ARMS was set up to improve management skills in the retail sector, helping businesses to improve their performance and profitability. However, too many managers saw it as an academic qualification and were concerned about the amount of time it took to complete the training.
Research carried out by the organization also revealed that employers felt there was a lack of awareness about the programme and its benefits, and raised objections about the costs involved.
Automotive Skills has sought to tackle this lack of engagement by producing a more cost effective and accessible programme after consultation with employers over the past 18 months.
The qualification has been aligned with the national occupational standards framework to give it greater recognition. A new approach means employers can incorporate their existing management training to the ARMS benchmark, reducing costs and time.
Managers can work towards a Certificate or Diploma in automotive retail management, with an alternative method of assessment increasing the number of work-based assignments,. ARMS can also guide a company’s recruitment, assessment and business processes.
ARMS has also been extended into other parts of the industry, including vehicle leasing and rental. Patricia Richards, (above), says: “ARMS is the tool to deliver excellence, consistently driving up the skills of managers across our sector.”
Automotive Skills is confident the changes – in particular the move to work-based assessment - will see an upturn in demand from franchised dealers, independents and manufacturers. It is launching a promotional campaign to improve awareness of the benefits, which is also expected to stimulate demand.