PVD Accreditation Tiers & Criteria
At PVD we believe a trade association should be open to as broad a membership as possible; at the same time, we have to maintain standards and adhere to our mantra of 'Skilled, Proven, & Insured.' In the past we haven't insisted on face-to-face evaluation and assessment as the added cost would have put membership out of reach for many, while those in more remote parts of the nation would have been discriminated against as a result of the extra travel costs. We also came upon a difficult quandary - who has the right to assess others? And who should assess the assessors?
As an association we were criticised in some quarters for not having compulsory assessments, instead we relied on a pragmatic approach based on customer reviews, self-declared experience, training certificates, insurance certificates, plus online presence. As of 2017 we have introduced an entirely different system which maintains the accessibility for car care professionals in the early stages of their career, while also creating optional certifications for those wanting to highlight their skills that have been hard earned over many years.
This new system has created three different tiers, all of which have different entry criteria to suit people at different stages of their career. This allows clients to make their own choice when it comes to selecting a professional that best suits their needs.
Insurance criteria are common to all members - regardless of which directory they are on, we require certificates and schedules for the below:
- Public Liability & Accidental Damage compulsory for all members. For those who work in marine or aviation sectors, additional cover is required.
- Unit Custody insurance compulsory for all members who operate from unit - be it their own unit, a home garage, or a shared location. If the insurance is provided by the owner of the unit, we still require evidence to show you are covered.
- Traders Road Policy for all members who drive customer cars on public or private roads (this is distinct from 'shunting' cover).
- For those who transport customer cars on trailers or flat-bed trucks, we require proof of cover for vehicles while in transit.
PVD Approved Member
The Approved PVD Member tier is designed for those who are either relatively new to the industry and are still developing their skills and building their experience, or for members who do not wish to take further assessments.
All members are required to complete an online theory test. The standard member test comprises of 50 questions randomly selected from a pool of 250 questions. A separate certificate for the test will be supplied with your welcome pack. Candidates who fail the test will have to wait a minimum of 3 months prior to re-taking it. The cost of taking the test is included in your joining fee. Existing members who joined PVD prior to the assessment will need to take the assessment also, for which there is no charge. In the event the candidate has a specific disability or learning difficulty, we will endeavour to assist as required.
There is no minimum experience requirement for standard membership, and candidates who work in the car care industry part-time are eligible. However, we do require positive, independent testimonials from customers. We reserve the right to insist on the BSC (New Business Safety Check) practical assessment for businesses that have been trading for less than one year - for information please see our Training & Assessment section HERE.
PVD Accredited Valeter
Accredited Valeter status is for established car care professionals who wish to demonstrate that they have the skills and experience that sets them apart. Thorough process, chemical, and material science knowledge is expected. Requirements as per Approved Member plus: At least two years professional experience - we will require evidence to prove this is the case (social media, tax return, previous insurance documents etc.) Candidates do not need to have been full time for two years, but they do need to be full-time at the point of application for the Accredited Valeter status. The 2 years prior experience has to be in a professional capacity. Applicants will need to complete the CVA assessment, which comprises of five modules of both theory and practical assessments. For more information see our training section HERE. We recommend that candidates have some formal training prior to taking the the CVA test.
PVD Certified Detailer
Certified Detailers represent the top of the industry, the CDA test is one of the toughest available both in the UK and worldwide, and even experienced detailers need to dig deep to pass it. Requirements as per Approved PVD member plus: At least five years professional experience, two years of which have to be full-time. As with the Accredited Valeter criteria, evidence will need to be provided to show that candidates have the declared experience. Applicants will also need at least one year of prior PVD membership. Applicants will have to complete the CVA and CDA assessments with both theory and practical elements - further information available HERE. Further to completion of the CDA assessment, candidates for the Certified Detailer status will need to be accepted by a majority vote of the PVD board based on specific criteria.
Honing your skills as a detailer relies on both experience and correct training. However, teaching and inspiring others is a very different skill that not all detailers possess. To be an accredited PVD trainer there are various pre-requisites. Firstly you have to be able to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills on the topics you are training. Secondly you need the presentation skills and patience to impart that information in manageable portions, while reading your audience to ensure they are understanding you.
On an administrative level you will need appropriate facilities to train in - depending on the courses offered these may include a suitably equipped classroom, work space, and hospitality facility. Furthermore you will need the appropriate professional indemnity insurance, which is rarely included in conventional tradesmen cover unless explicitly requested. Please note that this is distinct from liability insurance.
Collateral is another important element to consider - part of the PVD Trainer Orientation course runs through the learning and assessment resources provided with PVD course packs so they can be used to best effect. If offering your own courses to a different syllabus, we will need to see the lesson plans and support materials to ensure they are accessible and thorough.