THA 094: ASE – The Industry Credential and YOU!

 Your Learning Curve Never Sounded So Good

Amy Mattinat is the owner and manager of Auto Craftsmen in Montpelier, VT. Her shop is an ASE Blue Seal Shop, AAA approved and she is a member of ASA, SBN & WiAC.  Along with running her independent repair shop, she is able to combine her three passions: teaching small business owners how to run a successful business, teaching car care and safety to the general public and educating young people about the many career opportunities available in the auto care industry.

Amy was awarded the  2012 Top Female Shop Owner of the Year by the Car Care Council Women’s Board, Honored as a 2014 Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, Awarded the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration’s Vermont Women-Owned Business of the Year, Awarded the 2016 AAA Business of the Year in Vermont and served as President of Women in Auto Care 2014 through 2016. Listen to Amy’s previous episodes HERE.

Mike Coley is the Senior Vice President at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence(ASE). Mike’s responsibilities include oversight of ASE’s Operations and Test Development workgroups, along with coordination of day-to-day operations with ASE’s testing contractor, Prometric.

Mike joined ASE in 1994 as the Executive Director of Technical Services. In that role, Mike led the development of the L1 Advanced Level Test and Composite Vehicle types 1 and 2, refined ASE test-construction methods using item response theory, and coordinated the launch of ASE’s computer-based testing program. He was promoted to Vice President in 2004, and subsequently directed ASE’s IT workgroup and led the development of ASE’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2013.

Prior to joining the ASE staff, Coley managed his family’s automotive repair business in SanAntonio, Texas, and served on the ASE Board of Directors, including a term as Chairman in 1991. Coley has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from SMU in Dallas, Texas, an MBA from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and previously taught Automotive Emissions classes at Northern Virginia CommunityCollege.

Jeff Walker is the President of Walker’s Automotive Service of Pleasantville, New Jersey. Jeff is alson on the ASE Board of Directors and is a Past Chairman of ASE. He as been ASE certified since 1977


Key Talking Points:

  • ASE needs to be in front of your customer, be part of your culture and ingrained in the training/certification culture in your business.
  • ASE is your ‘Dr.’ credentials. Use them to promote the value of your technicians.
  • Our techs need to be proud to wear their patches and be introduced as ASE certified technicians.
  • ASE certification can build the team and you can engage incentives and wages based on certification progress and re-certifications.
  • Promoting ASE and ASE Blue Seal to the public.
  • We must not count on ASE to do it. They provide the certifications and we need to embrace these certifications and promote on our own.
  • ASE website for the consumer:
  • We need to show the customer that our technician team meets certification standards through ASE testing.
  • ASE does not promote to the public. They are a certification entity, non-profit and the industry needs to get behind them.
  • Your ASE credentials must be marketed to your community and customer base. The way you bring value to ASE inside your business is to promote it as a required standard inside your business that can be a differentiator.
  • Techs say, “What does it do for me?’
    • If owners don’t believe it does make a difference and is a requirement then the tech will see no value.
    • When the test is passed and the competency is set, that makes a huge difference.
    • Consider there is a fear of failure in not passing a test.
      • We learn from failure.
    • Some techs are great at what they do but are bad test takers.
    • Get them help and work with them to full certification.
  • Amy suggests that the first test any tech should talk is the brake test.
  • ASE is working on a beta test recertification process through an app that becomes a continual program vs. every five years.
    • They will deliver a certain set of questions to work toward their certification. They will know immediately if you got it right and if not which question was right and why.
    • Tools in the app for training.
  • ASE is also working on providing the questions missed and which was the correct answer. This will help the test taker to know where they failed and why.
  • Rote memory is not the goal of ASE. Knowing how to diagnose is the goal.
  • Student Certification now called Entry Level Certification for high school to show post-secondary or shop owners.
  • Amy has a high-school coop student working at the shop with her ASE entry-level certification.
  • If we are going to grow our own and get involved with high-school and post-secondary, ASE must be the part of a technicians career pathway.
  • Our partners (suppliers) that advertise must include ASE in their ads. If they show a technician, they need to have a patch on their uniform. We are not embracing the value of ASE in every public facing to the consumer.
  • We are terrible assessors of our own skill set. We need help to assess if we have the skills to do our job. ASE is a natural entity that evaluates competencies.
    • They do not tell you what kind of training you know
    • They take industry standards and test toward them.


Amy Mattinat’s ASE ideas on how to brand your shop with your ASE Certifications:

1. Pay for your staff’s training & certification testing “All road leads to ASE Certified Master Technician”.
2. Celebrate when staff passes each certification.
3. Send out a press release when a staff member becomes an ASE Certified Master Tech / or if your shop achieves the ‘Blue Seal of Excellence’.
4. Increase pay when staff passes a certification.
5. Create a Wall of Fame: [frame and hang up certifications & training]
6. Put ASE cling-on in windows.
7. Put ASE small cling-on / put on the counter where customer pay for their invoice.
8. Purchase ASE patches & pay to have them sewn on staff’s uniforms.
9. Purchase ASE t-shirts & jackets for your staff:
10. Make blog posts when technician achieves new certifications & training.
11. Whenever you take pictures of your technicians, make sure you can see the ASE Certification patch on their uniform.
12. When you introduce your technicians, always use their title: “This is Ken, he is an ASE Certified Master Technician & will be taking care of your [Honda] today” if they are master techs.
  Of “This is Ken, he is a Brake Expert and even has his ASE Certification in Brakes & will explain to you what brake repairs your [Honda] needs today to keep you safe when driving”
13. Facebook posts when technicians achieve new certifications & training
14. Facebook posts with a link to ASE Drivers website: <>
15. Facebook Banner of your shop with ASE logo: EXAMPLE:
16. Company Website: pictures of staff with ASE patch showing: EXAMPLE:
17. Company Website: Embed ASE White Board video in your shop’s website:
18. Re-post ASE Blog posts regarding ASE Certification & Car Care Articles: <>
19. Purchase an ASE sign & hang it outside on visible part of your building.
20. Take pictures of your building highlighting your ASE sign & post it on FB & Instagram .
21. If possible, add ASE logo to your Invoices.
22. phone [on hold message] with information about your shop having ASE Certified Technicians.
23. Radio ad. Look for special downloads.
24. Make your own videos about ASE and your own shops status & credentials.
25. Utilize your Blue Seal Recognition in your email signature: EXAMPLE:

First & Last Name
President: Name of your business <>
ASE Blue Seal Shop & {any other industry highlights:  

The mechanic or auto technician who is working on your car is essentially a car doctor.  You wouldn’t go to a doctor who wasn’t a licensed M.D. So, how can you be sure the car-doctor / auto technician working on your car has the experience, expertise and skill to be repairing and servicing your vehicle?

One of the best-kept secrets of the auto repair industry is The National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence Certification Program and elite ASE Blue Seal Recognition.
For more information about the ASE Certification Program:



  • Commercial Idea from Amy: Shop Radio Ad – Download HERE.
  • Commercial Idea from Amy: Master Technician Radio Ad – Download HERE.
  • ASE Consumer page. HERE.
  • A special thanks to Mike Coley, Amy Mattinat, and Jeff Walter, for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Books Page HERE
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!