Scania Australia has just completed a national programme to ensure all its technicians are fully qualified and compliant with state and national certification for the jobs they undertake.
The company says the Australian transport industry is heavily regulated, and chain of responsibility is an important consideration for operators. To support the long-term availability of trained technicians, Scania has developed its own apprentice programme. There is a comprehensive introduction training programme for recently employed technicians, as well as technical progression programs for existing technicians.
“Scania is a premium brand and as such our customers should feel confident that we always have suitably qualified staff working on their vehicles, both from Scania product knowledge, legal and NHVR (National Heavy Vehicle Regulator) compliance points of view,” said Scania Australia Director of After Sales, Patrik Tharna,
“Over the past 24 months, Scania has invested heavily to ensure all our technicians have the relevant industry accredited qualifications required to perform a wide range of tasks,” he says. “We introduced a special training program to upskill technicians who were restricted in terms of what their qualifications allowed them to do.
“I would say that we’re a standout in the industry. Many workshops may not take the trouble to ensure their technicians are formally qualified, but at Scania we are proud to say that we have a process to ensure all work is done by a technician with the relevant legal qualification.
“There is more than brand pride at stake here, there are legal requirements and ramifications if an unqualified technician works on a vehicle, which may later be involved in an incident while in service,” he added.
“Many of our larger fleet customers, who are required to ensure that they have suitably qualified repairers and technicians working on their vehicles under the NHVR, do check this with us, and we are happy to provide these guarantees.”
Workshop Performance Manager at Scania Australia, Mathew Wyatt, said the company has set a high standard.
“We reviewed all of our 150 technicians nationwide and if there was an older qualification or we thought that there may be a gap, then we have upskilled them to meet the latest formal qualifications. This is important for our compliance with the NHVR regulations, and something our customers require as well.
“When we sign contracts for maintenance with large fleets, we are asked about the compliance of our technicians, and we have made sure that our people comply. Of course, around the country the requirements differ, but we have invested in our people. This is especially the case where we have acquired technicians new to Scania with a light vehicle background, who have the technical knowledge and experience, but may have been lacking the formal qualification or certification,” Mathew said.
“Our recruitment process ensures from the first day that new hires are formally qualified, or if not, that we have identified any gaps and will build a programme to resolve this as a matter of urgency, and we will restrict the level of work that they can undertake until the programme is completed. Within the workshops we have clear guidelines surrounding which level of qualifications are required to sign off which types of work, in line with the national or state-based regulations,” he said.