Government reviewing Trailblazer standards

The sixth Collision Repair Trailblazer Group meeting was held at the Retail Motor Industry Federation in London on Thursday, 20 October.

Businesses and employers represented at this session were ABP Club; Barrett’s Group;  Department for Education (DFE); the IMI; Jaguar Land Rover UK; Liverpool Victoria Insurance; NCR Bodyshops; RMIF and Thatcham.

The two main themes were discussed at the meeting were: the submission of the three new apprentice standards to DFE for approval; the kick-off for defining the accompanying apprentice assessment plans to those standards.

Key Information coming out of the meeting was that the standards have been submitted to government and assigned to the Crown. The first review of those standards by DFE have commenced but not yet been completed. Final feedback and/or approval from DFE should be within six weeks but could be slower due to government organisational changes and ministers needing more time.

However, the feedback from the repair industry consultation via the web links direct to government has been poor – single figures. The group has agreed to continue with improving the communication channels and urged repairers to get involved.

Key Information coming out of the meeting on the development of the assessment plans was that the plans need to reflect an End Point Assessment (EPA) that gives an output of a quality apprentice equipped for the employer’s business requirements.

These EPA´s have to be executed by an independent organisation, not the training providers.  There is also new feature of ‘grading’ the apprentice to be included in the plans.

This trailblazer employer group will, further down the line, need to define who it wants to perform the assessments for the sector. The advice from DFE is that the best assessment plans deliver a ‘journey’ for the apprentices.

The group decided to start the development of the draft plans using the basis of information our industry already has defined such as the ATA competency tests.

The target of the group is to keep the plans, simple, robust, easy to understand and describe the assessment process in a graphical way.

The target date for submission of the EPA´s is March 2017, while the next Collision Repair Trailblazer Group meeting is on 1 December.