IMI announces first TechSafe Centre of Excellence

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has named BMW Group UK Academy in Wokefield Park, Berkshire, the first IMI TechSafeTM Centre of Excellence. 

The prestigious inaugural award recognises the outstanding achievements of the BMW Academy in developing and promoting IMI TechSafeTM standards, ultimately driving up and standardising auto-tech qualifications in the UK and globally. 

The £17m purpose-built BMW Group UK Academy opened in 2006 and is dedicated to training apprentices and keeping BMW Group Retailer Network delegates up to date on the latest products, techniques and technology. Its reputation has drawn high-profile visitors, including the UK and overseas Government ministers, and delegations from Malaysia, China, the Philippines and Netherlands in the last two years alone.

A staggering 76% of technicians in the BMW UK network have achieved IMI qualifications and IMI TechSafeTM eligibility, underlining BMW UK as the most advanced OEM concerning individuals trained and qualified in the UK. 

Mario Moser, the newly appointed Customer Support Director at BMW Group UK said: ‘I am delighted that the BMW UK Academy has received this recognition for its high teaching quality, and we look forward to continuing our work with the IMI to raise standards across the industry.’

Technical trainers and assessors from the BMW Academy have partnered with the IMI for more than 12 years, contributing to IMI expert working groups, attending Electric Vehicle (EV) steering groups, and taking an active role in the IMI TechSafe Sector Advisory Group. With a solid and structured continual professional development (CPD) offer successfully deployed to ensure technicians in the BMW brands are always up to date, the Academy also helped shape the IMI TechSafe CPD Framework, which launched in 2022.

‘At the BMW Academy, we are committed to delivering the highest level of training to our long-term employees and new apprentices alike, and are long-standing supporters of the IMI TechSafeTM programme,’ commented Phil Neal, National Technical Training Manager, BMW Group UK Academy. 

‘For the benefit of the end customer and the wider industry, we have built IMI TechSafe into our Academy programme and retailer standards across our network. Our technical apprentices also finish their programme with IMI EV Level 2 accreditation to drive standards higher and ensure our technicians are fully trained to work safely on electric vehicles.’

Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry, added: ‘We are delighted to have presented this first IMI TechSafe Centre of Excellence accreditation to the BMW Academy in recognition of its achievements in training, supporting and promoting the IMI TechSafe ambitions and professional register in the UK and overseas. 

BMW has long been respected for providing a high level of customer service, and its commitment to ongoing employee training is crucial in delivering that promise. The BMW Academy has not only trained its technicians to an extremely high standard. Still, it has also driven IMI EV qualifications and IMI TechSafe achievement across its UK network of 150 BMW, MINI and motorcycle dealerships. 

‘We look forward to recognising more organisations that meet our Centre of Excellence criteria shortly, as the industry works together to further increase standards across the UK and internationally.’

Centres hoping to be named a TechSafe Centre of Excellence must meet set IMI criteria, including delivering an outstanding quality of accreditation provision, being a vocal and proactive supporter of TechSafe in internal and external communications, as well as demonstrating a clear commitment to upskilling their technicians.