‘We have fully trained mechanics’ or something like it is a phrase you’ll often see in adverts for garages, but is it true? What does being ‘fully trained’ entail and can a technician ever really be that?
While it is true that there is something new to learn, especially in fields which are constantly evolving and advancing, such as vehicle technology, doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has learned everything that there is to know about a particular field or topic.
In the context of the garage ads, being fully trained means that a person has completed training courses and has certificates that show they have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a particular job or function competently and confidently. This doesn’t mean that they know everything, but rather that they have a solid foundation and skills to build on as they continue to learn and gain experience.
Continuous learning is essential in any field, and it’s important for individuals to recognise that there is always room for growth and improvement. Even the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in their field can benefit from the ongoing training and professional developments to stay up to date with the latest developments, trends and best practices.
However, how many garages can really claim to invest in this kind of continuous professional development? Research from aftermarket trade organisation GiPA shows that a majority of garages only provide an average of 10 hours of training for its employees per year, and the smaller the number of staff, the fewer hours of training provided on average. Nonetheless, the claim of having ‘fully trained’ technicians is still there, even though vehicle systems and technology have moved on.
Fortunately, there is an answer that should be suitable for owners of garages of all sizes. In recent years various providers have offered online training courses, which are far more involved than simply reading pages of information from a screen. Modern programmes, such as Autodata Training, offer learning provided with multimedia methods, such as interactive videos, itemised learning points and regular tests to check the trainee has understood the subject.
Autodata Training offers over 350 video courses on a variety of subjects and a subscription gives access to an interactive training portal. The programme offers professional certificates of completion, a digital record of training achievements and new modules added regularly.
Subscriptions are available for individual technicians wanting to further their own development, or for managers who want to train all of their team members. In this case, garage owners can buy a site key to cover each nominated user. The manager can also get reports on each tech’s progress in the system.
While there’s no way even the best technician can possibly know everything, there has never been a period of such dramatic change in vehicle technology, so it is vital that everyone involved in the repair process regularly trains in the latest technologies, regardless of how many years they have been working. Th regularly updated training product helps them do just that, and being on-demand means it can fit in with their schedule.
The phrase ‘fully trained’ might be largely incorrect, but with readily available video training, there is no reason why every tech can’t learn about the latest vehicle systems and technology as soon as a module is released – and there is every reason why they should.