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IMI close to piloting licensing scheme

Technician licensing could become a reality later this year, according to the Institute of the Motor Industry.

The automotive industry has been discussing accreditation schemes for technicians for more than 15 years, and now the IMI is preparing the first pilot scheme, which will go live over the next few months. If successful, it will be rolled out by the end of year, IMI chief executive Sarah Sillars told AM last week. “We are not trying to reinvent the wheel: we want to create a national set of occupational standards across the industry to benchmark technician requirements,” Sillars says.

The IMI developed its model for technician accreditation by working closely with major companies including BMW, Harley-Davidson UK, Kwik-Fit and Toyota. The organisation says the programme would be easily accessible for both single-site independents and major retail groups.

Research published by the Consumers' Association in its Which? magazine underlined consumer support for licensing with 93% of the 1,090 motorists polled expressing concern if they thought a mechanic without suitable qualifications was servicing their car.

Nearly all drivers (97%) want garages to be inspected regularly to check the quality of work. And 87% say they would pay extra for an approved technician to work on their car while 67% would travel further to get their car serviced by someone who is suitably qualified.

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