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Roll out of new qualification for automotive retailers


A nationally recognised qualification in vehicle sales has been officially launched as part of a strategy for tackling showroom staff attrition rates of up to 40% per annum, improving business performance and enhancing the public perception of car retailing.

Developed by the industry in association with Automotive Skills, the new Certificate (level 2) and Diploma (level 3) in Vehicle Sales will be awarded, exclusively, by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Sales staff would be required to undertake practical assignments, workplace assessments and a series of multiple-choice examinations over the internet, using the IMI’s pioneering on-line assessment system. More than 10,000 vehicle technicians, registered on national qualifications, have been tested on-line since the system was launched in 2001.

It is expected that many existing sales training programmes offered by manufacturers, dealer groups and specialist training providers could provide significant evidence towards the new awards, which it is hoped will create an industry benchmark standard for sales people.

The qualification is available to employees, regardless of age, who are involved in the sale of any vehicle. It is on the National Framework, making it eligible for Government funding, through the Learning and Skills Councils, to encourage employers to invest in staff training and development. 

Earlier this year, the Government’s skills strategy white paper introduced new flexibility to adult learning, which entitles employees to funding to achieve a minimum level 2 qualification (equivalent to five GCSEs), with the opportunity to progress to level 3 (equivalent to two A-levels). It is estimated that 7.3 million adults in the UK, 30% of the working population, do not have a level 2 or equivalent qualification.*


*Source: Department for Education and Skills