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Technician programme signs 1,300

The UK’s first national voluntary assessment system for technicians, the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) programme, has smashed its first-year target for registered technicians.

Launched in June, 1,300 technicians have now registered, against a target of 750. Developed over three years, ATA aims to serve as a national benchmark of competence for the UK’s estimated 160,000 technicians.

Frank Massey of Preston-based Automotive Diagnostic Solutions, became the first independent technician to achieve ATA Master Technician status. “It has long been my dream to see skilled craftsmen in the automotive industry recognised and rewarded for their pride and knowledge,” says Massey.

“The challenges of modern electronics in vehicles demand continuing professional development. ATA ensures such efforts will be recognised by the general public and industry alike and will inspire gifted youngsters much needed by our sector.”

To achieve ATA status, technicians must pass a series of practical tasks and an on-line knowledge test at one of the 30 ATA approved assessment centre. ATA-registered technicians are issued with a unique photo identity card and are listed on a web-based register. They must be re-assessed after five years.

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