Industry Forum

Our Partners

As a leading provider of Business Improvement solutions, Industry Forum works with a number of strategic partners on a global basis to meet the specific needs of our customers.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) supports and promotes the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad. Working closely with member companies, SMMT acts as the voice of the motor industry, promoting its position to government, stakeholders and the media.

One of the largest and most influential trade associations operating in the UK, SMMT’s resources, reputation and unrivalled automotive data, place it at the heart of the UK automotive industry. It undertakes a variety of activities to support and represent the interests of the industry and has an ongoing history of achievement.

Through representation to UK government and the EU, national and international events, reliable automotive data, technical information and practical advice, SMMT plays a central role in the working life of the motor industry. Whether the industry is your business or it impacts on your organisation in any way, SMMT can deliver real benefits to help your company thrive in today’s demanding climate and meet the challenges of the future.


In order to strengthen the services IF provides to the UK’s automotive quality management specialists and further underpin the competitiveness of UK manufacturers, SMMT Industry Forum created SMMT QMD, its new Automotive Quality Management Division.

SMMT QMD was launched at the inaugural Automotive Quality Management Systems Conference in Birmingham in November 2018 and aims to ensure that the UK automotive industry plays an active role in the development and governance of national and international automotive standards. 

SMMT QMD will provide a community of practice to directly support UK quality professionals, ensuring standards are effectively implemented and improving competitive performance. As such, SMMT QMD will now provide the following services:

  • An industry association for quality managers
  • Training, professional development and resources
  • Publications
  • Practical help and support


SMMT IATF Oversight was established by IATF in 1999 as one of the five (UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy) global oversight offices to administer the IATF ISO/TS16949 Certification scheme.

The Oversight offices were established to:

  1. Conduct office assessments and witness audits of the certification body
  2. Provide interpretations and guidance through the issuing of Sanctioned Interpretations (SIs) and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  3. Manage the IATF database to ensure timeliness and accuracy
  4. Monitor certification body activities
  5. Qualify 3rd party certification body auditors
  6. Handle the application of new Certification Bodies

The UK Automotive Council

The United Kingdom Automotive Council was established in December 2009. Its establishment was a key recommendation of the industry led New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) which reported in May of that year.

The Automotive Council aims to:

  • Create a transformed business environment for the automotive industry in the UK to provide a more compelling investment proposition for related industries
  • Develop further the technology roadmaps for low carbon vehicles and fuels, and exploit opportunities to promote the UK as a strong candidate to develop these and other technologies
  • Develop a stronger and more competitive automotive supply chain
  • Provide a stronger public voice for the industry to support the value of the industry to the UK and to global partners
  • Ensure a strategic, continuous conversation between Government and the automotive industry in the UK

The Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space Industries

The ADS is the premier trade organisation advancing the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries. Farnborough International Limited (FIL), which runs the Farnborough International Airshow, is a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The industries represented by ADS are vital to the UK economy and are major drivers of growth and prosperity. The sector activities within ADS are designed to respond to the priority needs indicated by Members. It is also important to bring the sectors into focus for senior policy makers. The following priority objectives are designed to give focus to the work ADS undertakes:

  • Improve the image and profile of our industries
  • Influence the policy debates of most importance to our industries
  • Support UK manufacturing and our industries’ supply chains
  • Encourage investment in technology and innovation
  • Support business development opportunities nationally and in priority international markets
  • Increase Member value

NMCL Automotive / SC21 Competitiveness & Growth

NMCL or National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels is a consortium programme led by the UK automotive and aerospace trade associations (SMMT and ADS) with government funding support to drive supply chain improvement.

Industry Forum is proud to be an approved improvement provider for the NMCL Automotive and SC21 C&G programmes. IF can provide over 90 of the improvement modules within the programme enabling us to support a high proportion of the activities that beneficiary organisations may require.

We know from our extensive involvement in programmes of this type, that project management is vital to achieve the best possible outcome. We provide a project manager for all large projects with multiple improvements schemes to make sure you can concentrate on getting the most of the activity. You will always have a named contact at Industry Forum who is responsible for driving the project forward and responsible for reporting on the activity.

If you are an automotive or aerospace supplier in the UK and would like to discuss whether the NMCL programme would be suitable to support your needs please contact us. Alternatively you can submit an expression of interest to join the programme. 


Established in 1997, the VDA QMC is a division of the German Automotive Industry Association (VDA QMC) based in Berlin, Germany.
VDA QMC were set up to support the German automotive OEMs and their supply chain. VDA QMC develop systems and methods to shape the future of quality management systems in the automotive industry. 
SMMT Industry Forum have been licensed by VDA QMC since 2011 to deliver a range of their training in English.


Established in 1984, Odette is a pan-European collaboration and services platform working for the entire automotive supply network.

The mission of Odette is to improve the efficiency and enhance the competitiveness of the European automotive industry within the global economy. To realise this mission, Odette produces best-practice recommendations and provides tools and services which support the digitalisation of the European supply chain and ensure the secure exchange of sensitive commercial and engineering data throughout the world.

Thousands of companies within the automotive industry depend on the integrity, confidentiality and security of Odette services and trust in Odette best-practice recommendations, including MMOG/LE which has become the de-facto standard for evaluating automotive supply chain processes. SMMT Industry Forum is a vital partner for Odette in the training and development of MMOG/LE.


APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management and the premier provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience. APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and APICS Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional (SCOR-P) designations set the industry standard. APICS is transforming the way people do business, drive growth and reach global customers.

The Japan Institute for Plant Maintenance

The objective of JIPM is to support the organisation of the production base, reducing risk and improving Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) in manufacturing industries. This is undertaken by conducting research and studies into manufacturing maintenance techniques and recognising excellence through various awards, including the Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) award.

TPM was introduced by JIPM in 1971 and is defined as ‘the ultimate method of pursuing production efficiency’. It is intended to encompass the entire company from the shopfloor to the executive boardroom, creating a true company wide commitment to production excellence, and is designed to avoid any losses by creating a culture of ‘zero accidents, zero defects and zero breakdowns’.

Charity partner - Acorns

Industry Forum is proud to actively support Acorn Children’s Hospice. Established in 1988, Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust is a registered charity offering a network of care for life limited and life threatened children and young people, and their families, across the heart of England. These children and young people are not expected to reach adulthood and require specialist care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the last year, Acorns has supported over 700 children and more than 1,050 families, including those who are bereaved.

Acorns is the only organisation that provides this level of care to these vulnerable youngsters whilst offering a range of support services to the whole family to help them cope at every stage of their child’s life and beyond into bereavement.

Acorns relies on the community to fund the majority of its activities.

Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington

Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington is a £30M programme that has been designed to support businesses to reskill and upskill their current workforce. This programme is in partnership with the University of Chester and is partly funded by the European Social Fund.

Through the Cheshire and Warrington Accelerate programme businesses can access funding to go towards the cost of training their business needs.

The University of Chester

The University of Chester is a public university located in the historic city of Chester, England. The University, the first purpose-built teacher training college in the UK, based in five campus sites in and around Chester and one in Warrington, offers a range of foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as undertaking academic research.

The Centre for Work Related Studies (CWRS) recently received a commendation by the UK quality body, for its radically flexible and high quality negotiated work based learning framework – enabling professionals to customise their own qualifications, ‘learn through work’, and enable rapid accreditation of commercial training provision. At the same time, the funding body showcased CWRS’s flexible approach to accrediting workplace learning.

Birmingham City Council - Supplier Skills Programme

SMMT IF is a Strategic Partner for Birmingham City Council’s, Supplier Skills Programme (SSP).

Grants of between £500 and £18,000 for SMEs are now available to upskill new and existing employees.

The £12m Supplier Skills Programme (SSP) is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and managed by Birmingham City Council. It offers SMEs the opportunity to access grant funding to develop and upskill their workforce. The programme is available to SMEs that are:
  • Based within, or locating to, the “More Developed” areas of The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP); Birmingham, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Solihull, Wyre Forest
  • Able to match fund the training costs (50% of training costs will be match funded by the SME and the remaining 50% by ESF) – Note: Match funding cannot be sourced from public funds

Please note: SSP is open to all sectors but we particularly welcome application from key priority sector employers.

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