Facts About the SEMA Installer Certification Program
The Test Preparation Guide & Registration Booklet is intended to help accessory installers study and prepare for the SEMA certification tests, and should be useful for reviewing the technical knowledge and other requirements needed to pass each exam.
SEMA certification is a voluntary process through which accessory installers can prove their abilities to themselves, their employers and their customers. By meeting all of the eligibility criteria, and by passing one or more of the SEMA tests, you will earn a valuable credential, available exclusively to installers of specialty automotive accessories.
Certified technicians promote consumer trust and confidence, and improve the image of the specialty automotive industry. And because the tests are a true measure of an installer's know-how and expertise, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are among the elite in your profession-particularly since these credentials are recognized nationwide.
The program is open to principals and employees of SEMA-member companies as well as to nonmembers. SEMA invites all eligible candidates to participate in the certification process, and to join the industry-wide initiative to raise the level of professionalism and build a better, more prosperous business.
Why a Certification Program?
In today's competitive environment, quality and customer satisfaction have become top priorities. To help foster consumer confidence and trust, and elevate the level of professionalism within the industry, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has launched a new initiative: a certification program for accessory installers.
The actual exams were written by industry experts, including SEMA-member manufacturers and installers representing a broad cross-section of the accessory market. Their goal was to bring a higher level of professionalism to installers, and to improve the image of the industry, through a nationwide certification program.
What is the ASE Connection?
ASE, the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence, is an independent, nonprofit organization best known for testing and certifying automotive repair technicians. SEMA has partnered with ASE to develop a nationwide certification program exclusively for accessory installation professionals.
What Are the Program's Goals?
The primary objectives of the installer certification program are to:
- Elevate the level of quality and professionalism within the specialty automotive industry by testing and certifying accessory installers.
- Enhance the industry's image and instill consumer confidence.
- Ensure that consumers and new-vehicle dealers have a means of defining an installer's competency and skill levels.
- Furnish a yardstick by which to measure a company's commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
- Provide for better marketability of the products and services which drive the industry.
Who Should Become Certified?
Certification grants professional credentials, recognizes individual achievement and serves as an impartial, third-party endorsement of an installer's knowledge and expertise.
Certification also provides business owners with a valuable marketing advantage. It's essential, therefore, that as many people as possible-be they shop owners or accessory retailers, installers, restylers, product engineers or technical-support advisors-become certified.
How Does the Program Work?
The SEMA certification program includes four tests: electric sunroofs; body exterior components, such as ground effects and truck accessories; leather interiors; and roof treatments.
Each exam was written and developed by a panel of industry experts familiar with a specific test topic. All tests are job related and designed to measure a candidate's real-world skills.
Each test question has its roots in a test-writing process, whereby industry representatives meet in a workshop setting to share ideas and translate them into test questions. Each test question must then survive review by all workshop participants. All tests are written in a multiple-choice format and are intended to deal with either the installation, diagnosis and/or repair of specific types of accessories with which installers work on a day-to-day basis.
All SEMA tests are administered by ACT, a nonprofit corporation engaged in test development and administration, and in educational and vocational research. ACT is well known for its college admission tests.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
The SEMA Installer Certification Program has two eligibility requirements:
- Test candidates must have at least two years of hands-on work experience.
- Test candidates must also pass the ASE A6 test in electrical system diagnosis and repair.
Candidates may sign up to take one or more of the SEMA exams. All tests are offered twice yearly at approximately 700 test centers nationwide. Technicians who pass both the SEMA and ASE exams, and who meet the work experience requirement, will receive credentials from both SEMA and ASE, which are valid for five years. SEMA credentials include a certificate suitable for framing, an insignia and a wallet card.
If you fail the ASE A6 test, but pass a SEMA test, you will receive notification from SEMA that you have passed the SEMA exam However, credentials will be withheld until you retake and pass the A6 exam. If you fail either or both the SEMA and ASE tests, you may take them again during any scheduled test administration in which the tests are offered-but you must register again and pay the appropriate fees.
Keep in mind, all test results are confidential-you are the only one who will receive your test scores. Test results will not be given over the phone nor will they be released to anyone without your written permission.
What Are the Benefits of Certification?
The benefits of the SEMA Installer Certification Program are both personal and professional:
- National recognition-Certification grants professional credentials, recognizes personal achievement and serves as an impartial, third-party endorsement of an installer's know-how and expertise on a national level.
- Enhanced stature-Certification can potentially lead to increased job opportunities and will increase respect, recognition and credibility in the industry and profession.
- Higher customer satisfaction-Certification creates a customer "comfort zone," reduces concerns over warranty-related issues and provides consumers and new-vehicle dealers with a true measure of an installer's-and a business owner 's- commitment to quality, excellence and customer satisfaction.
- More dependable, skilled employees-Certification requires job experience, study and knowledge of changing technology; it instills pride and provides employers with a key benchmarking tool to retain, reward and hire skilled employees.
- Better marketability of the industry's products-Certification delivers a marketing edge, a quality advantage that's essential to making your business stronger and more competitive.