February 4, 2015 // 7:12 am

Following an inquest into the death of a six-year-old girl in a previously written off vehicle the coroner said that he would be raising the issue with the relevant authorities, especially as the police report stated that a poor repair had compromised the integrity of the vehicle and may have contributed to the death of the little girl.


To date there has been little done so it is now time for the auto recycling and vehicle salvage industries to get their business in order and set out some minimum professional standards.


As is the case in the retail motor industry, anyone can set up a business repairing vehicles without previous knowledge, qualifications or experience, and the recent campaign by the Institute of the Motor Industry challenging government to introduce a licensing scheme for vehicle technicians (see more at http://www.theimi.org.uk/agenda/imi-calls-government-license-technicians-motor-industry) shows the need for professional standards, licensing and, potentially, legislation.


Auto recycling and motor salvage is a serious business, incorrect recycling techniques can be harmful to the environment, create health and safety risks and ultimately cause distress to the public, staff and consumers.
Correct handling of vehicles being recycled or dealt with as salvage can result in cost savings for consumers as quality Green Recycled Parts could give a major cost saving in vehicle repairs, correctly repaired salvage would be seen as a cheaper, safe, alternative to showroom sticker prices, and 95% of each scrapped vehicle will be recycled or re-used.


There is currently a plethora of various laws and regulations covering the auto salvage and recycling industry, from the operation of Fork Lifts, Cranes and the like, through to Certificate of Technical Competency that is designed to show that the yard management has the ability to run the yard correctly, however there is little else to show professional standards in all the other areas of the business.


It is now time to combine all of these standards and training into a tier of qualifications that are able to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and occupational competence of the holder in areas such as Electric and Hybrid, Green Recycled Parts, Airbags, Vehicle Dismantling, LPG Vehicles, Parts Grading and Standards, Vehicle Body Repair, Vehicle Mechanical Repair, Air Conditioning and so-on.


These could include diploma’s, apprenticeships, and higher level qualifications, all accredited by various training organisations, giving professional status to the holders of these qualifications and the business they work for, and ultimately improving the safety of vehicles returning to use after an accident, giving consumers the confidence to use quality Green Recycled Parts and protecting the environment.


The biggest question is how to get there? This must be industry led otherwise the Government will come in with legislation that may force the industry down a route that could harm the many businesses that make up this sector. If the UK salvage federations or associations can’t or won’t start this then another organisation needs to take over and raise the standards and professionalism of the sector before it is too late.