Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get into the Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing program?
If you have not taken any course at ACC, and wish to receive college credit, you must be accepted for admission to ACC by completing a new student packet available from the Student Services department on any campus. You must have a High School diploma or GED. If you don’t have either, but plan on their completion in the next six months, it is possible to get a temporary waiver. You can then enroll by telephone, online or in person at any ACC campus during the regular registration period.

What Awards does ACC offer in the Autobody field?
ACC currently offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Auto Body Collision & Refinishing, a level one certificate in Auto Body Collision Repair, and a level one certificate in Auto Body Refinishing.

Can I get both the one-year certificate and the Associate degree?
Yes, the courses in the one-year certificate are the same courses required in the Associate degree and can be applied to either or both programs. However you must attain the certificate first.

Can I take only one course?
Yes, if you have been admitted to ACC and have satisfied any prerequisites.

The course schedule has a “P” in front of the course I want, what does this mean?
This means that that course has a prerequisite; another course must be completed before you may register for that one. Many prerequisites are satisfied by completing the (ABDR 1301 Auto body Repair and Refinishing).

Will I get ASE certification from ACC?
ACC does not give ASE certification, but will help anyone with test registration. All ACC Auto Body & Refinishing courses are designed to prepare the student for certification tests. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifies technicians with two years of experience, that pass one or more of the 5 different testing areas in the auto body field.

I want to take an advanced Auto body course, what do I do?
Your application for enrollment must be accepted by ACC through Admissions and Records or the Continuing Education department. Satisfy the prerequisites for the particular course and enroll in that course during the regular registration period.

Why should I take your courses? Can’t I get a job without going to school?
Yes, you can possibly get a job without taking our courses, especially with prior experience, but auto body & refinishing technology is now complex and “high tech”. A good understanding of automotive systems theory and design is essential for successful repairs. Our courses provide basic skills for entry level placement in the auto body & refinishing field, and prepare students for certification through ASE. We provide the opportunity for more rapid advancement in the rapid changing industry.

What is the TSI, and do I need to take it?
TSI stands for Texas Success Initiative Program. It was enacted by the Texas legislature and applies to all public-supported institutions of higher education, including Austin Community College. There are a number of Test Instruments and Minimum Passing Standards that you must meet unless the program you are enrolled in is TSI-exempt.

Are any Automotive Technology programs TSI-exempt?
Only the continuing education programs and the certificate programs of one year or less are TSI-exempt.


How do I become authorized to use a respirator at ACC?
To become authorized to use a respirator at ACC a faculty, staff or student must be approved by ESH&I. To become approved you must pass the following in this order:
1 – A medical evaluation including a pulmonary function test
2 – A respirator fit test
3 – Training in the type(s) of respirators you will use and the situations where you will be expected to use them
Upon successfully passing the above, ESH&I will authorize you to use respiratory protection.

Medical Evaluation including a Pulmonary Function Test

Who must get a medical evaluation including a Pulmonary Function Test?
Anyone (faculty, staff or student) who is required to use a respirator must receive a medical evaluation to determine their ability to use a respirator prior to a fit test or using a respirator.

Who conducts the medical evaluation?
The medical evaluation must be conducted by a PLHCP

What must be included in the medical evaluation?
The medical evaluation must include:

  • The information required in Appendix C to Sec. 1910.134 of the OSHA General Industry standard
  • Pulmonary function test. (Note: Failure to successfully pass this test disqualifies an individual from using a respirator)

How do I schedule a medical evaluation?

Students are responsible for scheduling appointments with a PLHCP and managing the medical requirements outlined in this procedure.

Note: Students must present a letter from a PLHCP stating that they are physically fit and able to use a respirator.

Respirator Fit Test

What do I need to do before I schedule a respirator fit test?

To help ensure the safety of an individual, a successful medical evaluation is required before respirator fit testing is conducted.

How often must I do a fit test?

Fit testing is an annual requirement and must be completed within each calendar year to maintain valid certification for respirator use. Fit testing procedures will comply with the OSHA General Industry standard Appendix A to 1910.134: Fit Testing Procedures

How do I schedule a respirator fit test:

Students – are responsible to schedule a respirator fit test by a qualified individual (instructor)

Note: It is permissible that the fit test serves as a portion of their class curriculum, but must occur and be documented by qualified individual before they use respirator protection.


When do I receive initial training?
Training is required prior to initial use in class and at a minimum annual thereafter.

How do I schedule training

ACC Instructors are responsible for ensuring their students have received and are current in the training requirements.
Note: At the instructors discretion student training can be incorporated into the class curriculum provided a copy of the training has first been reviewed and approved by EHS&I.

What topics must be covered in Training?

  • Why a respirator is necessary and how improper fit, usage or storage can compromise the protective effect of the respirator;
  • Limitations and capabilities of their respirator;
  • How to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations, including the situation where the respirator malfunctions;
  • How to inspect, don and doff, use and check respirator seals;
  • Procedures for respirator storage and maintenance;
  • How to recognize the medical signs and symptoms that can limit or prevent effective respirator use;
  • General requirements of the written program.

When do I need retraining?
Retraining will occur annually and should any of the following situations arise;

  • Changes in the workplace of the type of respirator used that renders the previous training obsolete;
  • Noted inadequacies in the faculty or staff’s knowledge or use of their respirator indicating the faculty or staff has not retained the requisite understanding or skill, or;
  • Any other situation arises where retraining appears necessary to ensure safe respirator use.

How do I obtain a respirator?

Students must provide their own respirator

What type of respirators are approved at ACC?
Full-face, and Half mask air purifying respirators are the preferred type of respirator to be used by ACC faculty, staff and students. (3M brand)
Note: ACC faculty, staff and students will not perform any work that requires an SCBA or a supplied air respirator. That work will be performed by contractors.

Selection, Use, Inspection, Cleaning, Maintenance, Storage

What are my responsibilities as a respirator user?
All respirator users will:

  • Select and use the appropriate respiratory protection for the tasks and conditions where they are performing work.
  • Inspect respiratory protection immediately prior to use
  • Keep your respirator clean, sanitary and in good working order
  • Maintain and store respiratory protection to ensure effective use

How do I select a respirator?
EHS&I is responsible for the selection and approval of respirators based on the potential hazards to which the faculty, staff or student may be exposed and the job or tasks being performed.
EHS&I will assist instructors with selecting and approval of respirators for students enrolled in classes requiring respiratory protection.

How does ESH&I determine the potential hazards?
Available air-monitoring data will be used in determining appropriate respirator selection and use.

What must be considered in a job or task evaluation?
Job or task evaluation must include:
a. possible airborne contaminants and their level of toxicity
b. expected concentration levels
c. warning properties
d. skin absorption potential
e. Physical properties of the material
f. PEL or TLV for the material

What are the conditions of respirator use?

  • Respirators shall be used as intended by the manufacturer
  • Respirator users are only to use the type of respirator on which they have been trained and fit tested;
  • Respirator users must perform a positive/negative seal check each time the respirator is donned
  • Respirator users are not permitted to have facial hair that interferes with the functioning of the valves of the face piece, or that extends into the seal area of the face piece prohibiting a proper seal. This includes side burns or a one day growth of beard;
  • Absence of normally worn dentures, facial deformities or jewelry or head gear that projects under the face piece must be avoided;
  • Regular eyeglasses cannot be worn with a full face respirator. Should a faculty or staff require corrective lenses they need to contact EHS&I
  • Situations where respirator use is required will have specific work procedures developed Instructors who have class activities where respirator use is required must include written specifics and provide required information as to proper procedures through lecture and individual instructions;
  • Air-purifying cartridge respirators are not to be used in oxygen deficient atmospheres where the percentage of oxygen is below 19.5%, or in atmospheres considered immediately dangerous to life and health. ACC faculty and staff are not permitted in oxygen deficient or immediately dangerous to life and health atmospheres.

Who is responsible to prevent unauthorized Respirator Use?
Who is responsible for ensuring that students meet the standards of the Respiratory Protection program?

Instructors are responsible for ensuring any students using respiratory protection in their classes have met the same standards outlined in this paragraph for faculty and staff.

When do I inspect my respirator?

Each time before wearing a respirator, the user must inspect all face-pieces and other respirator-related equipment as described in the respirator training classes.

What do I inspect?

The following items shall be inspected:

  • Face-piece
    • cracks, tears or holes
    • facemask distortion
    • cracked or loose lens/face shield
  • Head straps
    • breaks or tears
    • broken buckle
  • Valves
    • residue or dirt
    • cracks or tears in valve material
  • Filters/Cartridges
    • approval designation
    • gaskets
    • cracks or dents in housing
    • proper cartridge for hazard

Note: Respirator repair shall be performed by someone qualified by the manufacturer.

How do I clean my respirator?

To clean and sanitize respirators, use the manufacturer’s recommendations or the following procedure:

Cleaning – Use the following procedures for cleaning and disinfecting respirators:

  • Disassemble respirator removing any filters, cartridges or canisters;
  • Wash face-piece and associated parts in warm water using a mild detergent. DO NOT use organic solvents;
  • Rinse completely in warm water;
  • Wipe respirator with disinfecting wipes (70% isopropyl alcohol) to kill germs;
  • Air-dry in a clean area
  • Re-assemble the respirator and replace any defective parts;
  • Store in clean, dry plastic bag or other air tight container

How do I correctly maintain my respirator?

Respirators must be correctly maintained to ensure proper functioning and adequate protection for the user. Maintenance involves a thorough visual inspection for cleanliness and defects. Deteriorated or worn parts will be replaced before using. No components will be replaced or repairs made beyond those recommended by the manufacturer.

How do I properly store my respirator?

Respirator users must store their respirator to protect it from dust, sunlight heat, extreme cold, excessive moisture, or damaging chemicals. Respirators must be stored in such a manner that there is no distortion to the elastomer portion of the face piece;

Faculty or staff may store their assigned respirator and keep it in a sealable plastic bag labeled with their name. They are responsible for keeping the respirator identified and clean; Instructors shall ensure that students manage their respirators in a similar fashion;

What if I want to voluntarily use a respirator?

Faculty, staff or students may voluntarily decide to use respirators even though it is not required by ACC.

Those who voluntary wear a respirator shall be provided with the information contained in Appendix D 1910.134. (“Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard”); and

  • Get a Medical Evaluation to Use a Respirator and
  • Properly selection, use, inspection, cleaning, maintenance and store the respirator

What if I want to voluntarily use a dust mask?

Those who decide to voluntarily use filtering facepieces (dust masks) are only required to review Appendix D of 1910.134.

How do we ensure the effectiveness of the respiratory protection program?

EHS&I shall conduct program compliance assessments as necessary to ensure that the written respiratory protection program is being properly implemented.

EHS&I shall regularly consult faculty, staff and students required to use respirators to assess their views on program effectiveness and to identify any problems. Any problems that are identified during this assessment shall be corrected. Factors to be assessed include, but are not limited to:

  • Respirator fit (including the ability to use the respirator without interfering with effective workplace performance);
  • Appropriate respirator selection for the hazards to which the faculty or staff is exposed;
  • Proper respirator use under the workplace conditions the faculty and staff encounters; and
  • Proper respirator maintenance.

The findings and proposed corrective actions from this assessment shall report to ACC management.


Who is responsible for maintaining records?

EHS&I shall maintain all medical records, including physical evaluations and pulmonary function tests per ACC’s Record Retention Policy.

EHS&I will maintain data bases of all faculty and staff authorized to use a respirator. The data base will include:

  • Faculty or staff name/identification
  • Medical certification date
  • fit-test date
  • Type of fit test (quantitative or qualitative)
  • Specific make, model, style, and size of respirator fit tested
  • type of respirator faculty or staff is authorized to wear
  • fit factor if quantitative fit test is administered.
  • written copy of the respiratory protection program
  • Records of completed training shall be maintained by EHS&I

Are records accessible to affected faculty or staff?

Yes. Records are accessible to affected faculty or staff. Contact EHS&I.


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