you would need to know, whether you’re standing next to these vehicles or working on them,” she says.
Out of these standards came two certification tests – the xEV Electrical Safety Awareness Certification (Level 1) and the xEV Technician Electrical Safety Certification (Level 2).
The first test (Level 1) is for “everyone who is in the shop where these vehicles are getting serviced,” including service consultants and others, says Serratore.
"This test is very broad and basic because it's designed to help everyone understand what the issues are regarding safety with high-voltage vehicles or EVs.”
The second test (Level 2) targets technicians and deals specifically with the safety aspects of servicing EVs.
These skills are more complex, according to Serratore, and include de-energizing high-voltage systems and components and more.
“Down the road, we want to have a certification test that deals with the specifics in batteries – repairing, replacing and removing,” she continues.
The ADAS and EV/high-voltage certification tests are available on the ASE website now.
“We understood we couldn’t take everybody out of the shop and send them over to a test center,” says Serratore.
“It wouldn’t be viable since we want everyone to have those certifications. So we have an online platform that allows us to have these tests taken on laptops or work computers.”
Serratore says ASE’s goal is to “protect service providers and everyone that comes into the shop.”
She says the feedback on the certification tests has been “great” and ASE is hoping to continue getting the word out about them.
Along with Serratore, Tim Zilke, president and CEO of ASE, is stepping down from his role. He has been with ASE 32 years and was president for 16 years.
Dave Johnson, who spent 32 years at Ford Motor Co., will take over Zilke’s role in the new year.