The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), hosted an Electric Vehicle Advisory Group meeting last month with industry experts discussing the formation of appropriate Professional Standards to protect technicians working on electric and hybrid vehicles.
Since a recent poll of IMI members showed 98% called for regulation of technicians, the IMI has been leading efforts to secure minimum training standards for technicians working at different levels on electric and hybrid vehicles, from basic maintenance to full diagnostic and repair.
The IMI’s lobbying of the UK Government led to the Department for Transport (DfT) committing in its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy published July 2018 to work with the IMI to ensure the UK’s workforce of mechanics have the necessary skills to repair these vehicles safely.
The Electrical Vehicle Advisory Group will now determine the main factors that need to be considered in the Electric Vehicle Professional Standards, which will be developed over the coming months. Steve Nash, IMI Chief Executive, says: “There is a real imperative for accepted sector-wide EV Professional Standards before we ‘cross the chasm’ from early-adopters to the majority of consumers embracing EV’s in the 2020’s. The IMI is pro-actively developing EV Professional Standards based around existing EV qualifications, IMI Accreditation or accredited training; its code of professional behaviours, and a commitment to Continual Professional Development.
“The EV Sector Advisory Group meeting, where experts from across the industry had a chance to comment and contribute on the requirements, was important to shape the development of the standards that aim to benefit everyone. This is an evolving process and we look forward to further meetings in the months to come.
“Businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that their staff are appropriately trained, qualified and equipped to undertake work on vehicles which operate at potentially lethal voltages. As the industry’s professional body, we feel it is our job to help them define and be clear about what appropriate training and qualification actually means by agreeing and establishing common minimum standards for the industry.”