Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician

This program is designed for people who wish to obtain employment in the Automotive Industry as an Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician. An Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician typically, removes parts, masks, performs chemical cleaning, applies putty, sands, primes, and prepares an automobile, truck or bus for the Automotive Refinishing Technician in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

Through practical experience successful students will be able to integrate the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom with practical experience of the workplace. Graduates receive a VCC Auto Refinishing Prep Technician Certificate.

Additionally, graduates will receive the following credit by the Industry Training Authority of British Columbia (ITA) toward completion of the Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician apprenticeship:

Program Hours: The Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician Program runs Monday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Program Status:
Accepting applications

Program one-pager
Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
Sep 5 months Certificate Broadway Full-time

Apply Now

Apply Now

The first step, apply early. Students who have officially applied and met all admission requirements are sent a letter of acceptance approximately four to five months in advance of the next available start date. A first payment is required to reserve a space in the program.

Online Mail In Person
If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and mail it to VCC Registrar's Office Visit us at one of our campus locations.

After you apply, you can check application status to see if all of the requirements have been met or to update contact information. Please use the temporary login ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you used to complete your original online application.

Program Description

Program Description

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe occupational health and safety standards
  2. Perform job tasks in accordance with occupational health and safety standards
  3. Identify and explain spray guns and equipment used in automotive refinishing
  4. Demonstrate the use of the various spray guns
  5. Describe vehicle component considerations
  6. Describe surface preparation processes, conditions, equipment and materials
  7. Identify and describe the function and application of undercoat products
  8. Identify solvents and describe proper handling, functions, and problems associated with use
  9. Identify corrosion and describe corrosion protection procedures, problems, equipment and materials
  10. Identify and describe topcoats
  11. Describe masking procedures and materials
  12. Identify and describe automotive plastics
  13. Demonstrate the repair and refinishing of plastics
  14. Describe trim and strip installation procedures
  15. Describe pre-delivery inspection processes
  16. Describe the importance of and processes for journeyperson upgrading to stay abreast of future trends and technological changes

Instructional Activities, Design and Delivery Mode

The major portion of class time is devoted to the study of theoretical principles through lectures, demonstrations, guest speakers and field trips. Students work individually and in groups and are required to apply their developing skills to provincial standards in our collision repair facility. A segment of the program is set aside for practical student work and competency assessment. Additionally, students receive weekly homework assignments.

Program Duration

This full-time program is 5 months in duration, and must be completed within 3 years.

Evaluation of Student Learning

Evaluation is a combination of assessment of practical assignments, projects, theory exam, and/or practical exam.


Graduates receive a VCC Auto Refinishing Prep Technician Certificate.

Additionally, graduates will receive the following credit by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) toward completion of the Automotive Refinishing Prep Technician apprenticeship program:

  • Technical Training: Level 1
  • Work-Based Training: 450 hours

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements


This program welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Program options for international students can be found at VCC International.

As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school.

Please note that you must submit official transcripts and educational documents to support your application; unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or fax versions.

Program Specific

Missing prerequisites? VCC offers courses in Adult Upgrading and English as an Additional Language to help you meet your goals.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may choose to apply to one of two tracks: (1) Foundation Program or (2) Youth Train in Trades (formerly ACE-IT) Program.

  1. Foundation Program:
    • English 10 or equivalent
    • Apprentice & Workplace Math 10 or equivalent; or 80% on the VCC Basic Arithmetic Assessment
    • Science 10 or equivalent
    • OR
    • Department Leader approval based on relevant trade experience will be considered.
  2. Youth Train in Trades Program:
    • Applicants do not apply to VCC directly. Interested students, teachers and counselors are directed to contact the Career Program Coordinator or Administrator for their school district. See the ITA Youth Train in Trades Program website for details (
    • Note:
    • All students must have minimum basic computer skills and access to an internet-connected computer/mobile device.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

PLAR is not available in this program.

Course Schedule

Fees and Other costs

Application Fee $35
Tuition Fee $1,787
Student Union Fee $55
College Initiative Fee $52
Laundry Fee $205
Uniform Fee $85
U-Pass Fee $205
Other Costs Material Fee $185 Campus Resource Fee $72 Graduation Fee $40
$21.22 - Graduation Fees
$70.09 - Campus Resource Fee
$181.47 - Material Fee
This program is offered on first pay, first seat basis to all qualified applicants
At the time of acceptance, a $300 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your seat if accepted more than two months before the start date of the program where you will be invoiced the remaining first installment due two months before the start of the program. Full payment of the first installment will be required upon acceptance within two months of the start date.

For book lists and prices, check Bookstore.

Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students are responsible for any increase in fees if advanced payments are made. The application fee is non-refundable. Fees are refunded according to the refund policy. For further clarification, see withdrawals and refunds information page.

Info Sessions

Info Sessions

Love cars? Auto collision, refinishing and service techs are in demand. Jump-start your career with VCC's hands-on training programs.

VCC has been a leader in hands-on transportation trades training for more than 50 years, giving graduates the skills to succeed in a demanding job market. Work on real cars in our auto body and auto service shops, and get the skills you need in as little as five months.

Automotive collision repair
Automotive refinishing technician
Automotive service technician

Come for a tour to see our shops, talk with instructors and see the training that regularly earns VCC students top honours in regional skills competitions.

Evening info sessions
Automotive collision and automotive refinishing also holds evening info sessions. Sign up here for evening sessions.

Join us at VCC's Broadway campus, 1155 East Broadway at Glen Drive, across from VCC/Clark SkyTrain station.

Date Day Time Room Location
January 28, 2020 Tuesday 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Lobby of 4th floor in building A, Access via Broadway Broadway
February 11, 2020 Tuesday 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Lobby of 4th floor in building A, Access via Broadway Broadway

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Contact Us/Request Info

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Program Highlights

Program Highlights


Course Schedule

Courses Schedule


Term 1

(ARPT 1140) Occupational Skills and Safety
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits  course outline
(ARPT 1153) Shop Experience
course schedule schedule
2.5 credits  course outline
(ARPT 1160) Surface Preparation
course schedule schedule
5.0 credits course outline
(ARPT 1170) Refinishing Tools and Equipment
course schedule schedule
1.5 credits course outline
(ARPT 1180) Technical Information and Documentation
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits course outline
(ARPT 1181) Workplace Planning and Scheduling
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits course outline
(ARPT 1190) Using Materials and Equipment
course schedule schedule
5.0 credits course outline
(ARPT 1195) Vehicle Components and Pre-Delivery
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits course outline