With the goal to ensure consistently high standards in technician competence for accident repair – taking into account the rapid technical development of driver assist systems moving ever closer to higher levels of vehicle autonomy, plus the rapid transition to electric vehicle becoming the new norm – the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has created a new Sector Advisory Group.
The Accident Repair Sector Advisory Group, set to meet for the first time on Wednesday 2nd October 2019 at Thatcham Research HQ, will provide a forum to examine the current skills standards in accident repair and how they need to adapt for future automotive technology advances in order to provide motorists, insurers and bodyshops with confidence in technician competencies.
The Sector Advisory Group will provide valuable industry insights to support the IMI’s qualification, accreditation and Professional Register to ensure it evolves in line with the needs of the automotive sector, today and in the future. It also aims to tackle the lack of consistency in skills standards that currently exist because apprenticeship standards are different across the four nations.
The ambition of the new Advisory Group is to achieve consistency across all skills recognition solutions to ensure their acceptance and use in wider industry standards such as BS10125. And, as well as influencing the development of IMI products and services, it hopes to share its insights with the Accident Repair and Glazing trailblazer groups responsible for updating Apprenticeship Standards in England. In addition, it aims to work with the groups engaged in National Occupational Standards redevelopment which will influence the devolved nations qualifications and apprenticeship frameworks.
Steve Scofield, Head of Business Development at the IMI said: “The establishment of Sector Advisory Groups is critical to ensure that the interests of automotive industry professionals, from all sub-sectors, are fully taken into account in the work of the IMI and our ability to influence positive, consistent and timely change for the industry as a whole. We believe that both the Accident Repair and Glazing sectors particularly need support because of the very rapid pace of change currently being seen, from advances in windscreen technology to innovations in drivetrain and body repair techniques. And, importantly, this new Industry Advisory Group will ensure IMI Expert Working Groups across the board have the clarity to refine the detail needed in each skills solution.
“All of these developments offer motorists a safer driving experience and provide insurers with the comfort that the repairs will return the vehicle to pre-accident condition – as long as repairs are carried out properly by fully competent technicians. This is the big challenge right across the automotive sector – from bodyshops and repair garages, to insurers assessing and managing damage claims.”
Comprising IMI members and industry stakeholders who bring unique perspectives and expertise, the new Advisory Group will fully represent the diversity of the sector as well as the diversity of the IMI membership.
“In this ever changing industry, we need to stay informed” concluded Steve Scofield. “We are, therefore, constantly looking at ways in which we can ensure industry standards are maintained consistently high in line with current technologies and developments – as well as anticipating future innovation.”