The IMI’s Professional Register, which acts as a voluntary licence to practise in the automotive industry, is now live at www.imiregister.org.uk.
Developed by the IMI and backed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the industry body is aiming to use the register to help the sector improve its image by changing public perception, as well as increasing consumer confidence by ensuring that the industry has a skilled, competent and professional workforce.
Dealers can join the register by being an IMI member and fulfilling approximately four days of continuing professional development (CPD) activity over a three year period.
Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) and Automotive Management Accreditation (AMA) qualifications will also grant access to the professional register.
Steve Nash, the IMI’s chief executive and former BMW (UK) aftersales director, said: “The industry is not licensed at this point in time and anyone can set themselves up as specialists with no real qualifications.
“At present these people are on a level playing field with those who have made an investment in proper training and professionalism, which is not good for the retail motor industry.
“The Professional Register allows the public to differentiate between people who are investing in training and development and those who do not, placing skills at the heart of our industry.”
Motorists can search the www.imiregister.org.uk website to find businesses and individuals which are registered.
Nash believes that if more dealers sign up to the register, it will help improve perceptions of professionalism in the industry.
He said: “It is a bold and correct move on the part of the IMI and the sector and I believe that it will change the face of the industry, giving skilled and competent professionals the credit they deserve.”