Autoglass® has become the first vehicle glass, repair and replacement organisation to introduce the highly regarded Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme into the auto glazing sector.
Autoglass® approached the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and Thatcham, the UK’s leading motor research centre, in 2004 to initiate the development of an industry-wide, voluntary accreditation scheme for auto glazing, as the sector previously lacked any benchmark standard of competence for auto glazing technicians. Since then, Autoglass® has worked closely with both organisations to develop and pilot the scheme.
The ATA Auto Glazing scheme will be progressively rolled out across the organisation to help ensure Autoglass® technicians safely deliver the best possible service standards to motorists. Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass®, commented:
“Technicians operating in the vehicle glass repair and replacement sector previously had no formal accreditation programme that related to their industry. Considering the importance of having a correctly fitted windscreen – it provides up to 30% of a vehicle’s structural strength – we believed it was time to put a formal accreditation scheme in place to ensure technicians across the industry were equipped to do their job safely and effectively.“The need for accredited professional technicians is greater than ever before, especially considering the techniques and specialist equipment required to install today’s complex vehicle glass. By working in partnership with the IMI and Thatcham, we will continue to provide peace of mind to our customers in knowing Autoglass® technicians are the best in the industry."
The ATA Auto Glazing scheme will enable vehicle glazing technicians to demonstrate their skills using a combination of training, on-going assessment and experience in the field. Technicians will be able to aim for three accreditation levels dependent on knowledge, skills and experience, ultimately leading to Master Auto Glazing Technician status. Those qualifying will be issued a unique photo identity card, to be used as recognition for their expertise.
Autoglass® technical trainer, Lyle Wheeler, was the first ATA Master Auto Glazing Technician in the UK to qualify from the scheme. He was presented with his ATA card by Alan Mackrill, director of learning and skills at IMI and Nigel Doggett, managing director, Autoglass® at a launch ceremony at the Autoglass® National Skills Centre on 5th October 2006. In addition, 9 further Autoglass® technicians were presented with their ATA card in recognition for achieving the Master Auto Glazing Technician standard.
“I’ve worked as an auto glazing technician for seven years and it’s a real honour to become an ATA accredited Master Auto Glazing Technician. It’s important to complete our work safely and get it right first time for our customers and the ATA Auto Glazing scheme ensures we have proven our competence to do just that. The best thing about the ATA Auto Glazing scheme is that it provides professional recognition for the commitment, skills and hard work that is required to achieve ATA status.”
Sarah Sillars, IMI chief executive, added:
“The introduction of an accreditation model in auto glazing is further testament to the industry’s growing demand for highly skilled people who are recognised for their competence and professional ethical conduct. The IMI is delighted to have worked with Autoglass and Thatcham in launching the ATA brand in this specialised sector, which will bring value and status to technicians and added reassurance to customers.”
Jason Moseley, director of quality & IT business systems at Thatcham, comments: “Thatcham, as an insurer funded research centre, is constantly looking at ways to ensure motorists are receiving a safe and quality service when they have their cars repaired. This new ATA Auto Glazing scheme is therefore a vital safeguard for customers and I congratulate all at Autoglass who have had the vision to realise that the demonstrable competence of their work force goes a long way to assuring confidence.”