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Ex Thatcham Research apprentice and World Skills 2017 Finalist Daryl Head trains in the Academy
Ex Thatcham Research apprentice and World Skills 2017 Finalist Daryl Head trains in the Academy

Press release -

Thatcham Research Automotive Academy records 92% success rate as more learners achieve apprenticeships on time

  • Thatcham Research achieves 92% QAR score
  • Increase in number of learners achieving apprenticeships on time
  • At a time when the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report reveals apprenticeship starts have fallen substantially, Thatcham Research apprenticeship results grow

Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) confirm Thatcham Research Automotive Academy has recorded 92% for its apprenticeship training Qualification Achievement Rates* (QAR).

This result is remarkable given the average success rate in England is just 67% and the NAO latest report confirms a third of apprentices are trained by providers rated ‘Inadequate’ or ‘Requiring Improvement’ by Ofsted.

Since 2004, Thatcham Research Automotive Academy has trained over 1,550 apprentices and more than 60 will be graduating at the annual Graduation Ceremony in June.

Dean Lander, Head of Repair Sector Services at Thatcham Research comments, “We are extremely proud of this result. Apprentices want to know that after 27 months of hard work, they are ready and able to play a full role in a bodyshop, while employers want to know that an apprentice will have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete repairs to a high standard.

“Training through the Thatcham Research Automotive Academy ensures apprentices are trained to repair the most advanced technologies by industry experts. However, without the support apprentices receive in the workplace from employers and mentors this result would not be possible. Congratulations to all our apprentices – this is down to your hard work.”

The Automotive Academy offers exciting new career opportunities, exposing apprentices to the latest vehicles and technology whilst learning the latest technical repair methods to keep vehicles and road users safe. Employers can be reassured that apprenticeship training with Thatcham Research delivers this.

Twenty-three-year-old Kieren Cheung completed his Level 3 apprenticeship with Thatcham Research and was one of three individuals to be crowned ‘Apprentice of the Year’ in 2018.

Cheung, at Solus Accident Repair Centre said, “I wanted to gain the best experience, knowledge and qualifications to work in the motor industry and an apprenticeship is the best way to combine all three. There is no better way to start your career; you gain so much knowledge from working with people that have been in the industry for years.

“As well as on-the-job experience, I was able to feel what it was like to work under pressure, learn how to avoid making mistakes, and gain an understanding of the importance of working in a team.”

Thatcham Research’s new standards-based apprenticeship intake launches in September 2019, with spaces available in paint, panel and M.E.T. disciplines. If your business is recruiting an apprentice, and you need information and advice on the new standards-based apprenticeships, please call us on 01635 293174 or email

For information on apprenticeships and training courses at the Automotive Academy visit:

*Education and training QARs measure the quality of the education and training courses that a provider ran in a particular funding year and are used in the National Achievement Rate Tables to show learners and employers the relative quality of provision. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) also use QARs as part of their inspection process.

The overall QAR calculation measures the number of learning aims or Apprenticeship frameworks that are successfully achieved, whilst the timely QAR is the number of learning aims/frameworks that are successfully achieved on or before their planned end date.




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.

Press contacts

James Smith

James Smith

Press contact Head Of Communications 01635 293101
Tom Flisher

Tom Flisher

Press contact PR Manager 01635868855
Kate Bailey

Kate Bailey

Press contact Communications Executive PR & Communication +44 7384 830 461
Francesca Turton

Francesca Turton

Press contact PR Executive PR & Communication +44 7943 848 528

Thatcham Research

Safer cars, fewer crashes...

As the UK's only insurer funded automotive research centre, Thatcham Research enjoy a wide remit at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology. Thatcham's leading work in vehicle safety and security has a vital role in shaping the designs of new vehicles, whilst the centre is also seen as a key industry player at the forefront of driving standards in vehicle body repair.

Thatcham's Crash Laboratory is the only official UK crash testing centre for consumer safety body Euro NCAP and are viewed as a centre of excellence when it comes to active vehicle safety, particularly the evaluation of new Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) which provide the foundation for future vehicle autonomy.

Enjoying an increasingly global influence in both the insurance and automotive sectors, Thatcham Research expertise is in great demand with a range of opinion leaders being regularly asked to provide their experience and know-how at high profile events and in the media, living up to their reputation as ‘Experts in Safety, Security and Crash Repair’.

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