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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 15:21 GMT
Qualification in wheel clamping
A UK exam board is offering a qualification in wheel clamping.

Clampers will be able to take a two-unit course, which will lead to a vocational BTec qualification in "vehicle immobilisation".

And frustrated motorists will be reassured to know that "conflict management" is part of the course work.

Exam board Edexcel says it expects 1,500 people to take the qualification, which will support a licensing scheme for the wheel clamping industry.

The qualification is intended to "professionalise" those people working in clamping - and to get away from the image of "cowboy clampers".


As well as conflict management, clamping students will have to show communication skills and the "roles and responsibilities of the vehicle immobiliser".

The training for the qualification takes five days and is followed by tests, which have to be passed.

A spokesperson for Edexcel rejected suggestions that the wheel clamping award was either a "waste of time or a qualification for its own sake".

"It will help to improve the reputation of the industry. No matter what job you're doing, properly accredited training can make a difference.

"If you've been clamped, it's not going to be very pleasant. But if won't be helped if the clamper appears confrontational - and training can help to defuse potentially explosive situations."

The Edexcel spokesperson said clamping was now big business, with some firms having hundreds of contracts - and it was important that "legitimate firms can differentiate themselves from the cowboys".

There have been many accounts of over-enthusiastic clampers angering motorists - with claims that warning signs are not sufficiently clear or that unlocking fees are unreasonably high.

Licensing for wheel clampers becomes mandatory in February.

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