Did you know that we are Apple Certified Independent Technicians? We passed the Apple certification exam for iOS technicians. We passed the battery safety portion of the certification exam with a 100% score. We have fixed thousands of iPhones, many of which Apple said were unrepairable. We are Apple Certified.
And yet, Apple will not allow us to buy an OEM battery to install in your phone. Google will not allow us to advertise repair services. Let's change this!
The 'Apple Certified Independent Technicians' is a strong narrative for the Right to Repair movement in 2019. We need your voice.
Let's change the narrative for the Right to Repair Fight. It is one thing for lobbyists to systematically defeat the proposed RTR legislation when they are fighting against of perceived shade tree mechanics. It is a more difficult fight if the independent repair community has banded together as Apple Certified Technicians. We need the RTR legislation to protect ourselves from threats to repair such as serialization of iPhone screens, or a potential monopoly on access to part by any single entity able to make a private agreement. Certification helps to legitimize our industry.
In a climate where local cell phone repair shops everywhere are suddenly having their repair ads censored by Google, it is time to fight back. We know that Apple authorized repair isn't really repair at all. Apple does not allow its authorized repair shops to perform many repairs that most of us in the industry consider standard fare. The primary job of Apple authorized repair is to sell new phones, mail old phones to a centralized depot, and declare just about anything outside of screens/batteries as unrepairable.
In the eyes of Google and Apple, the thousands of men and women working in repair shops every day aren't qualified to be doing the work that Apple refuses to do. The work that allows you to keep your mobile devices in good working order for as long as you choose.
One of the arguments lobbyists use to systematically squash the Right to Repair bills active in dozens of states (none have passed) is that mobile device repair is dangerous, especially battery handling. But is it, really?
Apple has compiled a set of training resources called ATLAS that they use to train their internal staff and people working at the 'mail-off to the mothership' centers known as Apple Authorized Service Providers. In order to be deemed competent to work within the authorized Apple repair ecosystem, employees can pass certification exams and hold official Apple certifications. These are the people that Apple authorizes to change your screens and batteries.
From Apple's Certification Website:
Apple Certified = Apple validates the skills of technicians with the certification exams.
Apple Authorized = Apple authorizes (establishes business relationships with) service providers.
These two things are not the same.
We think that's a big deal. ANYONE can become Apple Certified WITHOUT having your hands tied by also becoming Apple Authorized.
This is an important distinction. Anyone choosing NOT to give up repair and become an AASP can still pass the Apple Certification exams which are open to anyone.
Becoming Apple Certified costs $20 x 2 and a couple hours of your time. The certs are open book exams that do require some thinking, but you are free to use any resources to help you. Expect about 70 questions on each certification. Nearly all of the content is either something you already know from your work in the field, or it is something that you can easily review on the internet. We did NOT have to use ATLAS to pass these exams, although the information in ATLAS is very comprehensive. If you are working in the field of mobile device repair, ATLAS is a nice resource. ATLAS will help you pass the certifications with ease.
The result is that you can become JUST AS APPLE CERTIFIED as any Apple Authorized Service Center, WITHOUT donning the handcuffs that bind the AASP from actually being able to solve people's problems.
The Certification Process Overview from Apple is here.
Step one: You will need an Apple ID/password. This is free to setup and you don't have to be an Apple user. Get your Apple ID here.
Step two: You will need a Tech ID. Go certifications.apple.com. Your TechID is created automatically from your Apple ID.
Step three: Register for an account at Pearson VUE--this is where you will buy and take your exams.
Step four: Purchase and take the first pre-requisite exam. Apple Service Fundamentals SVC-19. Cost $20, takes an hour, open resource
Step five: Purchase and take the iOS exam ACiT. And while you're at it, take the ACMT as well. Cost $20 each, takes 1-2 hours, open resource
Step six: After you pass your certifications, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a certificate. You'll get an email with a link to the request form.
Step seven: Let the world know! You are Apple Certified Independent Repair
Tips for Passing the Apple Certifications
SVC-19 Apple Service Fundamentals. Pre-requisite for the ACiT and ACMT.
70 questions with 2 hour time limit. Open google. If you fail, you get another crack at it in 24 hours. You'll have to pay again after that.
This one is a chunk of questions about ESD, battery safety, and how to talk to customers without being a douchebag. You must get all the battery safety questions correct to pass the exam. The Apple battery safety stuff is the same common sense that you already know. Sand is the Apple go to for battery thermal runaway events.
For the ESD stuff, lookout for the word "wireless" ESD strap. That one got me for a minute. Otherwise--more common sense. Polyester/synthetic fibers/foam/packing peanuts are all bad because they generate ESD. Anything that is about connecting work surface to ground is good--let that voltage go happily to ground.
For the Customer stuff you'll get a kick out of the Apple phrasing for types of problems--Hardware, Software, Educational (you're using it wrong), and Environmental. Think about how you'd ask open "tell me about" and closed "which is it A or B" questions to get at the heart of each of these problem types.
Remember empathy = getting down in the hole with someone--you share the experience. "I know that hurts". Sympathy = "Yes, it sucks to be you." Pick the empathy answer.
Apple Certified iOS Technician
70 questions with 2 hours time limit. Open google. If you fail, you get another crack at it in 24 hours. You'll have to pay again after that.
The questions are a lot of iOS features/settings that can be easily looked up if you don't know off hand. There are a few easy hardware ID questions. The tougher stuff for independents is the proprietary Apple drivers/analytical software. Here is the key to those.
Apple Repair Tools