Latest petition for industry licencing is still long way off target despite widespread calls

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  • #169262 Reply

    The latest petition to call for industry licencing is still a long way off target despite poll findings which found that almost 90 per cent of those working in the automotive retail sector agreeing that some form of licence to practise is needed. Join the debate and let us know your thoughts on licencing.

    [See the full post at: Latest petition for industry licencing is still long way off target despite widespread calls]

    #169301 Reply

    Well to be honest, I can’t see it ever happening in my time in the trade and I have been in it around 35 years. The lecturers used to talk about a trade license back in the 1980’s, and back then we had limited vehicles with electronic ignition systems. Now we have everything you could dream up arriving on the streets and in our garages. While garages (Some anyway) would welcome a regulated system, some garages are owed and run by people in our trade who would not know a combination spanner from a ratchet, and the very government you ask for the license system from believe that people don’t need to be trained technicians anyway, so you flogging a dead horse. However, I’d sign your petition as a qualified technician.

    #169302 Reply
    Andrew Puddifer

    There are rubbish Mechanics who are qualified and there are DIYers who are fantastic, You can’t tell the difference untill they start working for you. However if the Business at which they work is registered and has quality standards then there should be no problem employing unqualified staff,Its the business who is then responsible for any shortcomings. What really gets my back up is the number of mechanics who use their employers premises to do Hobbles in the evenings and weekends as part of their pay.

    #169303 Reply

    This trade should be licensed for several reasons. First there is the safety element, modern vehicles do present similar risks to gas boilers and electricity in the home. These trades are licensed for good reason.

    I don’t accept that this will incur additional costs to the business because I maintain that all garages should have properly trained and qualified technicians from the day they opened up, regardless if that was 30 years ago or this morning. Those that don’t will have to achieve the qualifications or not work on a vehicle. To me it is that simple.
    I am an ATA Master Technician, as a one man band, the training and qualifications cost me thousands of pounds not to mention the time and commitment. I am constantly undercut or lose work to those in the trade that have little or no formal training and qualifications. These guys then go onto misdiagnose faults, fit sub standard parts which then makes the job harder. Eventually these cars do end up with a qualified technician and a customer who has lost faith in the trade and short of money. Its a lose lose situation for everyone involved.

    The average motorist walking into garage has no clue who is handing his her keys to.
    We all owe it to the motorist to provide a service by a qualified technician who will diagnose and repair each job correctly.

    Licensing is good for our customers and our trade. Its a win win. If garages that cannot or will not meet the correct standards then they will have step aside. That is fair for all.

    #169304 Reply
    Steph Savill

    Garages, used car sales dealers and tyre centres should be regulated and all service/repair/sales/fitting staff need to be licensed to do their job. As they’ll have to be come electric cars and insurance cover. The IMI can and does offer this accreditation already – called the IMI Professional Register. Imho a good DIYer is not the professional image we need. Regulation needs the industry (inc membership associations like SMMT and RMI) and government to want it. But how many have to die first re unsafe used car sales, shoddy repairs and/or secondhand/part worn tyres from garages/mechanics that won’t join in/train etc. Could it be that the Government earns too well from CTSI fees from copycat TMO, TMG, Bosch, RAC etc industry schemes? Or that motorists are used to comparison schemes to buy cheapest available, not realising the risks they run.

    #169305 Reply

    I think this would find more support in the trade it was clear how those already in the trade could get a licence.
    Personally I did pretty well in the City & Guilds exams but that was 43 years ago, would I qualify ?

    #169306 Reply

    My personal opinion on a type of license for a mechanic or technician is very important, ive been a mechanic for over 20 years now.the amount of guys working in this trade without any prior training or qualification is very high. the guys have no theory of the job and the general jist you get is mechanics come ten a penny. but how is this true ? i think the trade should be governed as do gas fitters etc, face it our job is just as important with lives at stake if a big error has happened.
    Also if the trade become governed as such the true mechanic would be able to get the wage they deserve instead of the low wage stucture this automotive industry has.
    Also a lot of garages owners wont agree because they like to use cheap labour, i am currently seeing the yearly wage rise but still compare this to other trades where there work is regulated, i do agree with some points people have posted such as some qualified mechanics are crap and some diy’ers are very very good. take the mot scheme for example, some testers and garages are rubbish some are really good. its very hard to police and the changes they made are a step forward to combating this.

    #169308 Reply

    Steph Savill, the IMI are doing their bit to try and secure a license for the trade, however I’ve been around a long time and I am a member of the IMI at level IV, and was accepted at level IV as a member when the IMI accepted me after my training to become a member.

    I can advise this about the IMI, my experience has shown that the IMI have shown little interest in their members in my working life time, and that is now over 30 years. During my career in my day I turned to the IMI for further guidance and training after achieving my City & Guilds back in the 80’s, however the IMI then either ignored my requests or basically fobbed me off with conversations along the lines of the IMI are not here to helpt their members move up the ladder in engineering, we are a management organisation. How times have changed the outlook of the IMI when the government funding dried up, and now government handouts are not forthcoming that easy for any organisation to get their hands on anymore, hence from the outside we always see the organisations then starting to look to the public for their goals.

    I agree the IMI are doing a lot now with training but my feelings are that has only occurred because like any organisation, the IMI need a financial income, and if its not from government then there is only the public left, and in our trade they generally go for the Trading Standards route. I really don’t think anything will change in reality.

    #169309 Reply
    Michael Ball

    Unfortunately, the sad fact of the matter is, that it is probably going to take to take the death of a mechanic/technician or two that doesn’t get suppressed by the government and becomes widely publicised, before any positive action is taken by the powers that be.
    The general motoring public have absolutely no idea at all of the technical complexity built into the vehicle that they expect to work faultlessly day after day, year after year, and be serviced by people they assume to have the correct skills and knowledge.
    Operatives within the “Trade” tend to be a pretty innovative and intuitive bunch, which has enabled them to bungle their way through the introduction of electronic ignition, injection systems and more recently, turbos on family saloon cars and DPF’s etc, etc.
    The licensing and registration of fully qualified Motor Vehicle Technicians, making it an offence to work on motor vehicles if not so registered, should have been brought into effect many, many years ago. NOW IT BECOMING A MATTER OF URGENCY. Is there not one organisation out there that has the power and determination to bring this about, or are they all toothless, simply paying lip service to the government of the day. After all, where do the politicians get there chariots of glory serviced and repaired?
    Must we wait for people to die in the execution of their work because of their own ignorance? Or will some Government body step in and do the sane thing regardless of the difficulties involved? BTW I’ve been in the trade some 56 years, am still fully active and in Nov 2017 did the EV & Hybrid Level 3 course, hoping to do level 4 later this, God willing. Thank you.

    #169310 Reply

    It would be just another excuse to take money from people it would not change a thing in the trade i have had some of the best on paper who were utter crap and some kerbside mechanics who were absolutely brilliant

    #169312 Reply

    You’re all so anxious to have licensing and regulation Yet when the DVSA introduce any sort of change or new regulation (which are always intended to raise standards), the vast majority do nothing but whine and complain.

    Be careful what you wish for people.

    #169313 Reply

    I think the problem stems from ‘lack of balance’ in the trade. I have always been responsible for my own training to back up my practical experiences in the workshop, however when you branch off to higher education then nothing really learned there is of much value to the garage shop floor because what an employer needs there is really a nuts and bolts type of person who can get the job out, while specialist training like auto-electrics is also not really delved into deeply in higher education either, therefore organisations like Bosch who specialize in this subject are the better places to go if the person wants a job on the shop floor. My long term experience now tells me if I had my time over again, and I could know what I know today, I’d look for something else as a job because the motor trade is the most poorly paid and disrespected professional trade I know of when I compare it to other trades.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the way advanced technology has gone in modern vehicles that manufacturers and their designers will not take into consideration the outside trade during the design of diagnostic investigations. Why should they?

    Modern vehicles (if you believe that) are capable of communication directly with the manufacturers and dealers now, thus faults that are developing on a vehicle now but have not reached the point of failure can be assessed on the vehicle by technology and is now being electronically booked into the dealers automatically and the driver can be advised through the instrument display of the said vehicle. Sound good, seems the latest idea, maybe heard it in a Bosch Master Tech training course! Please be advised, nothing brought to the attention of the trade today is new, all this technology was around a very long time ago and back in the 1980’s through my early college years when I learned about it. The wheel cannot be reinvented by sitting back a generation or two and then bringing back old ideas and making them new again.

    #169315 Reply
    Eddie Bamber

    A licence system is long overdue. Why can I not connect my gas cooker hose to it’s bayonet fitting on the mains pipe, but the gasman can come and do a brake overhaul on my Ferrari without any training ?. Both trades as lethal as each other if you don’t do them right ( by the way, I don’t own a Ferrari but you know what I mean ! ).

    #169316 Reply

    I find it interesting that the gas regulation is always brought up when the motor trade is questioned. The gas regulations don’t make that much difference in reality. Two practical examples I’ll provide;

    1 / We have gas central heating in our workshops, about three years ago the heating system failed to work. We contacted a gas approved engineer (Now there is a statement) who came to look at the heater and told us the gas bench inside the heater unit had failed. The gas engineer installed a new one at considerable cost and even after being fitted and so called repaired, by the licensed approved experts, we still needed to light the heater using our own gas butane bottle to light the pilot each time because the EXPERTS fixed the heating system correctly with their licensed approved industry. That problem is still present today.

    2 / Last year the heating system failed again, we contacted another approved gas engineer, he came out and diagnosed the gas bench faulty, again at considerable cost. Remember he is a competent gas approved engineer. After fitting the new bench the heater would not work. At this point in the repair service the gas engineer now decides (Maybe he should check the gas supply!) The gas engineer finds there is no gas supply to the bench. The approved gas engineer cannot touch the metered gas supply were the gas regulating valve had failed and the gas board had to call out to change the valve, and then the heater worked OK, but even now we still have to light the pilot manually, were the pilot should remain lit on its own.

    A license system will change nothing at all. The only option that might work is if government enforced a quality checking procedure on each business from management to service reception to the technicians repairing the vehicles, using fines and penalty points with the real threat of loosing your job might do it, however, the government won’t invest in it and no technician would skill up or work for the minimum wage plus a stupid bonus scheme. Hobbyists and DIY repairers don’t have thousands and thousands of pounds invested in diagnostic tools and equipment to do the job, and they don’t spend hundreds of pounds per month on diagnostic software updates and technical data service providers fees. While the hobbyist/DIYer might be OK at changing a few tyres, brake pads and exhausts etc, tell the DIYer to carryout a diagnostic procedure to find the root cause of failure of say a P0170 fault code, and leave them to it!

    We need to keep the Motor Trade professional, no untrained staff, no unlicensed staff, owners or otherwise, no gimmick low paid wages anymore, and everyone in the team respected for their value and support to the business as a whole, irrelevant of whether at aTa service technician level, diagnostic level or Master Tech level. Nobody is any better than the others at the end of the day, I know Master Techs who struggle with some levels of diagnostics, were others understand it. The training is only an introduction to understanding, and what you do with that introduction either makes or breaks you, not the title you gain from it.

    #169319 Reply

    We talk about licensing. We should emphasise the fact that what we really mean is that Technicians working on cars should have up to date training and qualifications so they are then capable of doing the job.

    Right now the MasterTech training and Exam falls short in the complex modern vehicle. That is why we see some Master Techs struggle.
    How many Master Techs have any of you seen making good use of an oscilloscope ?

    Up to date training an qualifications is what needs to be within this licensing. The IMI are only there to take our money and give little in return.

    #169314 Reply
    Phil Cake

    Who can automatically be issued a licence ? As already mentioned, i know a few, there are guys with no formal NVQ OR CGLI certificates, but wipe the floor against others with so many certs.they are the top of our industry but when you talk in depth about CAN and LIN systems they look at the floor and say ‘durr ?. As already mentioned loads of techs(so called) have shed loads of qualifications but are crap.Guess i am oldest so far to respond (45 years in trade, 32 years own business). As mentioned it would be yet another pen pushing quantifying company to get a licence at huge fees to fill their coffers. The business owner takes on the responsibility of their technicians and be the ones who hold the licence and be responsible for the quality,knowledge, and capabilities of their staff and be held responsible. There are already things in place such as the RMIF trust my garage scheme. Responders have already highlighted the good,the bad, the ugly. Tall order who/how it would be introduced and then be policed.

    #169328 Reply
    Brad Doulton

    “kid dies after being abducted” Law brought in.
    “kid dies after dad messed up their brakes” No one cares.

    Says it all really.

    #169374 Reply

    We’re not doing too bad, the petition has 771 signatures, we only need another 99229 before the government start seriously looking for reasons to fob it off. I think we can all have our say in our own belief about who is better or worse than others, however my understanding says to me that people looking for DIY’ers are just looking for cheap labour, where a licensed professional would cost money to employ.

    I admit my past Hybrid training is now dated and requires up-skilling. Today we have a customers Ampera in for rear brake discs and pads because another MOT station advised them correctly. The car was only in for the brakes and its still in now because for some unknown reason the car won’t run on the electrics or kick start the engine into work, therefore stuck on the ramp till we find something preventing it moving. I personally did not work on this car today but tomorrow may end up looking at it, this being because I’m the only person with any previous training in Hybrids. Interesting to understand where the owner of a business would be with a garage full of DIY’ers who are better than trained people when they unplug and touch the orange cables, or do something through lack of training and end up dead in the workshop.

    #169484 Reply
    John Hancock

    I an now 68yrs old doing the job since 16 went to college did city and guilds imi irte had my own business since 1979.There will always be good mechanics and those who will blag there way through and joe public on the whole doesn’t seem to care as long as there car passes mot as cheap as possible they will use a dodgy tester thinking he’s their friend tells them get the job done later. I have always tried to be honest and fair.But i know find myself surrounded by small one man or 2 man garages who are cheap supply second hand tyres and generally are incapable of doing a good job through usually having no basic training. The training now is a joke level 2 not worth the paper its on. My college 1st year was 9 till 9. our apprentice goes 9 till 4.The whole system needs a new direction and even in the 1970s we were told at college there will be a license required soon to work on vehicles, it all comes down to politicians who want to be seen to be helping the motorist but on the other hand they are taking off us as much as they can,we need to educate the motorist and show we are a professional group and not a load of crooks and dodgy dealers as portrayed by tv soaps. I have always wanted a license system but i doubt i may not see it.

    #169489 Reply

    John, I completely agree with all you say there. I think there are a breed of people nowadays that don’t want professional people anymore, this is something that some people in our trade recognize and many probably do not. Yesterday I was talking to one of our customers who has just given up driving due to old age, she was (I didn’t see it at the outset) making up a story about people who are educated and made out to be upper glass and think they are better than the rest. She tried to make it out to be about her daughter living down the south of England, however I only realized today that maybe she was referring to me? My boss and the other bloke I work with are very good at blagging people, my boss recently said to me that he had no interest in anything I had to say as more women are now coming through the doors at our place and they are easier to blag and get money out of. There is no training course available to sort that attitude of mind out. Eventually there will have to be a reconciliation of who stays and who goes, the human race can’t keep going on in the present way of things, sooner or later the system must collapse. You can forget peoples kids growing up in society and then calling them governments, you can forget the industries organisations like the IMI, IRTE, SMMT etc, nothing will become of any of them with regards to standardizing the motor trade, the government will just take a back seat until things settle down and let the system ride on as it always has. I’ve also been around long enough to know there is nothing there of any value.

    #169513 Reply
    Franco Di Lustro

    You can’t open a restaurant without the local council vetting you business. Taxi firms have very stringent MOT via the councils. I just found out two local tyre/exhaust fitters have opened their own service center, offering service brake repairs with out any technical knowledge. I also know they have by calling local workshop for quotes on repairs and undercut them. How long will they last in business? Until something major happens and they get founpd out. Then health and safety officials start looking only after an incident. I opened my business six years ago now and have done everything by the book. I’m a member of RMI and Aa approved. The AA take a very close look even check jack calibration certificate. I pay a price for this and has to be reflected in our labour charges. Joe blogs down the road or even a kerb side mechanic can undercut all of us who invested large sums of money on training equipment. It’s a big like the corner shop use it or lose it. Unless some form of licensing comes in I fear for my industry and where it’s heading.

    #169750 Reply

    I own and run a large mot and repair centre in Essex . We have been open for 10 years now . It seems like every year there is a new way of doing things which generally means more cost bigger overheads to us .
    I agree there should be some sort of licensing in place . But I fear the cost will come back down to us . I also feel there should be more stringent checks on the bigger corporations in our field . I do think a lot of the scare mongering comes from higher up . From say exhaust and tyre places and us smaller concerns are left to calm and reassure the public we are not all out to rip them off .

    #169751 Reply
    graham cox

    I agree with everything that has been raised,the issue is the government lacking the balls to implement a scheme for the motor trade.
    I went on two occasions to david Cameron and sat in his office and he told me “I have no idea about the motor trade and you should sort the issues out yourself” I have a letter in my reception telling me the department of transport have no idea about hybrid or electric cars signed by the prime minister FACT
    this is what the French did and they got results on fuel
    any one like to join me ??

    #170111 Reply
    Rob S

    It seems to me like as an industry we need to put our own house in order. As others have said there are some truly awful ‘qualified technicians’ and some excellent on the job trained mechanics. I really don’t think a licensing system will make any difference, just adding cost and excessive regulation to an already heavily regulated industry. After all every vehicle is subject to an annual check by an independent specialist, I dont have to do that with my Gas boiler or Electrical System if I choose not to.

    I suggest that this is another route for the vehicle manufacturers to stifle the independent sector further, and add cost and regulation for little benefit to either the consumer or the industry.

    #170117 Reply

    Garage MOT centre owner – I believe all persons that work on any motor vehicle for payment must be licensed and made accountable for the repairs done, employers in the motor trade that repair motor vehicles will not be able to employ so called mechanics/technicians without the correct documents. There are very good semi skilled mechanics out there GET qualified, it’s never too late.
    By restricting only qualified repairers the quality should increase for repairs being more safer vehicles on our roads. THE MOTOR INDUSTRY TODAY TO MAINTAIN A MOT GARAGE IS VERY EXPENSIVE and to be honest people don’t moan if they need a plumber/sparky and have to pay but the times l get customers state l use to do this as if it a simple trade to be in yea right – thanks for reading.

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