Opinion Former Article

SOE: irtec relaunch puts technician skill first

irtec, the accreditation scheme certifying the theoretical and practical skills of technicians working in the commercial vehicle, trailer and passenger carrying industries, was relaunched today by scheme partners the IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

During a ceremony held at the IRTE's Westminster Head Office, IRTE president Chris Grime and IMI executive chair Sarah Sillars relaunched irtec in front of scores of leading industry representatives.

A renewable accreditation scheme, irtec demonstrates a technician's current competence in the marketplace. Following an extensive industry consultation, irtec has been revitalised and now includes an updated 'Service Maintenance Technician' level, as well as a brand new 'Inspection Technician' level, which were both trialled ahead of the launch and are now intrinsic to the scheme.

Many industry supporters of the scheme attended the event, including First UK Bus business improvement director, Graham Belgum, who spoke of FirstGroup's commitment to the redeveloped irtec package. He said: "Over the next few years, we plan to put all First Group technicians through irtec. The irtec assessments will be carried out on board our recently launched mobile training facility, which will work its way around the country assessing, and where required developing, our skilled technicians in order to give them a licence that recognises their competence."

Tony Shepherd, after sales services manager from DAF Trucks, which carried out a trial of the redeveloped irtec Service Maintenance Technician licence, explained the manufacturer is keen to promote this licence within its dealer network. He said: "The long term aim is to have all 'DAFcheck' inspection sheets, completed within a DAF dealership, signed by a technician who has been independently accredited by irtec, as being competent to carry out the Safety and Maintenance Inspection, in line with the VOSA and DAF requirements."

IRTE president Chris Grime explained that following appropriate analysis and planning, the results of the consultation and subsequent trials have led to a scheme that comprehensively demonstrates current ability. He said: "Since its launch, irtec has always demonstrated a technician's current ability. Now, as a result of the consultation and the IRTE's relationship with the IMI, irtec offers greater scope for the recognition of specific skills and qualities."

Sarah Sillars, IMI executive chair, said: "As the Sector Skills Council for the automotive retail industry, the relationship we have with the IRTE is an important one which paves the way for improved skills levels and recognition of a competency benchmark in the commercial vehicle sector."

Please visit www.irtec.org.uk for more information.

Ends

Editor's notes:

For irtec enquiries please contact:
. David Jones
Editorial & PR Coordinator
020 7630 1111

For IMI enquiries please contact:
. Simon Bennett
PR Executive
01992 511 521
simonb@motor.org.uk

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