I honestly can’t believe it’s over two years since I wrote this article detailing how our Trade Association of Professional Valeters & Detailers has worked hard to develop an assessment and certification process. Since then, and despite the COVID pandemic, the PVD assessment programme has progressed significantly.
The PVD Assessment Programme:
Firstly, before a candidate begins the PVD Assessment Programme, the Professional Valeters & Detailers Trade Association expects them to have met specific accreditation criteria. Find out more HERE.
Moving forward, a candidate must successfully pass the initial written elements of the course. This part is conducted using Classmarker software with live invigilation via video conferencing using a smartphone. After this stage, they can book a test at their nearest assessment centre. Here, they will need to complete tasks, demonstrating their practical knowledge and ability to work safely, efficiently and effectively.
In February this year, Auto Curators Hampshire studio became one of the ten official PVD assessment programme centres.
Training the Trainers:
To receive this status, we needed to attend a training session ourselves.
This session ran in February at UK Detailing Academy in Gloucestershire. All the assessors were present, and we spent time going through the final worksheets we’ll be using to mark candidates. We also assessed Rich March and James Keely of the UK Detailing Academy, carrying out the required tasks and processes.
Whilst it was a bit of fun, it was essential to ensure that we were all marking and assessing in the same way. Candidates must know they can go to any centre and get the same fair treatment. We have a scoring system (which is confidential), and a candidate must reach a specific score to pass. However, they’ll never see their actual score, that isn’t important, but they’ll know whether they’ve passed or not. Above all, candidates should know we’re not trying to catch them out or make anyone feel intimidated; we simply want to see candidates working safely.
The Importance of Professional Development:
In an industry like vehicle detailing, it’s essential to stay up to date with new techniques and products. Technology, like paint tech and polish tech, evolves all the time, and if you don’t keep up with it, you’ll get left behind. For that reason, professional development is mandatory for PVD members. However, Matt and I both enjoy learning new skills and honing existing ones. So, we always try and find a couple of courses each year to attend (and would do so, even if it wasn’t mandatory).
It also makes good commercial sense, helping us work more efficiently and effectively for the bottom line.
In January, Matt and I attended an Advanced Sanding Course at the UK Detailing Academy. It was fun to try some techniques that can be super effective but also destructive if carried out incorrectly. We experimented with scratch repairs that would be considered a last resort before a trip to the body shop, but we found that we could get some good results filling and sanding long scratches, then sanding in a certain way. And in a training environment, that’s what we need to learn – where the line lies.
It was a good day of learning, plus we walked away having bought a shiny new Flex sander, so we were both happy!
If you’re starting out as a detailer, do consider professional accreditation and the PVD Assessment Programme, it really is worth the hard work and you’ll become part of a supportive group of professionals.