1. Registering an interest to participate

1.1 The IRTE Skills Challenge is open to bus and coach technicians and engineers from the body, mechanical and electrical disciplines. 

1.2 Bus and coach operators wishing to participate in the IRTE Skills Challenge must register an interest and confirm their teams to take part in the competition no later than 15 May 2024, via the SOE website here.

1.3 Bus and coach operators must complete the registration form and provide full contact details, including name, company, address of the operator they work for, email and telephone number.

1.4 Technicians registering their interest in the IRTE Skills Challenge should inform their line manager.

1.5 Once potential participants have registered their interest, they will receive an email about the IRTE Skills Challenge. If they have not heard from us within a month of registering, it is suggested they contact the IRTE Skills Challenge Events Coordinator at [email protected] or on 020 7630 2174.

1.6 Potential participants may be contacted with e-shots about the scheme. They can unsubscribe from these by replying to the e-shot with ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘stop’ in the subject line. This will not affect their request to participate in the IRTE Skills Challenge.

2. Notification of interest to participate

2.1 Bus and coach operators who register an interest to take part in the IRTE Skills Challenge will be contacted by end of May 2024 with information on next steps.

2.2 Technicians who register an interest to participate in the IRTE Skills Challenge are authorising IRTE to inform their employer that they have shown an interest in participating. 

2.3 Interested technicians will be notified by May 2024, by email, that their employer has been notified. If they have not received a notification by that date, they should contact the Events Coordinator at [email protected] or on 020 7630 2174.

2.4 The operator (employer) will make the final selection of those that will participate in the actual competition.

3. Charges for entering

3.1 There are no charges to enter the IRTE Skills Challenge 2024.

4. Bus and coach operators

4.1 Teams can be submitted to take part to represent an operator as a whole group.

4.2 Operators must contact the Events Coordinator, to discuss participation (020 7630 2174 or [email protected]).

4.3 There are a limited number of teams that can participate in the competition; two technician team and two apprentice team from each operator. If the optimum number of teams is achieved the organisers reserve the right to close entries to the competition or to include interested participants on a reserve shortlist.

4.4 Where technicians have registered an interest to take part in the Skills Challenge, operators will be told the names of potential participants.

4.5 Selection for teams is at the discretion of the operator. 

4.6 Previous qualified winners may not re-enter the competition apart from the enter the Skills Challenge Masters category.

4.7 Operators are expected to cover the cost of participants travelling to the IRTE Skills Challenge testing stage which could also include overnight accommodation.

4.8 Operators are expected to the cover the cost of their participants/representatives attending the IRTE Skills Challenge Winners’ Presentation or Awards. 

5. Registration of technicians for competition

5.1 Operators must confirm the names and addresses of individuals and/or teams that will participate in the IRTE Skills Challenge no later than 15 May 2024

5.2 The IRTE Skills Challenge team submission form must be used to register the names and addresses of the technicians that will take part in the IRTE Skills Challenge.

6. Competition

6.1 Dates for the IRTE Skills Challenge testing will take place in 3 - 7 June 2024.

6.2 The competition will start at 8.00am on each day and finish no later than 5.30pm.

6.3 The competition may include a theory test and a series of practical tests.

6.4 Each competition day can have a maximum of six teams taking part. 

6.5 There can be a maximum of 20 teams taking part in the IRTE Skills Challenge 2024.

6.6 Operators will agree which day they wish to participate in the IRTE Skills Challenge, and participants will only need to attend the chosen day. 

6.7 Participants must be working for an operator that is participating in the scheme when the actual competition takes place. 

6.8 A buffet lunch will be provided for participants of the IRTE Skills Challenge during the competition day. Any dietary requirements are requested to be submitted 14 days before the testing.

7. Non-attendance at competition

7.1 If a participant fails to attend the IRTE Skills Challenge competition, then a mark of 0% will be awarded against their place in the competition.

7.2 Operators must inform the IRTE if a participant will not be attending the IRTE Skills Challenge competition at the earliest possible opportunity.

8. The winners' presentation

8.1 The IRTE Skills Challenge Winner’s Presentation/Awards will be held in July 2024.

8.2 There will be 16 awards in the IRTE Skills Challenge 2024, including:

  1. Bodywork Apprentice 
  2. Electric Driveline Apprentice Winner 
  3. Electrical Apprentice Winner 
  4. Mechanical Apprentice 
  5. Mechelec 
  6. Outstanding Apprentice Team 
  7. DVSA Inspection Apprentice Award 
  8. DVSA Inspection Technician Award 
  9. Bodywork Technician 
  10. Electrical Technician 
  11. Electric Driveline Technician Winner 
  12. Mechanical Technician 
  13. Master Technician Winner 
  14. Outstanding Qualified Team 
  15. Philp Margrave Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement 
  16. Judges' Choice 

8.3 The organisers reserve the right to introduce additional awards or to remove awards.

8.4 Participants/operators are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation to the awards ceremony.

9. GDPR including photography and filming consent

9.1 GDPR

The Society of Operations Engineers, and its trading company, IRTE Services Ltd, is committed to protecting your privacy; we will use personal data provided on entry forms for the purposes of administering the IRTE Skills Challenge and producing competition related marketing & PR material. The team’s data will also be shared with our competition partners S&B Automotive, for purposes of running the testing week, as well as with competition judges and sponsors for the purposes of conducting the tests, grading them and distributing prizes to winners.

9.2  Photography and filming consent

Photographs of competitors/teams may be taken on the day of the competition and during the awards ceremony. Images will be used in the winners’ brochure, PR activities and other marketing materials. By participating in the Skills Challenge competitors/operators are giving their consent for photographs/filming footage to be used in various offline and online activities promoting the competition. Images may also be shared with competition sponsors, partners and supporters and used in general marketing materials produced by competition stakeholders.

9.3 Operators/Competitors names and agreed quotes may be used to promote the IRTE Skills Challenge in press releases and marketing materials.