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Electric Vehicle Training Programme

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The SMMT and its partners are progressing with qualification and accreditation models to standardise electric vehicle (EV) training industry-wide.

The qualification and accreditation scheme was announced in May 2010 and is now being developed by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and Semta – the sector skills councils for the automotive retail and manufacturing industries – in partnership with the SMMT.

This programme will form the basis of a motor industry training scheme that will be offered by an automotive training provider network to ensure consistent understanding of EVs throughout manufacturing, the aftermarket, emergency services and breakdown recovery operators. The framework for the two key training programmes is in place and SMMT is now seeking the views of industry experts to refine the qualifications and accreditation before the January 2011 launch.

“Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are exciting new technologies that will become increasingly popular options for motorists, so it is essential that the people involved in service, repair and roadside assistance are properly prepared,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “The training and accreditation programme we are helping to develop will ensure consumers get the very best support and that this new technology has a smooth introduction to the marketplace.”

Encompassing the full spectrum of electric vehicles, including pure-EV and hybrids, the EV training programme will establish consistent technical competency levels, ensuring the safe and sustainable growth of the industry as technology begins to come to market.

The IMI programme will cater for the needs of service and repair outlets, emergency services, roadside assistance teams and retailers. The qualification will enable existing technicians and professionals to extend their skill set to EVs and will be maintained on a rolling three-year basis to ensure standards are maintained as technology develops.

The IMI EV programme will:

* Offer four Electric and Hybrid Vehicle related qualifications which include Awareness; Hazard Management; Maintenance Activities; Repair and Replacement.
* Provide a stand-alone module of the Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) to enable technicians to up-skill and to prove current competence.
* Deliver a ‘train the trainer’ programme aimed directly at the retail automotive network.

Semta’s suite of National Occupational Standards and qualifications encompass the needs of the emerging electric vehicle market to ensure standardisation and quality is achieved across the manufacturing sector.

The Semta EV programme will:

* Cater for those involved in all areas of production from concept to research and development, through design, manufacture and subsequent safe disposal.
* Identify and establish safety practices required for common usage of powerful batteries in all vehicles.
* Extend to vehicles of all wheel combinations, including military variants, heavy goods vehicles and buses.

While both IMI and Semta have existing consultation groups in place, SMMT is keen to open up the development and refinement of each training programme to all EV experts to ensure the developments create a best practice set of training standards that the whole industry can adopt.

To find out more or to join any of the following consultation groups, contact SMMT, evgweb@smmt.co.uk, by 25 October 2010.