VOSA’s NTTA still open to technicians
For decades now, experienced motor mechanics with four years’ experience, but no formal qualifications, have been able to sit VOSA’s Nominated Testers Technical Assessment (NTTA) test to pre-qualify for MOT Tester training.
Recently (a year or so ago), VOSA announced they would be withdrawing that option and replacing it with a requirement that all Tester candidates should be qualified to IMI’s ‘level 3 Light Vehicle Inspection’ accreditation. That decision was reversed, and since then no announcement has been made regarding a date for when the NTTA will eventually be replaced.
This despite the IMI having continued to gain UK-wide coverage of the ATA Light Vehicle Inspection route; the various options within the ATA qualification providing VOSA with alternative ways to assess individual technical skills and knowledge, in place of NTTA. It is quite possible that their reticence in replacing the NTTA is linked with their plans to embody training into the revised MOT computer system due in 2015
We asked a representative of the IMI if they have been working with VOSA and industry experts to develop a new route for a trainee to become an MOT Tester. They noted that, “The Light Vehicle Inspection route is a Level 3 accreditation and was launched in April 2012. There are currently over 15 assessment centres offering Light Vehicle Inspection across the UK for potential MOT Testers”.
The IMI also noted that the ATA Light Vehicle Inspection aligns to both National Occupational Standards (NOS) Level 3 and meets the job role needs of an MOT technician.
The IMI also said that there are other options available for an individual to become pre-qualified to meet VOSA’s requirement to enter their Tester Training, including ATA Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician and relevant Level 3 qualifications.
ATA Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician is available in over 25 assessment centres.
Both the ATA Light Vehicle Diagnostic Technician and Inspection routes are available for technicians, with or without formal qualifications, to provide a way to access the VOSA MOT Tester course.
But how would someone find out which training/educational establishment in their area has the appropriate syllabus which will allow applicants to achieve appropriate ATA qualification?
Here the IMI were very helpful, and noted that ATA accreditations are available at a number of training and assessment centres around the UK.
To find out where the nearest ATA approved centres are, visit the IMI Awards website www.imiawards.org.uk/qualifications/types/ata-automotive-technician-accreditation-full-routes-.html and use the postcode look up facility, alternatively you can call IMI Awards on 01992 519038 and speak to an advisor.
What about grants, are they available? Once again the IMI pointed us in the right direction, noting, “The best places to check about any potential funding available would be through the local training provider or the Skill Funding Agency (SFA). Grants are usually offered on a UK regional basis and if available may require an employer or individual to meet funding criteria”. They suggested that it would be best to check with your local training providers and / or the SFA about funding availability and eligibility.
Odd as it may seem, becoming an MOT Tester is not as straightforward as it should be – for example a school leaver cannot simply train to become a Tester – he or she has first to get a job at an MOT Testing Station, and eventually be nominated by their employer. During an interview with our sister magazine MOT Testing, however, Ian Bartlett, the Senior VOSA Official responsible for the MOT Testing Scheme, said that one of his targets was to create a situation where a school leaver could train to become a Tester, so that may well change.