The Essential IMDS Onboarding Guide

IMDS compliance reporting depends on the people managing it. When you lose a lead compliance team member, it is vital someone else can step in and maintain your reporting — so your company’s goods can stay on the market. This is where IMDS onboarding comes into play.

Yet few companies plan ahead for shifting compliance responsibilities — or even prep to add another person to the compliance team in an efficient, seamless process.

IMDS is a powerful compliance reporting tool for automotive suppliers and OEMs. It is a complex software that requires a high level of knowledge, understanding and experience to meet changing regulations and customer requests.

At Tetra Tech, we’ve been with IMDS since its start, guiding thousands of professionals to reporting ease and confidence. Here, we’ll break down the steps that matter most in introducing a new employee to IMDS and providing them with the skills and tools for regulatory reporting — fast.

The Ultimate IMDS Onboarding Guide


To set the stage for IMDS success, your leadership team must lay the groundwork by answering baseline and common employee questions. “Why does this matter?” “What does this mean for my role?” “How does this affect the entire success of the organization?”

When an employee can understand why and what they are contributing to, they can easier invest their time to gain the appropriate skills to achieve success. And they can also better prepare to meet any challenges and changes along the way.

  • Provide a regulatory compliance overview explaining why it is important for your organization, your customers and communities around the world that you accurately report your materials.
  • What regulations affect your business most? It’s even better if you can document these and provide resources for staying up-to-date with changes.
  • Provide a history and overview of IMDS and how it replaces less ideal systems and processes.
  • Detail a clear description and an outline of expectations for their role.
  • Explain how the role fits into the overall goals of the company — and why it’s important.


One vital way a new employee will gain skills and confidence with IMDS is to actually dive into the program and practice. You do not want a new employee risking your current IMDS materials or settings. Therefore, there are methods for providing this employee hands-on experience in a safe, low-risk setting — before they get into actual reporting for your products.

  • Sit with new hire or provide a step-by-step guide for logging into IMDS and introducing them to the current system already in place.
  • Create a test area to practice essential tasks and actions, such as using IMDS Committee published materials, editing existing Material Data Sheets (MDSs) , building an MDS tree and more.
  • Partner the new hire or role with any employees who have past IMDS experience and skills.
  • Develop a coaching and support program to always ensure you have a handful of employees on staff who can answer regulatory compliance reporting needs.
  • Bonus! Gamify the process by including quizzes and other means to test their IMDS proficiency and growth.


There are a number of things you lose with employee turnover that cannot be helped, but others can be prevented altogether. Think passwords and login credentials, and even troubleshooting guides to OEM and industry-specific requirements.

Thus, you can overcome this by creating an easy-to-access resource database that houses a compliance reporting–specific section. The information should be easy to maintain and be accessible to all relevant parties. In this database, consider including:

  • IMDS login credentials
  • Spreadsheet of other employees involved in compliance reporting and roles/responsibilities and contact information
  • IMDS company user guide
  • IMDS company use policy
  • OEM/customer quality requirements
  • Links to IMDS troubleshooting guidance and support
  • Bonus! Internal how-to documents or videos

An Easier Way for IMDS Onboarding

Overall, developing a robust and valuable IMDS onboarding program is a massive undertaking and is likely unfeasible for many. So, Tetra Tech IMDS experts have done this for you.

We offer a number of IMDS courses — from Basic Level certification training for those brand new to IMDS, to Standard Level, Advanced Level and even OEM-specific for others looking to level-up. Our courses answer all on-boarding needs and beyond, short of your login credentials:

  • Vital IMDS background information to lay the groundwork
  • 30-day access to the IMDS training environment
  • One-year access to the training video content that can be reviewed as a refresher
  • Video modules with hands-on, expert-guided exercises
  • Quizzes to test proficiency
  • Final exercise submittal to Tetra Tech IMDS expert for feedback
  • Professional certification in IMDS once the user passes all quizzes and the final exercise at 80% or higher proficiency
  • Customization available for company-specific IMDS training needs

Contact our IMDS experts to schedule a free 30-minute demonstration and to learn more.


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