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Thatcham Research Vehicle Damage Assessor apprentices at the cutting edge of blended learning

Press release   •   Mar 30, 2021 09:00 BST

Apprentices were given a tour of the Thatcham Research Academy using Microsoft HoloLens

Thatcham Research is on-boarding 15 learners during a virtual realisation week which began on 29 March.

The new cohort met one another along with their Thatcham Research tutors, trainers, assessors, and safeguarding officer via Microsoft Teams. Online sessions for the Vehicle Damage Assessor (VDA) apprentices will continue through the week, including a virtual tour of Thatcham Research’s state of the art Academy workspaces using ‘mixed reality device’ HoloLens.

Dean Lander, head of repair sector services, Thatcham Research who joined the online session to greet the group on Monday, said: “We are really pleased to welcome our latest VDA apprentices, and to do so using the latest technologies to create a seamless blended learning programme. Lockdown has created huge barriers to apprenticeship development, but we have adapted the delivery of learning to ensure continual supply of the essential skills the repair industry needs.”

The apprentices, from insurers Allianz, LV=, and Hastings Direct, and independent repairers Motofix and S&P Brisley, will attend the Thatcham Research Academy to undertake the physical aspects of their training in a Covid-safe environment from June. This will be combined with digital learning modules accessed via ecademy, Thatcham Research’s online technical awareness programme.

They will learn the manual processes of assessing and costing repair of a vehicle and get to grips with electronic estimating software. In addition, the cohort will develop their knowledge of all vehicle types, from Internal Combustion Engine to electric and hybrid vehicles, along with the latest developments in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.

Thatcham Research’s next in-take for the Vehicle Damage Assessor programme will begin in September. Find out more about its VDA apprentice programme by calling 01635 293130.

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.