The HiQ fast fit network's vow to reinvent customer service standards has been further underlined after its first technician completed a rigorous new training assessment.

HiQ Sunderland technician Chris Johnson has become the first of a planned 700 HiQ technicians to successfully complete an Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) assessment. Chris achieved his Fast Fit Level 2 qualification at the Gateshead college AutoSkills centre.

Chris's success will pave the way for every other technician across HiQ's network of 150 centres to achieve the same accolade, in a promise made by the brand to raise standards yet further and underline its position as the 'fast fit network you can be sure of.'

The ATA is a voluntary competency based assessment to ensure technicians carry out their work in the correct manner. All technicians are required to carry out a theory based module and then practical assessments specific to their field of expertise.

Successful candidates are required to sign and abide by a code of conduct and are issued with a photo identity card and their details listed on the ATA website.

The website then allows the consumer to locate a garage employing registered technicians, giving them piece of mind that the work will be carried out correctly.

HiQ Fast Fit Manager Stuart Carr said: "Chris should be very proud of what he has achieved. He completed a very thorough assessment. He performed extremely well and his overall marks are a credit to the 'best practice' approach he applies to his work.

"HiQ have committed to assess all technicians throughout the network over the next two years. Chris is the first to be assessed and we have a further 700 scheduled over the next two years. The HiQ training academy will continue to run and complement the assessment process."

"We recognise the importance of the garage approval schemes that are available, but we feel that the level of competence and commitment should be displayed by every individual, not just the collective 'garage.' It is for this reason that we have chosen the ATA route."

Ali McGill, owner of HiQ Sunderland, was also quick to pay tribute to Chris.

He added: "Chris has been a great credit to everyone here at Sunderland for some time now, so we couldn't be more delighted or proud of him for gaining this accreditation."

For more information about ATA, click on www.automotivetechnician.org.uk

Franchisee Ali McGill awarding technician Chris Johnson