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Making bodyshop estimators more professional

Preparation is the key to being a successful vehicle damage assessor within a bodyshop, according to Thatcham’s head of VDA training.

Les Minton gave out the advice during an Auto Body Professionals Club meeting at Thatcham’s Triple Focus event.

Minton was responding to concerns over the high failure rate during the part of the VDA’s assessment where candidates appraise the damage and establish the correct repair.

Accusations that Thatcham fails candidates to generate revenue was dismissed by Minton who said there is no deliberate policy to fail people.

He advised: “They should listen and engage with the assessor as they would a customer to find out critical information.”

Minton said preparation is the key to success and advised candidates to bring a clipboard, pencil and calculator and added they were allowed to ask assessors for guidance on the circumstances of the crash.

Chairman of the ABP Club, David Cresswell, quizzed Minton about any differences in the failure rates between bodyshop estimators and insurance engineers to which Minton said there was no “distinguishable” disparity.

Further questioning by Cresswell revealed if an insurer disagrees with a suggested repair method, bodyshops should explain they have a duty of care and ask the insurance engineer to sign a disclaimer.

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