Standards of vehicle repair matter to insurers and brokers of course. With the rapid progress being made by car manufacturers on LiDAR and camera equipped bumpers and bodywork, it’s crucial that all safety systems, ADAS features and more are calibrated and signed off by trained technicians before a repaired car is put back on the road.
This skillset has an important role to play in motor claims, so Thatcham Research has been on-boarding 15 ADAS and EV technology learners, during a virtual realisation week which began on 29 March.
The new cohort met one another along with their Thatcham Research tutors, trainers, assessors, and safeguarding officer via Microsoft Teams. Online sessions for the Vehicle Damage Assessor (VDA) apprentices will continue through the week, including a virtual tour of Thatcham Research’s state of the art Academy workspaces using ‘mixed reality device’ HoloLens.
Dean Lander, head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research who joined the online session to greet the group on Monday, said: “We are really pleased to welcome our latest VDA apprentices, and to do so using the latest technologies to create a seamless blended learning programme. Lockdown has created huge barriers to apprenticeship development, but we have adapted the delivery of learning to ensure continual supply of the essential skills the repair industry needs.”
The apprentices, from insurers Allianz, LV=, and Hastings Direct, and independent repairers Motorfix and S&P Brisley, will attend the Thatcham Research Academy to undertake the physical aspects of their training in a Covid-safe environment from June. This will be combined with digital learning modules accessed via ecademy, Thatcham Research’s online technical awareness programme.
They will learn the manual processes of assessing and costing repair of a vehicle and get to grips with electronic estimating software. In addition, the cohort will develop their knowledge of all vehicle types, from Internal Combustion Engine to electric and hybrid vehicles, along with the latest developments in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
Thatcham Research’s next in-take for the Vehicle Damage Assessor programme will begin in September.