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Technician accreditation scheme achieves landmark

The UK’s first national voluntary assessment system for technicians automotive technician accreditation (ATA), has seen 1,000 technicians register since launching in June.

Developed over three years, accreditation serves as a national benchmark of competence for technicians, of which there are an estimated 160,000 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 30 in the UK. There are three levels of accreditation: service maintenance technician, diagnostic technician and master technician.

ATA-registered technicians are issued with a photo identity card and are listed on a web-based register. They must be re-assessed after five years to maintain their credentials.

Governed by the Institute of the Motor Industry, the automotive sector’s professional association, 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?

Sarah Sillars, IMI chief executive, said: "ATA clearly identifies proven current competence, which is as important to consumers as it is to businesses seeking qualified technicians. The level of support within the motor industry would suggest that at least 50% of businesses involved in vehicle servicing and repair nation-wide will be actively supporting ATA within the next five years."

Full details of Automotive Technician Accreditation are online at www.automotivetechnician.org.uk or by telephone on 01992 511521.

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