Thatcham Research launches ecademy

Thatcham Research has today announced the launch of a new online technical awareness programme called ecademy. Businesses working in the automotive repair sector can use ecademy to keep employees up-to-date with developments that may have a significant impact on repair processes.

‘The pace of change within our industry makes it challenging for repairers on two levels,” explained Dean Lander, head of repair sector services. ‘Firstly, when we surveyed customers recently, specific concerns were raised about the impact of ADAS, hybrid and electric vehicles and new materials such as carbon fibre on future training needs. Secondly, customers cited the biggest barrier for training was not being able to afford time out of the business, creating a no-win situation. ecademy is a product to help our customers overcome these barriers.

‘In other industries learning management systems have long-since proved an effective method for delivering training. Of course, where in-depth subject knowledge or accreditations are an essential part of a role, nothing beats the face-to-face practical training courses we offer at our Automotive Academy. But reaching a level of technical awareness in a wide range of subjects is achievable through good quality online content – a sentiment that 87% of those who took part in our survey agreed with.’

Less than a quarter (22%) of the companies surveyed by Thatcham Research said that they were confident that all areas of their business understand the technical issues faced by repairers.

Dean said, ‘Ensuring a level of technical competence across all touchpoints is reassuring to customers that everyone in the business is well informed, from the customer service representatives to those on the bodyshop floor. The technical content within ecademy not only suits technicians looking to consolidate their knowledge and experience, but also suits recently qualified apprentices, claims handlers, valet teams and other customer-facing staff.’

Features within the ecademy portal include: CPD-approved interactive modules in subjects such as ADAS and calibration, hybrid and electric vehicles and vehicle design and materials; progress tracking via learner and manager dashboards; access to additional Thatcham resources such as new vehicle releases and technical bulletins; communication with other learners via an online forum.