The Professional Valeters and Detailers trade association has, since 2012, promoted the values of its members as a professional body for the car care industry. Its moniker: “Skilled, Proven and Insured”, was bolstered in 2019 when it launched the first of its formal accreditation days marking a departure from the remote business assessment it had to rely on previously. We developed an extensive assessment system in partnership with the trade association to focus on the qualities that distinguish a car care professional from the crowd in a largely unregulated industry. Passing the two-part assessment is mandatory for all new members, while existing members are required to take the test within two years of its introduction.
The theory component is now taken remotely via ClassMarker professional software, while being invigilated via video link. It comprises 100 questions picked randomly from a question bank, so every exam is different. All questions are multiple choice, they are not designed to challenge literacy skills, they are to ensure members have a broad and accurate knowledge. The topics covered are chemical knowledge, technical methodology, health and safety, customer care, and business administration. The exam is one hour and the pass mark is 80%.
The practical assessment is divided into two 90 minute sessions, taken in small groups of two or three candidates per assessor. The candidates will be asked to perform certain tasks, both individually and as a group. They are also asked a number of verbal questions about the processes they are undertaking. One session focuses on the exterior of a vehicle, the other examines the interior. The key areas looked are material and surface science, chemical knowledge, process methodology, and health & safety.
UKDA offers a two-day course for those who might benefit from a refresher, with the assessment held during the afternoon of the second day. For those wishing to put their staff through the assessment, we offer 20% off for the second trainee and 40% off for the third trainee. We spend the first morning establishing where your current strengths and weaknesses lie, with a view to spending extra time on the latter to bring you up to the standard expected. For the assessment itself, you will have an assessor who is different from the person who provided the training session, and the theory is taken online at the training academy. Regardless of pass or fail, all candidates will get a feedback session based on their theory and practical performance at the end of the second day.
Existing PVD members may book with us at any time, however, new entrants will have to complete the application form pass the initial accreditation process directly with PVD, more information is available from the Professional Valeters & Detailers Website. Minimum requirements include a minimum of one year trading full-time, longer if operating part-time. You will also need at least twenty five independent reviews and a clear service structure with appropriate pricing. Those operating mobile are required to have PLI and Accidental Damage to Goods Worked on insurance, while those operating from commercial units will also require full custody cover or a trade road risk policy. For those working in marine or aviation environments, or offering additional services such as PPF, will require further cover as appropriate. You will need to purchase your assessment with PVD directly, who then subsidise the assessment held at UKDA.
A representative from PVD will attend for your assessment session and will ratify the integrity and independence of the process.