Seven years and 30,000 people on from the launch of Automotive Technician Accreditation, its governing body, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), has delivered a development programme making ATA more accessible, flexible and cost effective.
Until now ATA technicians wishing to reaccredit have been required to repeat the ATA full assessment every five years.
An alternative method of reaccreditation is now available to the light vehicle and accident and repair sectors, with other sectors to follow, to reduce business costs and provide a more flexible approach to retaining accreditation, through 'bite-sized' assessments (known as Assessed Outcome Modules) designed to ensure technicians are maintaining current competence without having to retake the full assessment.
Accreditation will now last three years, and ATA cardholders will get free entry onto the IMI Professional Register.
Steve Scofield, head of accreditation academy at the IMI, said: "Reducing the ATA validity period to three years is an important step towards streamlining ATA with the training cycle of the majority of automotive businesses and the Professional Register.
"It also better reflects the pace of change in our industry and the need to ensure that professionals are keeping their skills and knowledge up to date. It’s important to stress that no-one who has a current five year card will be affected. In short, if your card says it lasts for five years, then that’s what it will do.”
Following industry request, two new ATA routes have been developed and delivered: . ATA Cosmetic Repair Technician and ATA Vehicle Inspection.
The IMI has also responded to the request from the industry to streamline and improve ATA entry opportunities for those holding NVQ, SVQ or VCQ. Now individuals holding a vocational competency based qualification (NVQ, SVQ & VCQ) can achieve ATA status by completing a handful of Assessed Outcome Modules.