The IMI believes that identifying and positively rewarding those exhibiting current competence can only improve the professionalism of the industry and thereby the public perception of it. The first major qualitative research into standards of technician recruitment, training and testing throughout the UK retail motor industry was published by the IMI in February 2003, following extensive in-depth consultation with key stakeholders, representing a significant proportion of the industry's retail workforce.
Widely reported at the time, the study identified notable “pockets of excellence” within all sectors of the industry, but revealed serious inconsistencies and poor practice among others.
As a result of its research nine months ago, the IMI has stepped up its campaign to raise the recognition and status of its 25,000 members and those competent individuals working across the whole sector. The IMI says it has been working extremely closely with manufacturers, dealer groups, independent partners and other industry bodies to put in place measures that provide opportunities for greater recognition of individual competence, through qualification. The IMI adds that this complements the significant efforts made in encouraging new technicians into the industry, which is already proving successful, such as the positive take up of new Modern Apprenticeships and Technical Certificates.