Industry Demand For Vehicle Damage Assessment Satisfied

Vehicle Damage Assessors’ requirements for ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) competency were given a boost today (9th April) as Sarah Sillars, Chief Executive of the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry), officially opened the country’s first dedicated training facility for vehicle damage assessors.

Invited guests including Chief Claims Officer at Zurich Financial Services Ltd and new chairman of the Thatcham board, Bill Paton, saw the curtain raised on the exciting new venture, which will answer the ATA demand of more than 3,000 vehicle estimators from up and down the country.

The academy, which covers over 370 square metres, features 2 large vehicle assessment bays and also benefits from 2 fully equipped classrooms to provide a modern learning facility for up to 12 delegates each day. Having been operational since mid-February, the centre has already successfully trained more than 70 estimators on the B47 - Advanced Vehicle Damage Assessor course. Later this month, the centre will begin to offer the ATA for ‘Bodyshop Estimator’ and going forward will look to expand the training offering to include courses such as ‘escribe explored’.

Thatcham’s Chief Operating Officer, Jason Moseley, who was instrumental in establishing Thatcham’s first regional training base, said “The new Automotive Academy is further evidence of Thatcham and the motor insurer’s commitment to facilitating safe vehicle repair, the basis of which is accurate vehicle assessment.  This facility will provide those pursuing Kitemark certification with the perfect environment in which to prove their competence”.

In opening the new centre, Chief Executive of the IMI, Sarah Sillars, said:

“Raising skill levels to help businesses make a better return is a major objective for the IMI, and we’re delighted at the support from Thatcham and all major insurers, body repair businesses and suppliers in driving forward this ambition. Thatcham’s new Automotive Academy epitomises the IMI’s ‘Proud to be professional’ campaign, which is about improving standards of workmanship and the credibility of the motor industry and we wish it every success.”

9 April 2008 Staff

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