MCIA backs motorcycle mechanics

New initiative set to raise benchmark for mechanics

The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA) is backing the development of a groundbreaking initiative to recognise the skills of motorcycle technicians and raise standards of servicing and repair.

First introduced into the light vehicle sector in 2005, the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme has the involvement of all the major motorcycle manufacturers, with an expected launch in early 2007, following a comprehensive pilot programme, now underway.

ATA is a voluntary assessment scheme which recognises proven technical competence and knowledge, raises the professional status and credibility of skilled individuals, provides a benchmark for technician recruitment and career development and is helping to improve consumer confidence in the retail motor sector.

Having first signed a code of conduct, a technician must pass a series of practical tasks and an on-line knowledge test, adjudicated by an ATA-registered assessor. Successful individuals are issued with a unique photo identity card, valid for five years and are listed on the ATA web-site. Accredited technicians must be re-assessed after five years to maintain their credentials. The assessments are based upon National Occupational Standards, to ensure they evolve with changing skills requirements and future innovations in technology.

As with the existing model for car technicians, there will be two routes to achieving ATA status for motorcycle technicians, both independently monitored by the IMI, to ensure a consistent process:

- Via an ATA approved assessment centre, such as an independent automotive training provider or college of further education.

- Via an ATA approved vehicle manufacturer assessment programme.

Governance, moderation and administration of Automotive Technician Accreditation is the responsibility of The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional association for individuals employed in the retail motor industry and also the leading awarding body for vocational qualifications in the automotive sector.

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