When it comes to renewing Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) status after three years, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has introduced a series of update units for individuals, as an alternative to doing a full assessment.

Called ATA Update Modules, the renewal option has been developed to help employers reduce costs whilst maintaining an accredited workforce.

ATA Update Modules related to Autoglazing, Customer Service and Motorcycle are the being launched following the successful introduction of Accident Repair, Light Vehicle and Light Vehicle Inspection modules earlier in the year.

The modular routes have been developed in collaboration with relevant industry stakeholders to ensure they reflect up-to-date job roles and appropriate changes to processes and technology. All routes are ‘Quality Assured’ by the automotive Awarding Organisation, IMI Awards.

Commenting on the introduction of the ATA Update Modules to provide a flexible approach to keeping staff accredited, Linda Stansfield, the IMI’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“In response to our continuing dialogue with ATA stakeholders, the new update modules have been designed as ‘bite-size’ assessments, which ensure that individuals can demonstrate their current competence in a cost-effective manner without having to retake the full assessment.  The IMI will be offering ATA Update Modules for all other ATA routes in due course.”

Additionally, to improve opportunities for individuals to achieve their first ATA, holders of vocational qualifications such as NVQ, SVQ or VCQ, can now gain accreditation by completing the required number of ATA Update Modules within a three-year period.

In readiness for the Government’s digital radio switchover in 2015, a new ATA route, Digital Radio Installation Technician, is being launched at the Drive 2 Digital conference in London on the 5 November 2012.

Aimed at specialist auto-electricians and retailers of in-car audio equipment, the new half day assessment at an ATA Approved Centre will measure competence in the installation of digital antennae and DAB adaptor kits, as well as the replacement of DAB head units and fault diagnosis.

The development of these ATA routes forms part of a wider Government sponsored initiative with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to ensure that the current and future skills needs of the sector are met.