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CIRAS to Expand Online Certification Programs

January 20, 2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Center for International Retail Automotive Standards (CIRAS) announced it will expand its online certification programs to include rental car, service advisor, powersports and used-car management professions.

Two online certification programs currently offered by CIRAS have been met with enthusiastic reviews from industry professionals.

These web-based certifications -- Financial Services Professional (FSP) for F&I Managers, and Customer Services Professional (CSP) CSI Certification for all dealership personnel, were unveiled at the September F&I Management and Technology Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.

Included in the FSP certification is a comprehensive legal compliance section by Thomas B. Hudson and Emily Marlow Beck of Hudson Cook LLP. In addition to access to the interactive content review, FSP participants also received a complimentary copy of CARLAW F&I Desk Book by Counserlorlibrary.com, as well as a six month subscription to legal newsletter Spot Delivery.

Tom Hudson notes, "The F&I Desk Book covers all federal laws that F&I professionals deal with. Each chapter is prepared by an attorney or by attorneys who practice on a daily basis the law discussed by the chapter, and the resulting compilation is the most comprehensive legal F&I text available."

Each certification area was developed by a team of experts from around the world. The certifications are designed to supplement and build upon a candidate’s professional and/or educational experience. After participating in an interactive content review, candidates must successfully pass a challenging exam in order to earn their certifications in the specialties they undertake.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," says CIRAS president and CEO, Dr. Robert W. Serum. "This is clear evidence that people are committed to raising the standards of the automotive industry."

CIRAS intends to create certifications for all key positions in the automotive retail trade; hence, a series of additional certifications are currently in the testing phase, and are slated for release before mid-2009. Among these new certifications will be the Rental Car Professional certification by Jim Schalberg of Schalberg.com, a Professional Service Advisor certification by the Automotive Dealership Institute, a Powersports F&I certification by industry icon Ron Martin of Vision of F&I, Inc. Certifications in Used Car Management and Sales & Marketing are also coming soon and will be added to the menu.

CIRAS has also announced it is currently in negotiation regarding marketing the certifications in Southeast Asia. Other marketers are in place throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Middle East.

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