The news that the London Borough of Redbridge’s workshop in Ilford, and Pullman Fleet Services’ Stoke and Livingston sites, are the first to gain full IRTE Workshop Accreditation – the Institute of Road Transport Engineers’ mark of quality assurance for maintenance providers – has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which supports the scheme.
Under IRTE Workshop Accreditation, FTA engineers audit workshops to give transport operators the ability to choose maintenance provision with confidence. The scheme champions and recognises best practice in workshop procedures, enabling operators and manufacturers that outsource vehicle maintenance to choose workshops that have been independently assessed to IRTE quality assured standards.
According to IRTE chief executive Nick Jones, the aim of the newly-launched scheme is simple: "It’s to deliver a quality, independent accreditation service supporting both maintenance providers and operators, whilst continuing to improve standards."
As there are an estimated 80% of operators sub-contracting their vehicle maintenance, but retaining responsibility for the standard of maintenance delivered, operators require independent assurance for the quality of work being carried out in their names.
Andy Mair, FTA Head of Engineering said:
"FTA is pleased to be partnering IRTE on this very important initiative. Our vehicle inspection engineers who carry out the workshop audits have a wealth of experience and knowledge of operator licensing, vehicle inspection and maintenance systems auditing and are therefore well placed to carry out the assessments as part of the Workshop Accreditation Scheme."
"The standard of third party maintenance provision is often a cause for concern for FTA members, and can have a real impact on annual test failure rates, Operator Compliance Risk Scores (OCRS) and operator licence compliance. The IRTE Workshop Accreditation Scheme is a logical step towards driving up standards of third party maintenance provision which will enable operators to select accredited maintenance providers who meet stringent IRTE requirements to help safeguard their operator licence."