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IMI unveils new accreditation scheme for automotive managers

Following collaboration between employers and other key industry partners in the sector, the IMI has launched a new, innovative management and leadership solution for the automotive industry.

Automotive Management Accreditation (AMA) will work on a similar basis to the successful Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) scheme but is the first accreditation scheme to address managerial needs specific to the sector. It has been designed to measure the competence of automotive managers and signpost development needs benefitting both individuals and the businesses for which they work.

Through extensive research and consultation with over 400 employers and industry stakeholders within the retail automotive industry, the IMI has established that managers often lack support in gaining skills to operate as effective managers and leaders. Less than 18% of managers within the retail automotive industry have gained a Level 4 qualification or assessed training programme compared to the average in all others sectors of 45% and with the sector facing some very real challenges in the next decade , development of strategic and operational management skills is vital.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme at the CBI conference centre in London, Linda Stansfield, Chief Operating Officer at the IMI said:
"With Automotive Management Accreditation, we have tried to develop a product which addresses the previous concerns with management training, but still offers a robust assessment of competence based along similar lines to the ATA model. Overall, it's a powerful solution to help bring about a cultural shift to improve management and leadership development, business improvement and professionalism within the sector."

The AMA assessment process against defined critical competencies takes a maximum of one day and is carried out in the workplace, thus reducing the time away from the business and because it is carried out in this environment, it can indicate wider business development opportunities beyond those of the individual candidate. Managers who are accredited at level 3 (first-line manager), level 5 (middle manager) or level 7 (senior manager) retain their accreditation for a period of five years. Those who achieve accreditation will be placed on a Professional Register and will be offered opportunities for continuous professional development on industry management and leadership issues.


There is a flexible three way assessment approach to AMA:

1. An assessor can visit businesses to help employers with limited management and leadership provision. The AMA website ( lists current approved centres with AMA assessors.
2. If an employer or training provider has an existing management and leadership programme, assistance can be given to map the programme against the AMA competencies. The employers own management and leadership trainers can be accredited to assess the AMA programme internally, providing a cost effective model.
3. AMA can be positioned as the assessment at the end of any programme providing the delegates with industry wide recognition.

The launch of the scheme follows a successful pilot involving managers from across the sector including representatives from Autoglass, Colin Appeyard Cars, Ford Retail UK, Jaguar Landrover, Mill Autoquip and Scania.

Commenting on the success of the pilot, Steve Scofield, Head of the Accreditation Academy at the IMI said:
"All of the AMA pilot candidates surveyed felt that the assessment had been very worthwhile and they had benefited personally from undertaking it. An over-riding comment was that the AMA assessment highlighted to them the breadth of the role that they undertook. The measurable impacts on business performance from the initial case studies include an increase in accessory sales of 54%, an increase in customer survey scores and a reduction in staff absence."

Governance, moderation and administration of the scheme is the responsibility of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional association and Sector Skills Council for the automotive retail industry.



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