The Automotive Technician Accreditation scheme has announced a number of changes for 2012.
Responding to feedback from members, the parent body of the ATA, the IMI, has developed a new program designed to make ATA training: â€œmore accessible, flexible and cost-effective.â€
Firstly, re-accreditation procedure has been made more flexible. Until now those technicians wishing to re-accredit have had to repeat the full ATA assessment. Now thanks to the incoming changes Assessed Outcome Modules (AOMs) can be used as a method of re-accreditation. The modules are described as bite-sized assessments for technicians to prove they are maintaining the skill set required.
While the AOM system is currently only available for the light vehicle and accident and repair sectors, more modules will be introduced for remaining sectors over the next two years.
As well as those AOM introductions new vocational qualifications have also been introduced. Individuals holding a vocational qualification can achieve ATA status by completing a set course of AOMs.
Another benefit of the change is that those technicians re-accrediting using the AOM system will also be added to the IMI Professional Register free of charge. The IMI says it plans to have all ATA cardholders entered onto the register during 2013.
The validity period of ATA membership has also been updated, with all newly issued ATA cards being valid for three years. Head of the Accreditation Academy Steve Scofield said: â€œReducing the ATA validity period to three years is an important step towards streamlining ATA. It also better reflects the pace of change in our industry and the need to ensure that professionals are keeping their skills and knowledge up to date.â€
The ATA catalogue of skills training is continuing to expand as well, with the introduction of modules for cosmetic repair technician and vehicle inspection.