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New Thatcham Research online technical awareness programme to help bridge auto repair industry knowledge gap

Press release   •   Sep 28, 2018 09:00 BST

  • New product addresses a two-fold challenge for training
  • Allows flexible access to technical content in an innovative format

Thatcham Research, the leading provider of products and training to help facilitate the safe, efficient repair of modern vehicles, 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,” explains 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,” continues Lander. “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.

Lander comments, “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.

For more about the new ecademy product visit Thatcham Research at the Bodyshop Event on Friday 27 September

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.