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IMI introduces accreditation scheme for automotive managers

Following collaboration between employers and other key industry partners, the IMI has launched a new accreditation scheme for automotive managers.


The Automotive Management Accreditation (AMA) scheme will work on a similar basis to the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme.

It will address managerial needs specific to the automotive sector and has been designed to measure the competence of automotive managers and signpost development needs.

Through research and consultation with over 400 employers and industry stakeholders, the IMI established that managers often lack support in gaining skills to operate effectively.

Less than 18% of managers in the retail automotive industry have gained a Level 4 qualification or assessed training programme compared to the average in others sectors of 45%.

The IMI said that wiht the sector facing some real challenges in the next decade, development of strategic and operational management skills is vital.

Linda Stansfield, Chief Operating Officer at the IMI said:
“With Automotive Management Accreditation we have tried to develop a product which addresses the previous concerns with management training, but still offers a robust assessment of competence based along similar lines to the ATA model.

"Overall, it’s a powerful solution to help bring about a cultural shift to improve management and leadership development, business improvement and professionalism within the sector.”

The assessment process takes a maximum of one day and is carried out in the workplace.

Managers who are accredited at level 3 (first-line manager), level 5 (middle manager) or level 7 (senior manager) retain their accreditation for a period of five years.

Those who achieve accreditation will be placed on a professional register and will be offered opportunities for continuous professional development on industry management and leadership issues.

There is a three-way assessment approach:

  1. An assessor can visit businesses to help employers with limited management and leadership provision.
  2. If an employer or training provider has an existing management and leadership programme, assistance can be given to map the programme against the AMA competencies. The employers own management and leadership trainers can be accredited to assess the AMA programme internally, providing a cost effective model.
  3. AMA can be positioned as the assessment at the end of any programme providing the delegates with industry wide recognition. 

The launch of the scheme follows a successful pilot involving managers from across the sector including representatives from Autoglass, Colin Appeyard Cars, Ford Retail UK, Jaguar Landrover, Mill Autoquip and Scania.

Commenting on the success of the pilot, Steve Scofield, Head of the Accreditation Academy at the IMI said:
“All of the AMA pilot candidates surveyed felt that the assessment had been very worthwhile and they had benefited personally from undertaking it. An over-riding comment was that the AMA assessment highlighted to them the breadth of the role that they undertook. The measurable impacts on business performance from the initial case studies include an increase in accessory sales of 54%, an increase in customer survey scores and a reduction in staff absence.”

Governance, moderation and administration of the scheme is the responsibility of the IMI.

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