The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has welcomed the one-month extension to the deadline for MOT Training and Assessment to the end of April 2020.
Coming just a week after the announcement of a six-month moratorium on MoT test requirements during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the DVSA’s decision allows “more time” to complete the online assessment.
But Mark Armitage, head of membership products and services at the IMI, said that the test must still be completed promptly to ensure that motorists are able to “get back into their cars and get back to their workplaces” when the time comes.
Armitage said: “Anything that helps motor industry professionals cope with the current challenges they are facing is good news – so it’s welcome that the DVSA have extended the deadline for Assessment of MOT testers to the end of April.
“What this does is give those who want to remain qualified to conduct MoTs more time. And the fact that our MoT Tester Annual Assessment and CPD can be completed online should make this process as easy as possible.”
He added: “We know that at some point people will need to get back into their cars and get back to their workplaces and it’s very likely that there will be a backlog of motorists whose MoT has already expired.
“It’s vital, therefore, that motor industry professionals are ready to support their customers when they do get back on the roads.”
Yesterday AM reported on the Independent Garage Association's criticism of the six-month MoT moratorium granted by the DVSA.
The IGA has proposed to Government that it starts with an initial six-week MoT test extension period, which could be reviewed on a weekly basis, rather than the proposed six months.
Stuart James, chief executive at the IGA, said: “We urge the government to show a degree of flexibility, as the repercussions for the independent sector will be severe.
James added: “Better guidance also needs to be given to the public regarding the extension to ensure that vehicles remain roadworthy.”
During the coronavirus outbreak, the IMI has said that it will maintain its support for motor industry professionals after Government confirmed garages could stay open during the coronavirus outbreak, designating them as ‘essential’ businesses required to serve the UK’s NHS and other key workers.
“With government taking steps in the last week to ‘flatten the curve’ of the coronavirus, the role of local garages to ensure that key workers can travel safely in roadworthy vehicles has been underlined as they have been designated one of the ‘essential’ services”, explained IMI chief executive, Steve Nash.
“As the professional body for those working in the sector, the IMI has been focused on providing our members with support to ensure they can maintain their professional standards during this challenging time.
“In particular, a focused working group has been adapting our support tools to ensure that the learners who have been working hard over the last few months and years to achieve their qualifications and accreditations will not be at a disadvantage simply because of the current situation.”
The IMI has taken the following actions to adapt to the current crisis:
Qualifications and End Point Assessment
The IMI is working very closely with regulators and government bodies to ensure it can effectively support learners that are due to achieve qualifications and Apprenticeship End Point Assessments though the use of technology.
Extension to Accreditation Expiry Dates
The IMI has extended the renewal dates for individuals who have an IMI Accreditation due. This aims to enable time for IMI centres to plan re-accreditation events, following what will hopefully be a short term impact on a large number of educational organisations staying at home.
Supporting IMI Partners with On-Line eLearning
Any IMI Partners that had previously only accessed IMI eLearning off-line have been given online access for the next six months, so that they can support their learners remotely.
Providing instant access to claimed certificates, the IMI has made a full switch to digital certification.
Nash said: “These are incredibly challenging times for everyone, but we know that our role at the IMI is to ensure we support our members and IMI Centres to best manage their current operational needs.
“That includes operating our Legal Helpline to assist any members who are concerned about their working conditions or employment contract.”