IVR holds Annual General Meeting

In March the Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR) hosted another excellent weekend which included the Annual General Meeting and Gala Dinner. Revisiting the Holiday Inn in Stratford-upon-Avon proved to be a popular decision, due to its easy access and convenient town centre location. With the remaining refurbishment due to be completed by the end of 2016 the Council are currently considering returning to the venue in 2017.

The Chairman’s report delivered by IVR chairman Chris Hoare FIVR updated members on developments over the last twelve months and touched on what to expect from the Institute in the coming year and beyond. He confirmed that the IVR continues to be approached by various organisations and stakeholders due to its reputation both inside and outside the recovery industry. The current contract with Highways England will be completed in April 2016 and he reported that between February and December 2015 877 traffic officers were trained in VR31 (Clearing overturned vehicles), a module developed specifically for traffic officers in which they are only able to use equipment carried within their vehicles.

As well as the development of new modules the Institute continues to review the content and delivery of existing ones while monitoring requirements and ensuring consistency of delivery. The last few months has seen a great deal of preparation work carried out regarding VR28 (Multi-car Transporter) with a project meeting in early February which led to a practical element onsite meeting later the same month. A pilot course is set to run in early Summer, prior to it being reviewed before its launch and becoming available for delivery.

In February a pilot scheme was held for VR24B. This module aims to provide a standard understanding of the content of PAS43 and provide the level of understanding for all assessors irrespective of qualifications. It should assist in a fairer PAS 43 assessment for the operator.

The ongoing training of instructors is vital and in response to this the Institute delivered ITSSAR CAT1 course in September 2015 and March 2016 with a further two courses planned for later in the year.

Like the rest of the industry the IVR continues to be aware of the necessity to encourage younger people into a ‘career’ in recovery and the chairman confirmed members of the executive council had been in discussion with several parties, including colleges, regarding a recognised development training programme. The initiative was in its early stages but showed great promise.

Fellowships - Every year the Institute awards Fellowships to members who, in the opinion of the IVR Council, have made a major contribution to the Institute, training and/or the industry as a whole. This year the decision was made to award only one Fellowship, this was presented by IVR president Nick Ovenden FIVR to Keith Lowey. Keith has been a member of the Institute since 1998 and was appointed to the IVR Council in 2008. He has been actively involved in the development of VR training modules and assisted in the ongoing development of existing modules. He has worked tirelessly for the Institute and is a worthy recipient of this accolade.

Following the AGM there was an Open Forum which in previous years has been followed by a Brain Storming session hosted by IVR president Nick Ovenden FIVR. The decision was made this year to invite speakers to present on various topics which would provide valuable and necessary information for members. Firstly Mike Donley FIVR, of Allianz Global Assistance, updated the audience on the need to increase awareness of the rapidly developing electric and hybrid technology.

A further presentation on apprenticeships and traineeships was followed by an excellent update on the Recovery Standard by Derek Firminger FIVR. Derek explained in detail the background and reasoning behind the European Rescue and Recovery Initiative (ERRI), and latterly the Federation of Vehicle Recovery Associations (FoVRA), persistence and determination to achieve the best possible outcome for the recovery industry and where we go from here. The presentations by Mike Donley and Derek Firminger will be covered in detail in the next issue of the IVR member’s newsletter The Recovery Professional.

The Jack Ovenden AwardThis year there were five finalists for the prestigious Jack Ovenden Award for ‘Outstanding Student of the Year’. Following the AGM all nominees were interviewed by a panel of judges made up of members of the Rescue and Recovery Trainers Association (RRTA), who administer the award on behalf of the IVR. At the Gala Dinner the 2016 Jack Ovenden Award was presented to Greg Sharp of Egerton Recovery. Greg was nominated by Ken Norbury MIVR and the decision from the judges unanimous after being impressed with his  knowledge and confidence.       

Congratulations must also go to the other finalists who were Jake Hicks MIVR of Euro-Tow, nominated by Mark Hartell MIVR, Ross Barnett of Richard Read Transport, nominated by Stephen Vipond MIVR, Adam Martinez of The Mansfield Group, nominated by Keith Lowey FIVR and Stylian Tsarkov of CMG Rescue, nominated by Tim Hughes and Paul Chapman MIVR. Greg and the other finalists in the Jack Ovenden Award are an excellent example of the next generation of the recovery technicians. The IVR would like to thank the AA who once again sponsored the award.

Following Dinner IVR vice president Mac Hobbs FIVR took to the stage and once again thanked all the sponsors for their ongoing support, especially the AA who have sponsored the Jack Ovenden Award since 2013. Back by popular demand was impressionist, singer and all round entertainer Craig Harper, who didn’t disappoint with his mix of jokes, observations, audience participation and mimicry. The ‘Deal or No Deal’ inspired raffle raised over £1,300 for the chairman’s charity, which this year was Cancer Research.