Q. I hear a lot about National Occupational Standards, what are these?


A. National Occupational Standards (NOS) are a set of standards formulated for every occupation in the UK. They are constructed by a team of experts from the industry using them and are used as the basis of qualifications like NVQ’s.


Q. Where did the modules originate from?


A. The modules were designed jointly by The Skills Council for the motor industry (formerly Automotive Skills, now IMI Automotive Skills) and the IVR. They were initially designed as a ‘Technical Certificate’, the knowledge base for recovery technicians, but were expanded to include the ‘Skills Test’ in order to test competence as well as knowledge following training.


Q. What is ITSSAR, I have seen it on IVR (UK) documentation?


A. This is the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register; it is a body setting training standards for the lift truck and crane industries. The IVR approached ITSSAR several years ago with a proposal to formulate a training scheme for instructors within the recovery sector. This resulted in the ITSSAR Cat.1 course, which must be delivered by a Cat.4 tutor. There are currently three Cat.4 tutors within this training scheme, Steve Kirton FIVR, Nick Ovenden FIVR and Mark Hartell MIVR.


Q. What does the Highways Agency have to do with the National Training Scheme?


A. Several years ago the Highways Agency approached the recovery sector and said it wanted a ‘National Highways Sector Scheme’ for the recovery sector, initially for working on road construction sites, as it was concerned about the standard of training available for the sector. The Agency suggested that the only way forward was for all technicians to achieve an NVQ.


The Institute and others expressed deep concern about this due to the time and cost of achieving them. Although NVQ’s were funded the maximum age for funding was twenty five and the consensus was that the average age in the industry was probably 35!  The modular Training Scheme was suggested as a viable alternative and following many discussions was accepted by the Highways Agency as the way forward.


Q. What is a National Highways Sector Scheme?


A. National Highways Sector Schemes are bespoke integrated management schemes within an ISO 9001:2000 framework. They have been developed in partnership with all sides of the highways industry to interpret the international quality management standard as it applies to a particular activity or industry within the United Kingdom. The National Training Scheme forms part of the NHSS accreditation.


Q. Is the National Training Scheme compulsory?


A. No, however, it provides the perfect platform and basis for a company’s training plan.  It is an easy scheme to administer and provides the certification bodies auditing recovery companies with an easy way to confirm that the correct training has taken place.


Q. If it is not compulsory why should I bother?


The National Training Scheme provides recovery technicians with a professional qualification and recovery operators with the proof that they have complied with Health and Safety legislation in respect to training.


Q. The National Training Scheme keeps talking about ‘Core Modules’, what are these?


A. The ‘Core Modules’ consist of three modules, these are; VR01-Health and Safety, VR02-Customer Service and VR03-Assess the Roadside Situation. Although not compulsory, they are recommended as the minimum requirement for any roadside/recovery technician, prior to working at the roadside.


Q. Why does the IVR recommend the ‘Core Modules’ as a minimum requirement?


A. The IVR is committed to raising safety standards across the roadside and recovery sector and believes that the Core Modules gives an excellent initial grounding in safety training and customer service.


Q. Are the core modules acceptable as a technician’s induction?


A. Yes, the IVR believes they sit perfectly with a technicians needs when joining a company, they provide the minimum requirement prescribed by law and give the technician an insight into this sector. Companies only then need to add their own policies etc. to complete an induction. An additional benefit to a company is when a technician is employed that has already been trained,  they will not need training again. (This applies to any module, until the expiry of that module)


Q. Why can’t the core modules be taught in one day?


A. There is simply too much content for technicians to absorb in one day, bearing in mind this is about a technicians basic understanding of Health and Safety, Customer Service and Safety at the Roadside.  Making them shorter would increase the potential for accidents and leave technicians without a basic understanding of how to deal with a customer-the life blood of any business!


Q. Why do we need a separate module for Health and Safety?


A. This is the basis of Health and Safety legislation, to train employee’s and provide them with safe systems of work. It is also morally wrong to place an employee in a dangerous situation or ask them to use equipment without any training on how to protect themselves. The consequences of an accident at work are enormous!


Q. Is a complete module on customer service really needed?


A. The customer is the life blood of any business and the training of staff to deal with them in the correct way is essential.  You only have to consider the amount of time other organisation’s spend on this important training to realise its importance.


Q. The customer service module (VR02) talks about effective working relationships, what does this mean?


A. Effective working relationships are the key to workforce harmony and the retention of a customer base. It is about how employees work together to provide a coherent workforce and how employees work with customers to provide excellent customer service.


Q. VR03’s title is Assess the Roadside Situation, what exactly does this mean?


A. From the time a technician receives the job he should be assessing how he is going to deal with the safety of himself and others affected by his actions. A roadside and recovery technician needs the knowledge to carry out a Dynamic Risk Assessment and must be able to react to ever changing situation.


Q. Which of the three ‘Core Modules’ are more important?


A. They are all equally important and provide the technician with the best possible start to a career in this sector.




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