Many garage owners will have completed an apprenticeship in their early days and cut their teeth in different businesses over the years fine-tuning the skills and art of car mechanics.

Some of you may now employ your own apprentice who is likely to be undertaking day or block release to college.

Your customers return because of your high quality of work and they trust you. You’re a highly skilled bunch, so providing proof of your qualifications to do the work in question is quite simply unnecessary, right?!

Ultimately, it depends on your perspective. And, actually the only one which really counts is that of the customer.

We now live and work in an environment where customers expect full accountability.

So if your customers will feel more confident in seeing your qualifications on display and those of your employees, dig out your certificates, frame them and put them on your reception wall. Don’t forget to include the details on your website, too.

Like us, you are probably following the latest industry debate for technicians and mechanics to be qualified. The general public is largely under the belief that it is a legal requirement to be qualified in order to set up a business or even work as a mechanic.

Like any industry, with no requirement to be qualified, anyone can buy and run a garage and it only takes a few cowboys to ruin the reputation of the many.

Introducing legislation requiring mechanics to be licensed will not affect your business; it is more likely to give customers increased confidence in their local garage and crack down on those who are operating without the same level of training.

Let’s face it, you wouldn’t allow an engineer to install your boiler without having first checked he or she has the required qualification, would you?

It stands to reason motorists will increasingly demand to see evidence of a mechanic’s ability to fix cars, after all, the consequences of a botched job are potentially horrific.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has led the call for mechanics to be licensed and wants it to be mandatory for technicians and mechanics to be qualified and for those qualifications to be kept up to date. The organisation recently undertook research among Members of Parliament, finding one in five already thought technicians and mechanics had to be qualified.

According to the IMI, more than half of MPs (52%) believe the majority of technicians are already qualified, 55% said they believe training should be updated every five years and more than half (56%) support the introduction of a mandatory Licence to Practise for motor technicians or mechanics. Opposing the introduction of a licence are 27% of Conservative MPs compared to just 2% of Labour MPs.

Other IMI research suggests 90% of businesses in the sector are in favour of licensing to protect them from being undercut by rogue traders.

The IMI operates its IMI Accreditation awards incorporating qualifications for mechanics and the increasingly popular Professional Register is now at around 40,000 members.The IMI estimates around 148,000 mechanics are operating in the UK whose skills and current competence they cannot verify, so perhaps the time is right to bring in minimum standards for mechanics in the form of licensing…