irtec accreditation: the penny finally drops 05 January 2016

Welcome to 2016: the year in which irtec (the IRTE’s technician licensing scheme) looks set to lead training agendas. It may have been a long time coming, but, with fleets the size of Sainsbury’s now routinely requiring irtec accredited technicians at all contracted R&M suppliers, the penny is finally dropping.

High time. John Parry – former DHL engineering director and long-time irtec steering group chairman – has spent years railing against a status quo where technicians servicing trucks, trailers, buses and coaches don’t need a licence to practice. It is an extraordinary situation. Even more so, given the weight of legislation surrounding the rest of transport, and the omission’s obvious potential for disaster.

Now, however, commercial pressures are changing minds. Why? Because operators of all sizes are increasingly worried about the legal consequences of any failure under duty of care. Should a fleet vehicle be involved in a serious incident, and questions be raised about its maintenance, they’d better be able to prove the currency and competency of the technicians who worked on it.

And with DVSA (the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), no less, choosing irtec for its own inspectors, plus the traffic commissioners publicly endorsing the scheme, irtec is the undisputed solution.

So momentum grows – with impetus added by irtec’s continuous expansion under the stewardship of IRTE. Meeting the evolving needs of workshops; extending the breadth and depth of vehicle coverage; and responding to the requirements of CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety) assessments... These are ticking all the right boxes.

To remain sustainable, though, irtec next needs to refocus on new technologies. As last month’s climate change conference, in Paris, made clear: tackling global warming requires radical rethinking.

A very happy new year to you and yours from all at TE.

Brian Tinham BSc CEng MInstMC FSOE FIPlantE FIRTE

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