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Develop your Skills

The UK Detailing Academy is based just outside Cirencester in Gloucestershire, less than 30 minutes from both the M4 and M5 motorways. We have dedicated training classrooms and a spacious workshop, equipped with the latest tools and equipment from the leading manufacturers.

We focus on a holistic training approach that enables our students to not only learn about detailing processes, but understand the principles that underpin them. We deliver training on behalf of a number of industry renowned manufacturers as well as PVD, the trade body for car care professionals in the UK.

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David Knight

Detailing Professional

I spent a day at UK Detailing academy with Rich recently, doing my accreditation for IGL coatings and also doing some rotary and wet sanding training. 
Rich was extremely helpful, a fantastic teacher and I really enjoyed the day while learning some new skills and tips. 
I would highly recommend UK Detailing academy to anyone looking to expand their skills and look forward to going back again soon! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ant Webb

Detailing Enthusiast

I had a bespoke training course at UK detailing academy. Rich was excellent, giving up his weekend and created a great informal learning environment. Highly recommended. Look forward to working towards the level 2.

Micky Johnson

Professional Detailer

Spent the day with Rich was really happy with my days training on wet sanding scratch n chip repair. His knowledge and expert advice are really impressive. If your looking for Detailing Training then I highly recommend UK Detailing Academy. Thank you Regards Micky R&W Detailing.

Lawrence Baldwin

Professional Detailer

I completed my Level One Detailing course with the UK Detailing Academy. Great location, great people and advice which has become invaluable. I would definitely recommend anyone to The UK Detailing Academy, Rich & Ian are great. Looking forward to completing the next step of training with them.

Ben Clinch

Automotive Professional

I highly recommend the UK Detailing Academy, I just completed a 2 day course and have left a lot more educated and enjoyed the training.

Simon Whitelaw

Professional Detailer

Did a full day with Rich on the day Wet-sanding course, Rich is very knowledgeable while using excellent teaching methods and techniques, ensuing he has the right balance of theory and practical teaching methods, however always on hand to guide and advise on the best safe practices. In conclusion I fully recommend Rich and UK Detailing Academy to enhance your knowledge as there's always something new to learn or just keeping your skills current.

Fran Mahoney

Professional Detailer

Had a social media workshop at UK detailing yesterday, learnt a huge amount to do with social media, highly recommended company and even supplies a endless supply of tea. All in all if you’re after training of some sort then UK detailing are the place to go.

Paul Townsend

Professional Detailer

I booked my team (including myself) onto a scratch and chip repair masterclass as this was an area I felt we all needed improvement in. UK Detailing Academy offer a wonderful environment in which to learn. Structured yet informal, enjoyable but focused on the task at hand. Lots of opportunity to try the well thought out techniques, with guidance and straight forward best practice. Excellent value for money, and we’ll look forward to returning in the future.

Dave Reed

Professional Detailer

So pleased I attended the scratch, chip and touch in training day with Rich and Ian. Learnt so much and great to meet the team and other PVD members. Really enjoyed the hands on element of the day. A perfect balance of practical hands on versus classroom versus information. Great facility and an excellent day concluded with Bert turning up with his big lenses again.

Anthony Campbell

Professional Detailer

Leather repair day was definitely a good one, I learned a few things about leather that I had no idea about. Must say the banter was good too haha. Cheers Rich!

Nick Fisher

Professional Detailer

Excellent facility, had two very informative days on wet sanding and leather repair - highly recommended!

Mathew Mcilroy

Professional Detailer

Had a great day on the leather repair course. Learned loads of information and will be up for any future training days. Thanks again - Mathew

Craig Davies

Professional Detailer

Great day completing a leather repair course @ UK detailing yesterday. Very informative, easy to understand and great guys too.. will definitely be returning for more course training in the future and highly recommend also.

James Sutherland

Professional Detailer

Very relaxed, friend and informative coarse - 10/10

Bryce Stevenson

Professional Detailer

An enjoyable and informative experience yesterday as we had Rich up at our studio in Scotland to conduct a Leather Repair Training Course. Another useful skill set added to our business. Many Thanks to Rich and the UK Detailing Academy Team!

Richard Seeley

Professional Detailer

I had a most enjoyable day on the introduction to machine polishing and would highly recommend UK Detailing Academy to anybody. I will be back for more training

Detailing Courses

We offer a broad range of courses for both enthusiasts and professionals. All of our courses include a combination of classroom theory and workshop hands-on training. We also provide all the learning materials required to guide you on the day and refresh your mind after the course.

Some courses can be taken as part of a group, and all courses are available as a one-to-one session.

While we work with manufacturers to deliver training, these courses are all independent of any brand - we use products and equipment from a multitude of different producers and manufacturers.

Our is ideal to cover a start to finish detail on any modern vehicle, either for you, or as a gift to a petrol head that already spends too much time with their car.

The course runs for one day, primarily on a one-to-one basis - though groups can be accommodated - and will guide the attendee through best practice processes of safe pressure & hand washing, decontamination, inspection, paint protection, mild paint correction and application of the various protection options on offer.

Course Details:

  • Assessment of vehicle exterior & interior inspection
  • Cleaning, decontamination & preparatory work of the vehicle body: Washing Processes, Pre wash & snow foam, multi bucket methods, acids and alkalis, fallout removers and in-depth cleaning practices.
  • Cleaning, decontamination & preparatory work of alloy wheels
  • Paintwork inspection using lighting techniques, depth gauges, and visual cues
  • Identifying areas of concern and how to address them
  • Practical overview of machine polisher ranges and their usage
  • Practical overview of various polishing compounds and pad combinations
  • Paintwork and alloy wheel sealant protection options and application technique
  • Glass cleansing and protection practical overview
  • Detailing tips and tricks to give you the best results

You will have hands on experience from the very beginning and working your way through all steps of a full enhancement detail, it will then be up to you to build on the knowledge you have gained by practicing on your own vehicle, with ongoing support.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770090

Our Detailing course is ideal for classic car owners who wish to take an active role in the exterior maintenance, enhancement and presentation of their pride and joy.

The course runs for one day, primarily on a one-to-one basis, and will guide the attendee through best practice processes of safe washing, decontamination, inspection, paint protection, mild paint correction and discuss/apply the various protection options on offer as well as a look at the preservation of materials common to older vehicles and interiors.

Being aimed more at the classic marque, particular attention is paid to preservation and enhancement, without removing the patina or character of vehicles.

Course Details:

  • Assessment of vehicle exterior & interior
  • Cleaning, decontamination & preparatory
  • Work of the vehicle body: Washing processes, Pre wash & snow foam, Minimal water wash methods multi bucket methods and in-depth cleaning practices
  • Cleaning, decontamination & preparatory work of wire and classic wheel styles
  • Engine bay cleaning and de-greasing
  • Practical overview of various polishing options and products
  • Paintwork sealants and treatments for older paint systems and application technique
  • Interior care for leather and wood surfaces
  • Show preparation and on site show care
  • Detailing tips and tricks to give you the best results

You will have hands on experience from the very beginning and working your way through all steps of a vintage enhancement detail. Ideal for anyone who likes to potter with their paintwork in preparation for a large event. Or one who prefers to keep their vehicle in as good a condition as possible and is seeking the knowledge to do so.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

If you are looking to start taking care of your own vehicles to a higher degree, we can provide introductory sessions to those thinking of taking the first steps, possibly even in a new career. Our introduction to machine polishing course for Enthusiasts looks not only at the physical machine polishing, but all the necessary steps before and after to deliver high quality results with ease.

As with all new skills, we can only teach the theory and technique with practical examples, the skill itself can only be developed by practice and experience.

By the end of the course, in addition to a knowledge of the techniques and skills required to perform minor correction, enhancement details and maintenance, you will have been shown and have attempted:

  • Understanding why we machine polish – surface defects and contamination identification and causes
  • Preparation and decontamination stages
  • “Reading” the paint – what can be safely corrected and how to judge
  • Defect identification
  • Paint thickness measurements using Magnetic Resonance, Eddy Current and Ultrasonic gauges
  • The “Polish/Don’t Polish” decision
  • Using different type and size Dual Action machines and their variations, matching compounds and pads to the defect and technique
  • Techniques for panel edges, contours, small and delicate areas
  • Finishing techniques
  • Dressing, Sealant/Wax choices and presentation
  • Re-cap and Q&A session

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Suitable for candidates with a professional Working knowledge of machine polishers, who wish to refresh their technique with up to date tools, pads and compounds. Or those who want to learn new techniques and perfect their technique.

As with all new skills, we can only teach the theory and technique with practical examples, the skill itself can only be developed by practice and experience. By the end of the course, in addition to a knowledge of the techniques and skills required to perform minor to medium correction and enhancement details, you will have been shown and have attempted:

  • Understanding why we machine polish – surface defects and contamination identification and causes.
  • Correct preparation steps to safely refine paintwork
  • Time management and safe working with machine polishers including job estimation and best working practices
  • Understanding the difference between polishing techniques to “finish” and to “re-finish”
  • “Reading” the paint – what can be safely achieved and how to judge
  • Defect identification
  • Paint thickness measurements using Magnetic Resonance, Eddy Current and Ultrasonic gauges
  • The “Polish/Don’t Polish” decision
  • Using Dual Action, Forced Drive and Rotary machines and their variations, matching compounds and pads to the defect
  • Techniques for panel edges, contours, small and delicate areas

Finishing techniques

Dressing, Sealant/Wax choices and presentation

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

This intermediate level course builds on candidates existing knowledge of machine polishing and preparation, and is designed to introduce attendees to wet sanding by both hand and machine, in the context of a detailing business. What it will give you is a practical understanding of the techniques, equipment and skill set required to move forward with confidence in your business in the correct fashion without the years of trial and error building the same knowledge would take.

As with all new skills, we can only teach the theory and technique, not the skill itself. By the end of the course, in addition to knowledge of the best practice for wet sanding itself, you will have been shown and attempted:

  • An introduction to wet sanding – surface defects and contamination
  • Preparation and decontamination stages
  • Defect and contaminant identification
  • De-nibbing and flatting
  • Texture levelling and post body shop refinement
  • Deeper defect removal and minimising
  • Block wet sanding Process by hand – p1000 - p3000
  • Machine wet sanding Process – 1500, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000
  • Refining and refinishing

Training on a wide variety of machine polishers

The course is accompanied with a fully illustrated 19 page booklet for reference and attendees are encouraged to maintain ongoing dialogue should further queries arise.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Repair of stone chips and minor abrasions using touch in paints. Including preparation, levelling, local wet sanding, refinishing and application via touch in in brush and airbrush systems - either using premade paint systems or our self-mixing option for higher colour accuracy.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

PVD Certification

The Professional Valeters & Detailers Trade Association (PVD) is the UK trade body for car care professionals, and we work closely with them to provide a complete and thorough syllabus that is assessed and accredited by PVD.

These courses are available to members and non-members, but they are more formal, challenging, and rigorous than our enthusiast courses.

While the assessments themselves are included as part of the specific course, they are marked and reviewed by PVD and their is no guarantee that every candidate will pass them. More information is available on request.

We have put together a one-day refresher course that is designed specifically to help current car care professionals update their knowledge and skills.

This course is split into three key sections:

  • Technical - essentially the processes behind efficiently and safely preparing a vehicle
  • Commercial - looking at customer care, professionalism, and business management
  • Safety - understanding chemical safety, legal obligations, environmental control, and insurance

The course is ideal for both those who are highly experienced that need bring their skills up to date, and those relatively new to the industry who want improve their professionalism and efficiency. This course is not assessed, but it will give a good foundation for candidates wishing to take the PVD Approval assessment in the future, particularly in terms of highlighting weak areas that would benefit from further research and revision.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

The aim of Level One is ideal for those just about to, or have recently entered the detailing industry, or those who wish to reset and refresh their skills. the aim is to familiarise the candidate with the processes and maintenance of vehicles from a professional and business view, teaching the foundations of correct vehicle cleaning up to the final familiarisation of entry-level dual action machine polishers. Business practices and health and safety are explored covering areas such as pricing, marketing, SDS and environmental conformity. Along the way topics covered will be:

  • Washing stages
  • Wash media
  • Environmental considerations
  • Drying methods
  • Bonded contamination and its removal
  • Wheel care and maintenance
  • Glass and hard surfaces
  • Engine bay cleaning
  • Vulnerable surfaces
  • Efficiency and process
  • PPE and safety
  • Clothing and working practices
  • Risk assessment
  • Chemical knowledge
  • Van set-ups
  • Interior detailing
  • Leather and soft surface care
  • Fillers / glazing
  • Dual action machine polishers intro
  • Minor defect identification
  • Paint types
  • LSPs
  • Final presentation
  • Marketing
  • Conflict resolution and customer care
  • Financing
  • Insurance
  • Pricing and quotes
  • Business Administration
  • Memberships
  • Social Media
  • Manual handling
  • Safe working practices
  • Pre-work inspection

All levels are accompanied by a full course booklet to jog your memory when needed. Practical assessment takes place as part of the original training session, at the end of the course you will be assigned a (manageable) series of case studies and exercises to complete over the period of 3 months to cement the knowledge. There is then a short externally assessed exam prior to the optional commencement of Level Two, to ensure there are no weak areas. After which the Level One accreditation is awarded and you can either progress or choose to practice the skills gained with ongoing support.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Following your introduction skills learnt in level one you will be progressing onto more advanced machine polishing and cleaning techniques. Machines introduced at this level include forced rotation dual action polishers, every inception of Dual action polishers, both in throw and size. We’ll also look at pad types, heavy cutting options and defect identification to assess what can be rectified and how. Interiors are explored in greater depth with higher yield services with dry steam cleaning, odour removal, leather protection and treatment, and stain removal with the associated chemistry.

  • Pad types
  • Compound grades
  • Rubber and plastic protection
  • Coatings after-care
  • Polymer and PTFE exterior LSPs
  • Glass sealants
  • Troubleshooting
  • Accreditations
  • Financial management
  • Insurance
  • Marketing
  • Pricing
  • Spot Sanding
  • Targeting your customer base
  • Safe working practice
  • Workshop planning
  • Intermediate chemical knowledge
  • Efficiency and time management
  • Matte finishes
  • Environmental considerations
  • Advanced cleaner chemistry
  • Bonded overspray and concrete
  • LSPs
  • Engine bay detailing
  • Plastic trim restoration
  • Odour removal
  • Steam cleaning
  • Stain removal & chemical principles
  • Fabric and leather protection
  • Paint types and their principles
  • Long and short throw DA machines
  • Forced action machines
  • Lighting
  • Defect identification

Following the course, further case studies and exercises will allow the knowledge to develop further as you use it over a 3-6 month period, after which the Level 2 exam is sat to award certification.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Level three aims to bring you to the highest standard of detailing skill, through the spectrum of rotary polisher techniques, wet sanding by machine, a full understanding of SMAT and DAT polishes and compounds, a wide selection of pads and equipment such as nano polishers and attachments. Mechanical training in wheel removal and jacking on multiple vehicle styles allowing deep cleaning access to vehicle arch and components, and specialist finishes on carbon fibre, GRP and gel coat are examined and explained.

  • DAT/SMAT technology
  • Pneumatic polishers and sanders
  • Advanced Dual Action technique
  • Rotary machine polishers
  • Glass polishing
  • Wheel removal
  • Under-arch cleaning
  • Cleaner chemistry
  • Time management and planning
  • Trim and seat removal
  • In-depth interior detailing
  • Cloth types
  • Advanced Dual Action technique
  • Rotary machine polishers
  • Mini / nano machine polishers
  • Wet-sanding
  • Advanced pad types
  • GRP, carbon and insulative substrates
  • Badge and trim removal
  • Texture levelling
  • Show preparation
  • Ceramic coatings
  • Polymer coatings
  • Coating troubleshooting
  • Coatings after-care
  • Fillers and glazes for show finishes
  • Business management
  • Business administration
  • Safe working practices
  • Safe vehicle lifting – ramp/jacking
  • Workshop planning
  • Advanced chemical knowledge
  • Risk assessments
  • Gloss meter usage
  • PPE
  • Employee management

Following completion of training and ongoing assessment, case studies and exercises will lead to the level three exam and, upon grading, award of Level 3 Detailing.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Level four is not a training course, it’s an assisted portfolio assessment, which will take you around 12 months to complete. During the 12 month period you will be assigned a detailing mentor to guide you in the creation of an accomplished detailer portfolio.

During this period, a site assessment and ongoing discussions will take place to ensure your work and environment meets the high standards expected of an adept and polished detailer, and a final written exam, combined with your portfolio, assignments and assessments will be examined by our assessment body. Upon successful completion, the final certification level is awarded and richly deserved.

As a complete detailer, your portfolio, and “masterpiece” detail is the culmination of the skills learnt and perfected both within the courses and coursework, and day to day experience built up since commencement. You will be expected to be able to demonstrate a wide range of skills utilised in the enhancement and perfection of an agreed vehicle. Exact specification will be made upon induction, but will require careful selection of your candidate vehicle, which should showcase the requested talents, and extra-curricular skills used to make your business unique. The resulting portfolio will be magazine featured and open to public record, both to your clients and the general public, as a demonstration of your capabilities, with a mentor assigned to advise you during completion of the assignment.

The result is really is as much for yourself as a detailer as it is for the public. A level of unquestionable validation that you are now at the highest level of the industry skills-wise. The bar and criteria are set high for this, so A-games must be brought - the work must be able to withstand the harshest of critics, which we all know this industry contains - but once achieved, you will be the one setting the standard in the industry as part of an exclusive club of detailing masters.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

This course is for those wishing to become a PVD Approved Training centre, which are able to offer training for those wishing to complete all or part of the PVD Accreditation. Candidates will need to have successfully completed all four levels prior to applying, and meet various other criteria such as having an appropriate training facility. This course focuses on teaching candidates how to train people - it is not a detailing course.

The course will cover the following areas:

  • Classroom Presentation
  • Practical Demonstrations
  • Candidate Involvement
  • Lecture Planning & Delivery
  • Reading your Students
  • Kinesthetic Learning
  • Student Centred Learning
  • Expeditionary Learning
  • Special requirement support

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

 

 

Manufacturer Courses

The UK Detailing Academy works with a range of manufacturers to develop and run bespoke courses and assessments.

We offer a range of manufacturer-backed courses, some of which provide candidates with manufacturer accreditation.

Some of the courses have pre-requisites that need to be met prior to booking.

Many courses are hosted at our UKDA satellite centres throughout the UK, while we can also offer some courses at your own premises.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Specialist Courses

Our range of specialist courses are designed for both enthusiasts and professionals who want to learn complementary skills that go with car care. For some of these courses we introduce guest trainers who have an appropriate skill set and experience.

All of these courses are available at our Cirencester HQ, while we will host some at our affiliate sites around the country, depending on demand.

Social media is crucial for networking and customer acquisition in business. You are far more likely to obtain new business through organic page visits than paid advertising, and what’s more, it can be done for nothing more than some time spent sharing your work. But what platform and content should you be sharing? What hashtags should you use and how do you make the most of CPC advertising and boosts? Run by our tame Social Media Guru, you’ll run through all the big platforms and see how each one can be tailored to effectively promote your business to the best target audience.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

Photography goes hand in hand with automotive detailing and mastering the skill can help you demonstrate the benefits of your services to potential clients.

This course focuses on two key areas of photography - the technical and composition. 

The technical training allows candidates to understand how cameras work which, in turn, can be used to improve the results. Key areas include:

  • The Exposure Triangle - Aperture, Shutter speed, and ISO
  • Camera Modes - Understanding what your camera can do
  • Images - Understanding image formats and post-processing techniques (Lightroom)
  • Light Control - use of flash, filters, and other 'professional' techniques

While a familiarity and understanding of the technical elements of photography can make a good photographer, great photographers need good composition. Part of this is an innate, artistic talent which is gained through years of experience. However, the fundamentals such as the rule of thirds, framing, and focus can be taught. This course sets the foundation upon which candidates can build through experience.

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

For more information, email us  or call 01285 770 090

The cars and cameras day is a new concept we will make available to those into detailing and photography. The morning will focus on detailing your own car, the afternoon on photography - with a leisurely lunch included.