THATCHAM Research has launched an 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.
Dean Lander, head of repair sector services at Thatcham, which provides products and training to help ensure the safe and efficient repair of modern vehicles, said: ‘The pace of change within our industry makes it challenging for repairers on two levels: firstly, concerns about the impact of advanced driver-assistance systems [Adas], hybrid and electric vehicles and new materials such as carbon fibre, and secondly, not being able to afford time out of the business for training, creating a no-win situation.
‘Ecademy is a product to help our customers overcome these barriers.
‘In other industries, learning management systems have for a long time proved an effective method for delivering training.
‘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 that 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.’
Lander added: ‘Ensuring a level of technical competence across all touchpoints is reassuring to customers that everyone in the business is well informed, from customer service representatives to those on the bodyshop floor.’
Features include continuing professional development-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, plus access to additional Thatcham resources such as new vehicle releases and technical bulletins, and communication with other learners via an online forum.
Lander said: ‘The technical content within ecademy not only suits technicians looking to consolidate their knowledge and experience, but it also suits recently qualified apprentices, claims handlers, valet teams and other customer-facing staff.’