Managing Director Andrew Walsh is delighted the bodyshop, which was purpose built on a greenfield site only three years ago, has achieved the high standards set by the accreditation.
“The process is very rigorous and everyone involved is to be congratulated,” said Andrew. “Since branch manager Ian Pearson joined us in September we have been working towards the Kitemark at the South Yorkshire site. Ian is very focused on all the accreditation stands for and is justifiably proud of the achievement and his team.”
The group’s Lincolnshire site has already had a successful pre-licence visit with BSI and is in line to also become accredited by late spring.
“I think one of the best aspects of the accreditation is the constant monitoring,” continued Andrew. “It is not just a case of achieving the status, putting up a certificate and then carrying on as before. BSI can return unannounced at any time to carry out further checks to ensure those processes and procedures are being adhered to. If not, the Kitemark can be rescinded.”
Branch Manager Ian Pearson said there had been a positive response from all the staff.
“The Kitemark has given technicians the opportunity to become officially recognized for their skills – and learn even more,” he said. “In circumstances where a method of repair is not available from the manufacturer or Thatcham then the senior ATA technician must write one. This really makes everyone take a second look at the best way forward for that particular repair and overall vehicle safety which can only be a good thing.
“Everyone has seen this as an opportunity to be acknowledged for their skills and experience,” he added.
Talking about the procedures to gain the Kitemark Andrew said that a gap analysis had proven to be invaluable in the first instance.
“Because we knew little about the actual Kitemark content we had a gap analysis first at the South Yorkshire site,” he said. “We learned so much that we immediately implemented many of the required procedures at the Lincolnshire site and went straight for a pre-licence visit.
Asked if he recommended a gap analysis for first-timers Andrew said: “It depends what your starting point is but the more informed and prepared you can be beforehand the better, especially with regard to the ATA training as courses do get booked up quickly.
“I think that without a gap analysis in the first place there would be much to do in the short time frame for corrective action. Then two, or more, pre-licence visits might be required which would add to the cost.”