The IMI Assessment is a national voluntary scheme that tests the competency of refinishers working in bodyshops. Certain insurance companies require bodyshops to have a minimum of two IMI accredited refinishers on their staff to obtain insurance approval. This also applies to professional bodyshops with BS 10125 certification.
The Cromax Training Academy in Welwyn Garden City is an IMI Approved Assessment Centre for both paint technician and senior paint technician levels. It prepares all candidates during a pre-assessment day to give them a good idea of what to expect in the test. Upon successful completion of the practical assessments and on-line knowledge test(s), Cromax is authorised to award IMI accreditation and to issue paint technicians with the IMI photo identity card which is valid for three years.
Paint technicians who require re-accreditation before expiry of their previous IMI accreditation can take part in a one-day assessment covering three modules:
PAINT TECHNICIAN REACCREDITATION MODULES:
Duration: one day
Surface Preparation AOM 016
Candidates need to demonstrate they can prepare an existing panel that has paint surface faults, such as deep scratches, through to bare metal ready to receive foundation materials. This includes the removal of panel joint sealer and sufficient masking of the vehicle/panel to prevent contamination of other panel/vehicle areas. Candidates should be able to apply the panel foundation materials such as panel primer(s) to the repair area with the use of spray equipment and then be able to dry the materials in line with the product manufacturer’s specification. It will be necessary for candidates to select, carry out adjustments and use equipment during this module.
Panel Sealing AOM 018
Candidates should be able to reinstate the sealer to a panel joint, matching the existing sealer and creating a seamless joint where the new sealer meets the existing sealer. Candidates will have to use the various tools and equipment necessary to carry out this operation including the use of a ‘power sealer’ gun and adjust/cut the various nozzles to be able to match the existing sealer. Candidates should be able to identify any panel bare metal surfaces and to use the appropriate products to reinstate them ready to be painted.
Identification of Substrate and Product(s) AOM 025
Candidates must demonstrate the ability to prepare an existing panel. This includes the identification of the substrate of the panel (steel, aluminium, plastic) and the products that are used to rectify the damage including use of panel joint sealer, masking materials, panel cleaning materials, foundation materials, the necessary tools and equipment. Candidates will determine the materials needed in line with the product manufacturer’s specification.
SENIOR PAINT TECHNICIAN REACCREDITATION MODULES:
Duration: one day
Panel Preparation (new) AOM 019
This module’s aim is to determine whether candidates can accurately identify the panel substrate before undertaking any preparation. Candidates will be required to select the materials and equipment required to carry out the preparation process – this will include reviewing Material Safety and Technical Data Sheets. Once the surface of the panel is sufficiently clean and free from contamination, the panel should be ready to accept foundation materials.
Paint Defects & Rectification Procedure AOM 023
Candidates should be able to identify a range of faults(s) in vehicle paint applied to different panels (plastic, steel, aluminium and composite), whether the panel has been freshly painted or is an existing painted panel. Candidates must identify the paint defect, its cause and the procedure required to rectify the fault. Candidates should have a good knowledge of the materials, products and methods used in refinishing of painted panels (plastic, steel, aluminium and composite).
Blending & Polishing AOM 024
This module ensures that the candidates are able correctly to identify the vehicle colour - as well as the shade of colour - and to apply the paint. Candidates will be required to prepare the panel defect (small paint defect) through to the acceptance of the final application of vehicle paint. Using their skill and expertise, candidates will also “fade out” the repainting of a section of a panel into the existing vehicle paint ensuring that the repaired section is undetectable. Candidates will be required to polish the repaired panel to provide a fault-free finish so the vehicle can be returned to the customer.