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IMI register to raise industry standards

In line with the Government’s drive to improve customer service through professional standards, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has opened its professional register for applications.

The IMI Professional Register will include all individuals in the automotive industry who have proven they have the right qualifications and knowledge to practice professionally within the automotive sector, abide by a code of ethical conduct and who continually maintain their professional standards by committing to continuing professional development (CPD) and proving current competence.

IMI members, of which there are more than 16,500, will be first to be invited to join.

In the past it has been hard for consumers to distinguish levels of quality when choosing where to buy, repair or service their vehicle.

To help address this the IMI, in consultation with the industry, developed skills accreditation schemes for technicians and managers (ATA and AMA).

The Government has recognised in its ‘Better Choices: Better Deals’ report last month that accreditation has brought about a step change in the automotive sector’s attitudes to maintaining skills.

It stated they have provided “the bridge from historically acquired skills to demonstrating current competence ethically acquired”.

More than 26,000 individuals have now achieved the ATA standard.

A spokesman said: “Professional registration is about continuous investment in skills. Accreditation demonstrates that an individual is good now, but they must stay good.

That is why the professional register requires individuals to commit to maintaining their skill levels through continuing professional development (CPD).”

Over the next three years the IMI will work with all industry partners to achieve a ‘critical mass’ of professionally registered individuals and encourage businesses to promote individuals’ inclusion on the IMI Professional Register as a means of assuring ethical behaviour and competent work.

The ultimate vision is that consumers will see and demand individuals’ inclusion on the IMI Professional Register as a mark of quality, said the spokesman.

Sarah Sillars, executive chair of the IMI said: “This is an exciting time for the IMI, our members, the motor industry and the consumer as we take the final step towards establishing real consumer confidence in our industry.

“Through the IMI Professional Register, our members will be able to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining their skills and consumers will be able to make informed choices about the best place to buy, repair or service their vehicle. I look forward to working with the industry and Government over the next three years to make this vision a reality for consumers.”

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