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The IMI’s CEO, Steve Nash FIMI, looks back on a year of progress
The end of 2012/13 marks the halfway point of the work streams funded by the second round of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Investment Fund (EIF) and, as such, has been a year of intense activity at the IMI. As a newcomer into the role of CEO in 2013 I am extremely excited by what I have seen and believe the activities we are undertaking will go a long way to ensuring a bright future for the UK retail motor industry.
It would be remiss of me to begin this report without highlighting the progress made around the Professional Register, which forms the centrepiece of so much of our work, over the past year. The successful development of the public facing element of the Professional Register in 2012 ready for launch in April 2013 means that next year we can look forward to the Register playing a key role in raising standards in the sector, challenging public perceptions and ultimately helping to attract a new generation into the sector. IMI Members, Automotive Technician and Automotive Management accredited individuals who are listed on the Register can also look forward to a much higher profile going forward as a consumer promotion is due in the next year.
To support the register and help to meet skills needs across the sector, the IMI has also continued to develop its extensive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) partnership offering. Highlights of 2012/13 include the addition of courses from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and heavy vehicle manufacturer Scania. Courses aimed at helping automotive business managers were also added from providers such as Remit, Penny Mallory, Bodyshop Consulting and the Trading Standards Institute. I believe the IMI’s CPD portfolio is now one of the best training resources available in the sector and I hope to see the Professional Register successfully helping to promote it to a wider audience next year.
IMI membership continues to be of central importance to the IMI to fulfil its function as a professional body. Last year saw a 90% retention rate in membership despite difficult economic conditions and the IMI welcomed 876 new members. Aside from inclusion on the Professional Register for members with Licentiate grade or higher, from the 2013/14 membership year, we will introduce an exclusive member benefit for those members that hold Certificated Automotive Engineer (CAE) and Advanced Automotive Engineer (AAE) status. In partnership with Andrew Marsh of Auto Industry Insider we will be publishing quarterly technical updates exclusively for CAE and AAE members. These updates aim to help members to respond to rapidly-changing technological developments and best practice.
The IMI has also developed voluntary recognition standards specifically designed for automotive trainers and assessors. The Standards aim to benefit individuals and their employer by recognising a trainer’s or assessor’s track record and capability through experience, qualifications, achievements and CPD. Achievers of the Standard(s) will have the opportunity to use post-nominal letters which are assigned to the particular standard and level achieved, they will also be eligible to appear on the Professional Register. These post nominal letters are: Automotive Trainer Professional (ATP), Advanced Automotive Trainer Professional (AdATP), Automotive Assessor Professional (AAP) and Advanced Automotive Assessor Professional (AdAAP).
The IMI’s Member Association network also continued to be a core feature of membership and the 30 active MAs, run by volunteer members, provided 166 networking and CPD events for members across the country.