Developed over three years, Automotive Technician Accreditation is a national benchmark of competence for technicians, of which there are an estimated 150,000 in the UK.
To achieve ATA status, technicians must pass a series of practical tasks and an on-line knowledge test at an ATA approved assessment centre, of which there are over 60 in the UK, including major vehicle manufacturers and national service and repair organisations, as well as colleges of further education.
There are three levels of accreditation:
ATA-registered technicians sign a Code of Conduct prior to being issued with a unique photo identity card and details of where they are located are listed on the ATA website. All technicians must be re-assessed after five years to maintain their credentials.
Governed by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), Automotive Technician Accreditation is backed by partners including: BMW; DaimlerChrysler; Ford; Hertz; Mondial Assistance; Nationwide Autocentres; Peugeot; Toyota; Volkswagen; Volvo and Unipart. ATA also has the support of the Government, Trading Standards and Which?
Frank Massey, of Preston-based Automotive Diagnostic Solutions, became the first independent technician to achieve ATA Master Technician status.
He said: “It has long been my dream to see skilled craftsmen in the automotive industry recognised and rewarded for their pride and knowledge. 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.”