The Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in Birmingham hosts the launch of irtec light, a pioneering new irtec initiative delivering accreditation for technicians and apprentices working with 3.5-7.5 tonne vehicles.
irtec is an independent accreditation scheme that assesses the safety and competence of commercial vehicle technicians. Those who undertake accreditation are assessed on their theoretical and practical skills and, if successful, are awarded an irtec licence – a nationally-recognised certificate that demonstrates a high level of competence and knowledge.
Over 7,000 individuals have so far been accredited through irtec and the scheme delivers a significant return on investment for participating businesses.
irtec light was developed in response to a lack of standardised assessment available for technicians who work on 3.5-7.5 tonne vehicles. In addition, many vehicles in this range are managed by small, own-account operators with limited knowledge of vehicle maintenance.
Customers for the new irtec light scheme will include delivery businesses, supermarkets, rental companies, and any O licence holder who operates a mixed fleet who must be operating to the same standards regardless of vehicle weight.
To date, two irtec assessment centres have been piloting the new scheme: the Freight Transport Association (FTA), who have assessed two candidates from East Midlands Ambulance Service, and The Manchester College, who have been working with United Parcel Service (UPS) to deliver irtec light accreditation to two UPS technicians.
Steve Gannon, logistics head of department for The Manchester College, comments: “The majority of the vehicles UPS operates fall into the category of light commercial and, after the success of irtec with their commercial vehicle staff, they were eager to license their light commercial technicians. However, until the development of irtec light, there was nothing available to allow them to do this.
“The trial delivery of irtec light was very successful. Both candidates were happy with the outcome and were comfortable with the assessment process. UPS are pleased there is now a licensing programme to cover light commercial vehicles which proves the current competence of their technicians.”
Following the launch of irtec light, the new scheme will be rolled out industry-wide.