The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced the launch of a common standard for automotive management and leadership across the sector. The ‘Automotive Management and Leadership Competency Framework’ aims to ensure consistency of managerial training across the sector and a reduction in replication of training. Currently a large amount of training is replicated when managers move from one franchise or manufacturer to another. The common standard allows professionals to transfer mapped programmes or qualifications if they move from one company to another.

The IMI unifies managerial training under Common Standard

So far 29 manufacturers and dealer groups have engaged with the IMI’s standard and 17 have completed mapping of their management training programs against it. Early adopters involved in the project include the likes of Vauxhall, Toyota GB, Sytner, Marshalls and fleet management company ARI Fleet. Whilst major organisations have been involved with the initial introduction, independent operators can also benefit from the scheme through IMI Automotive Management Accreditation (AMA) which formed the basis for development of the new standard. This means that independents will, for the first time, be able to match their management credentials to industry agreed standards.

The IMI has created the standard after it was approached by the automotive Human Resources Directors Forum, who represent the larger dealers in the UK, to find ways of delivering cost savings and maximising the career potential of managers in the sector – it is also anticipated that external recognition of automotive management training will enhance the appeal of careers in the sector.

The IMI’s CEO Steve Nash commented:

“The IMI common standard for automotive management training makes resounding common sense in a sector which spends over £100 million training per year. With a strong focus on technical competencies, the automotive retail sector has, for too long, failed to recognise the impact of management training on the bottom line.

Because of this there have been no previous efforts to unite management training programmes under a common framework. This has led to a crazy situation where organisations are replicating up to 90% of their training programs when a manager moved between brands with huge cost implications for the sector. With this external, independently verified, standard in place this in now finally set to change.”

The announcement comes on the back of results of an IMI study, released in April, which found significant return on investment from management training interventions of up to 212%. The IMI has previously warned automotive employers not to disregard management training if they wish to maximise business potential and is anticipating that the launch of the common standard will further encourage improvements in this area.