Preparing for a green future: giving the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector the credentials it deserves

Steve Scofield, Head of Business Development at the Institute of the Motor Industry outlines the steps being taken to develop National Occupational Standards for Vehicle Recycling.

With environmental sustainability now front of mind for all parts of society, there is a huge opportunity for those working in the End-of-Life-Vehicle market to go a step further, to demonstrate the high standards applied through all parts of their operations and the role the sector can play in the government’s Decarbonisation plan.  Supporting that vision, the Institute of the Motor Industry, which is the professional body for the automotive sector, is developing National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Vehicle Recycling, specifically focusing on the Vehicle Dismantler role. This includes depollution of the vehicle and the grading of the ‘green’ parts to be re-used. 

Crucially we are shaping these standards in close collaboration with key stakeholders in the sector, including the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) and the British Vehicle Salvage Federation (BVSF). And, recognising the workload pressures for those working in the sector, the standards are being designed to be easy to train for and adopt in bite-sized modules. 

What are National Occupational Standards?

The Institute of the Motor Industry is responsible for setting the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for all sectors of the automotive industry. There are already over 20 NOS in existence for those working in automotive, providing a global benchmark for quality and professionalism.  Adding Vehicle Recycling to the list is an important step in building the professional image of the industry, which will help to grow sales, reduce errors and accidents and increase profits.

NOS are used to help develop qualifications used in apprenticeship frameworks in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well as the IMI accreditation scheme for staff across the UK. The standards describe what an individual in a certain role should be able to do and the knowledge and understanding they need. Employers can use them to help design their in-house training, on-the-job coaching or performance management systems. And they provide an important benchmark for employers when it comes to recruitment.

A collaborative process

To ensure that the new NOS for Vehicle Recycling are fit for purpose, the IMI is working closely with employers, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders to feed into the project. We’ve already held a number of Working Groups, with members of the sector invited to provide their expertise. With that input we have now drafted the NOS in three key areas – Vehicle Removal, Vehicle Dismantling and Green Parts Grading -  for sector feedback and we are keen to ensure that we get the widest possible input so that the NOS is fit for purpose for the current and future shape of automotive recycling.

Crucially, the NOS grading that we are creating for the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector is based on the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) standard which is already well established, and well respected in the automotive market as a whole.  Aligning to this existing standard makes complete sense because it’s what the sector already knows.

Preparing for a changing world

The rapid acceleration of electric motoring is particularly important for the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector. Those working on the dismantling of these high voltage vehicles need to understand the very specific risks. The advances in connected and autonomous motoring will also present the sector with new challenges. And, as the spotlight only gets brighter on how all parts of automotive can positively contribute to creating a greener and more sustainable environment, attention will increase significantly on the role of ‘green parts’.  The insurance industry is already working hard to adopt ‘green parts’ in its claims processes so it’s vital that the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector can meet the exacting standards expected.

An industry to be proud of

Certification for vehicle dismantlers, under the new NOS, will therefore provide a real opportunity to show pride in the industry, while at the same time increasing the credibility of the sector. Plus, of course, if those professionals working in the sector have clear standards to operate within, the health and safety record as a whole will be improved.

Currently the job functions being looked at as part of the NOS include: 


• Collect and store vehicle

• Receive and assess vehicle

• Depollute vehicle

• Dismantle vehicle

• Grade parts

• Manage inventory of parts


Throughout the development of the standards, we have aimed to build on existing, proven NOS for other parts of automotive. This includes vehicle collection – based on existing Roadside Recovery NOS – and managing ‘green’ parts inventory – based on Parts Operations NOS. Existing Electric Vehicle NOS are also being used for the Vehicle Recycling sector, to include the dangers of towing an EV, making a vehicle safe and safe storage of high voltage batteries.

This is a tremendously exciting project that will put the End-of-Life-Vehicle sector on a par with the rest of the automotive industry. As such we welcome continued input from everyone involved in the sector.  Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to provide your views.