ioAST Opportunities

By Adam Butcher, Fred’s Appliance

The Institute of Appliance Service Technicians has been working to improve the quality of appliance repair and service by testing and certifying appliance repair technicians. The Institute of Appliance Service Technicians strives to promote a high standard in appliance repair and service across all brands and designs and to protect the consumer, the service company, and the service technician. Appliances are becoming more complicated every year and a comprehensive certification demands we evolve and adapt along with the industry. Working with training organizations like Fred’s Appliance Academy, ioAST continues to improve its testing and techniques.

While realizing that there have been other certification tests available to technicians in the industry, the Institute of Appliance Service Technicians recognized a need for a new exam which is technology driven and meets the current needs of servicers and technicians. An appliance service technician needs to have a basic understanding of electricity, plumbing, HVAC, and appliance installation procedures, on top of having a deep understanding of appliance repair. To remain an ioAST certified technician, the technician must re-test every five years to ensure that they are keeping up with the ever evolving technology in the appliance industry.

The Appliance Service Fundamentals Certification, also known as ASF Certification, tests each participant in the basic fundamentals of appliance repair. If the participant passes the exam of 140 questions, he or she will demonstrate a clear comprehension of the material. Only someone with appliance repair experience has a clear opportunity of passing this challenging exam. The questions revolve around modern appliance repair concepts and issues. The ASF Certification will test the following skills sets: Appliance Electrical Theory, Appliance Part Identification, Customer Soft Skills, Gas and Electric Washers, Gas and Electric Dryers, Dishwashers, Gas Cooking, Electric Cooking, Microwaves, and Refrigeration including Sealed System Theory.

The ASF Certification is currently the only appliance repair certification that can be taken online with an online proctor. All that the test taker needs to qualify for online proctoring is a laptop or desktop computer, a webcam, and a microphone. Most laptops today ship with these features. The online proctor will monitor the environment and test taker to ensure the integrity of the exam. This allows a greater flexibility for the test taker to schedule the exam to fit their lifestyle. The online proctor will even help ensure that your computer is capable and exam ready.

Employers can then use ASF Certification as a clear reference for hiring a new technician. It’s an easy way to interpret the technician’s skill level and understanding of the basics of appliance repair. Having a technician that is ASF Certified is an opportunity for any company to share with their customers: add our logo to your website while taking pride that your technicians meet a standard of excellence, and utilize social media to inform your customers that supporting the customer after the sale is a priority.

To further assist appliance repair companies that are in the process of hiring new technicians, ioAST has created FREE Aptitude Tests to help screen the potential candidates. Part I is a Mechanical Aptitude Test and Part II is an Appliance Aptitude Test. Each test is designed to be taken on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone device. Each test also should work on any browser.

Part I covers general mechanical aptitude like tool identification, logical problem solving, and gear/belt direction. This test will help determine if the candidate has some level of mechanical background. Part II covers basic appliance repair fundamentals. Unlike the ASF Certification, which covers all aspects of basic appliance repair fundamentals, Part II will cover a smaller scope of appliance repair to determine if the candidate has any appliance repair experience.

Each test is FREE to take and scores can be emailed directly to the employer upon request. A test can only be taken one time per IP address to ensure integrity and the answer sheet is never shared with test takers.

The future is bright in appliance repair and the Institute of Appliance Service Technicians goal is to continue to add qualified technicians to the ever growing labor force and to ensure that those technicians are trained properly.

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