The devil’s in the professional detailing

Whenever you engage a third party to carry out some work for you, you probably check out their credentials. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for house painting, legal representation or any other type of service… Above all, you want to know that you’ll get an excellent job at a fair price. Often there will be professional bodies and certifications that back up a contractor’s level of expertise. Professional detailing should be no different. That’s why it’s great news that our Trade Association of Professional Valeters & Detailers have been working hard to develop an assessment and certification process.

Professional Detailing Assessment & Qualification:

Firstly, in the Spring of 2017, the association formed an advisory board. This included about thirty-five people (one of whom was me). The aim was to develop an assessment and certification system to be available as an option to members of the association.

The board comprises of full-time car care professionals, with a representative range of people, from across the UK. Lengthy discussions have taken place to ensure we pitch the exams at the correct level and cover the relevant topics for our industry. Several beta testing sessions were held before deciding the final syllabus.

Within recent months this group has facilitated the introduction of a compulsory practical and theory assessment for all new and existing PVD members.

The entry assessment:

In the design of the first level of assessment, PVD aims to ensure candidates have the knowledge and skills to declare themselves a ‘professional’. It does not go into great depth on the nuances of machine polishing, or the chemical formulation of ceramic coatings, that will come in later assessments.

The main topics are:

• Firstly, safe working practice – for themselves, their customers, and members of the public
Appropriate methodology – cleaning vehicles effectively, efficiently, and safely
Professional Conduct – ensuring a smooth customer experience from quote to completion
Lastly, business Administration – knowing the rights and responsibilities of a business owner
Very few current assessments within the valeting and detailing industry can be ‘failed’. Instead, they tend to be awarded based on attendance alone, which limits their credibility. Additionally, because a manufacturer usually runs them, they can be considered biased. PVD is entirely independent, and these assessments will require the achievement of a definite ‘pass’ mark, to gain the certification.
I was proud to be one of the first successful graduates of the entry assessment. And additionally to act as an ambassador for the scheme.
To find out more about becoming a fully assessed member of PVD, read more HERE.

Starting out in detailing:

Finally, the PVD board continue to take steps in the development of a Professional Detailing NVQ qualification, for those starting out in the industry.

This qualification comprises of a 4 step process over about 2.5 – 3 years with lots of coursework between formal tuition. Currently, PVD is acting as a certifying body and UKDA (UK Detailing Academy in Gloucestershire) as the educator. These qualifications will add credibility to our craft. They will help people understand our commitment to running safe, professional businesses. There are several areas of eligibility for these courses. This is all for the future, and I’m very proud to be part of laying the foundations on which many will benefit.


At Auto Curators we’re pleased to be able to offer you a genuinely professional detailing service. Contact us so we can show you our credentials!