irtec licensing scheme opens consultation, following transport review13 August 2010

IRTE's technician licensing scheme irtec is moving its engineering with the times, and asking the transport industry to contribute to the licence's future direction.

The move follows a review of the decade-old technician benchmarking scheme by the irtec steering committee, which comprises specialists from transport industry manufacturers, operators and training providers.

Members of the committee now say they want to give the industry an opportunity to shape the scheme for the future, starting with this consultation process.

IRTE head of operations and communications Ian Chisholm makes the point that, as a renewable licensing scheme, irtec demonstrates a technician's current competence to practice.

However, he adds: "It is the job of the steering committee to ensure that the scheme reflects current industry requirements. This consultation will lead to a refreshed licence at renewal, guaranteeing a demonstration of current ability," he says.

Two areas that the irtec steering committee intend initially to focus on are revising the 'Service Maintenance Technician' grade, and introducing a further 'Inspection Technician' level.

Developed in 2000 by the IRTE, irtec remains a voluntary assessment scheme, certifying the competence of technicians working in the commercial vehicle, trailer and passenger carrying industries.

Earlier this year, IRTE entered into a joint arrangement with IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) to strengthen irtec's aims to improve industry competence and standards. IRTE and IMI are currently working together on irtec initiatives.

Brian Tinham

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