The IMI and SOE are to launch a campaign to formalise skills assessment and training for technicians working on buses, lorries and other heavy vehicles.
“The need for professionalism is a big issue currently facing the heavy vehicle sector of the UK’s road transport industry, and only roughly 15% of the 30,000 technicians employed in this sector are accredited under the irtec Heavy Vehicle Accreditation scheme,” explained Ian Chisholm, managing director of the Society of Operations Engineers.
“Having no mandatory independent system of accreditation for those who work on heavy vehicles means a decrease in public safety. It also means firms are not able to maximise their profit margins through minimising unnecessary down time.”
The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) work closely together to deliver irtec Heavy Vehicle Accreditation, assessing the practical ability of individuals working on commercial and passenger-carrying vehicles and trailers.
2016 will see a surge in promotion for irtec Accreditation, from both organisations, to further protect the public, increase consumer confidence, and professionalise the heavy vehicle sector.
IMI CEO, Steve Nash said: “As automotive technology continues to evolve; there is an increased need for skilled and competent professionals to work on these vehicles. By investing in irtec Accreditation for their employees, business owners can be assured that technicians’ productivity will increase, as will their first-time fix rate. IMI and SOE are passionate about professionalising the motor industry and those who work within it.”
In an IMI study part funded by the Government, training and irtec Accreditation was shown to provide a return on investment to logistics companies of a much as 200%.
DAF Trucks, who have invested in irtec Accreditation, added: “When a customer commits to a maintenance provider, they are committing to the reputation of their business. Having irtec-accredited technicians allows us to demonstrate our commitment to that customer”.