The SMMT CV aftersales committee has been in discussions with Vosa over a licensing scheme for CV repair workshops similar to operator licensing, but the proposal came to nothing due to lack of public funds to set it up.

Speaking at the launch of the voluntary IRTE workshop accreditation scheme at the CV Show 2012, chairman of the SMMT aftersales committee and head of UK service and support at MAN Truck and Bus John Davies said he wanted to see repairers licensed like operators. “Some repairers move sets of tyres onto vehicles ahead of the annual test and that has to stop,” he said. “Vosa liked the idea but there is no money.”

Instead, Vosa last year launched its own voluntary repairer ID scheme, where workshops could show an ID card when presenting vehicles for test. This enables Vosa to log the outcome of the test against the workshop as well as the operator, though Davies pointed out the technician could “forget” to bring his card if a vehicle was likely to fail.

The IRTE scheme will require repairers to be audited at least every two years by the FTA Vehicle Inspection Service’s 100 engineers to maintain accreditation. It was developed after pressure from five large fleet operators led by Wincanton fleet engineer Dave Rowlands for a scheme enabling fleets to identify good quality third maintenance providers.

MAN has pledged to get its entire UK dealer accredited but Davies said: “This scheme is not intended to be elitist – it is for large, small, rich and poor repair workshops. It doesn’t cost a lot but is a far better assurance that the operator is dealing with a quality organization than any self-assessment scheme.”