VCA logo

We improve vehicle safety and environmental protection on UK roads. We do this by robust testing and certification of vehicles to internationally recognised standards.

We are the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), and we are one of the four executive agencies of the Department for Transport.

We are regularly on the lookout for new and talented people to join us. Find out more about working for the Vehicle Certification Agency and see how your work could make a difference.

Male staff member at VCA shaking handing of young male.

What we do at VCA

Technical expertise and quality is at the heart of everything we do.

With more than 40 years of experience, we have become one of the largest and well-respected approval bodies in industry. VCA’s delivery of certification to UN ECE standards has built our reputation as not just a leader in Europe, but across the globe.

We provide expert testing and certification services to a wide range of automotive makers, from global brands to the smallest niche specialist vehicle manufacturers. So, if you use or travel in a vehicle, there’s a good chance that we’ve been involved in getting it on the road.

  • Click here to reveal the key aspects of VCA’s work

    Key aspects of our work include:

    • Type approval, which is confirmation that production samples of a vehicle, system or component design will meet specified performance standards.
    • Conformity of Production (COP) testing which is a means of evidencing a manufacturers’ ability to produce a series of products that exactly match the specification, performance and marking requirements outlined in the type approval documentation.
    • Certification of packaging and intermediate bulk containers used for the transport of dangerous goods and the appointment of Authorised Inspection Bodies.
    • Provision of a fully searchable automotive legislation data on a subscription basis. We can provide copies of all automotive European Community and UN ECE legislation in a number of ways, and supply interested customers with up-to-the-minute information on key dates associated with the legislation though our LegStat system.
    • Provision of car and van fuel /CO2 databases, which aim to provide data for most new cars and light vans available for sale in the UK.
    • Enforcement of fuel consumption and CO2 data provision in promotional literature.
    • Other certification activities, including but not exclusive to Non-road Mobile Machinery, Vehicle Special Orders and mutual recognition, for vehicles approved and registered in an EU Member State.

Why choose a career at VCA?

The Vehicle Certification Agency is one of the most ambitious and exciting government departments to be a part of. There are lots of fantastic opportunities to join our organisation, and we take great pride in our inclusive, diverse working environment.

Starting your career at VCA means you’re joining an agency that’s responsible for making a real difference to public safety and the environment. You’ll be working along experienced professionals who are passionate about what they do and always eager to learn more.

There are so many reasons why you should want to work for VCA!

Benefits of working for VCA:

  • flexible working
  • competitive pension
  • volunteering days
  • learning & development
  • family friendly policies (maternity/parental/paternity leave)
  • Corporate clothing allowance
  • up to 30 days annual leave (plus 8 public holidays)
  • being in civil service and open to a range of opportunities
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Free parking

Where we’re based

VCA’s main headquarters are in Bristol, with an office and test facilities at Nuneaton and at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Milton Keynes. Our Dangerous Goods team is based in Leatherhead, Surrey.

But while VCA may be based in the United Kingdom, our reach spreads wide and far across the globe!

We have offices overseas in North and South America, Japan, China, India, Italy, South Korea and Australia. The global nature of our work presents opportunities for our staff to travel and take up secondments abroad.

Peter Bawn, Head of Bristol Operations

“I have been privileged to work with companies in UK, Europe, Japan, China and the United States, travelling to witness testing activities on a wide variety of subjects.”

Transport boarding times.

A welcoming and diverse place to work

At VCA we all play an active role in developing a diverse and inclusive workplace. Diversity is about accepting and appreciating the aspects that make people different. We are already an incredibly diverse organisation but we are committed to building on this still further.

We believe that inclusion is about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. We all work together to develop an inclusive environment, where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential.

We believe that by being a diverse and inclusive workplace, where everyone is valued, we are more motivated, higher performing and more committed to our team.

We welcome all applications, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, social background, religious beliefs, ethnicity or age.

“The exciting thing about managing a global operation is the opportunity it gives us to celebrate our diversity and create an environment where we can work effectively together. Inclusion is what we do to ensure all our different kinds of people can thrive and succeed.”

Paul Higgs, VCA Chief Operating Officer

Varied and rewarding job roles at VCA

VCA is a great place to work, and we want everyone to be engaged in the work they do. We currently employ staff in a variety of administrative, engineering, auditing and specialist roles throughout our offices.

Our work is split into four key business areas. You can learn more about each by clicking through the tabs below.

  • Technical Standards and Legislation

    You’ll have opportunities to audit vehicle manufacturers across the globe. You’ll be providing advice to engineers and manufactures on legislation.

    As the automotive industry develops further into Semi-Autonomous Vehicles, you’ll be in the know of future and current changes to vehicles, and how legislation can be developed to keep the drivers, passengers and public safe.

    The UK Type Approval Authority has responsibility for Conformity of Production, Technical Support Group, New Technologies, Internal Quality, CAV and Propulsion Group.

  • Corporate Affairs & Dangerous Goods

    Corporate Affairs has responsibility for Communications, including strategy and governance, operational delivery of the Dangerous Goods Packaging certification.

    You’ll get the opportunity to develop VCA’s branding both internally and externally, as well as delivering the annual Dangerous Goods Seminar and corporate office functions.

  • Finance, Resourcing and IT

    As a member of this team, you’ll oversee Finance, HR, Estates and IT functions, making sure they are in line with the Department for Transport policies. You’ll be helping to look after VCA’s global staff network and working with multi-currency accounts.

    There are so many opportunities to grow and develop your career in Finance, HR and IT. You’ll get the chance to obtain financial and HR qualifications such as ACCA & CIPD.

    We’re also expanding our IT department, and there’ll be plenty of exciting chances to get involved in this digital transformation!

  • International Operations

    International Operations has responsibility for all international operations which include; UK, Italy, Japan, India, Korea, China, Brazil and North America. You’ll be responsible for providing assurance and oversight, ensuring that they operate effective governance arrangements.

    Graduate engineering schemes are available, which include global placements with a range of manufacturers. Plenty of travel opportunities to onsite manufactures and use of testing facilities including test tracks, to approve vehicles.

A job where you’ll learn, develop and grow

Our people are at the forefront of what we do. We invest heavily in the professional development and support of our teams. 

From bespoke training packages, professional qualifications and the wider civil service learning platform, we empower our leaders and nurture our teams. Always improving and equipping our people to provide the high-quality service expected from the VCA.

From your first day with us, you will have access to a wide-ranging learning and development portfolio designed to give you the right tools at the right time. In these ever-evolving times, we continue to build on our learning and development portfolio to provide a tailored development agenda for our team’s ever-changing needs.

Apprenticeships at VCA

VCA run a yearly Graduate Engineering recruitment programme. Graduate Engineers join the agency as an Executive Officer and over the course of two years will carry out placements within government agencies and manufactures across the world, sometimes spending 6-8 weeks in Japan or the US. After 2 years of on-job training, graduates will attend a promotion board and if successful will transition to a HEO, Type Approval Engineer.

Apprenticeships are at the top of VCA’s agenda this year. Current apprenticeships we have in place are; Facilities Management, Level 7 Leadership and Management and BTEC Automotive Engineering-Maintenance Technician Standard Level 2.

Leadership and Management skills are vital to many roles across the agency and we are hoping to have continuous enrolment across all departments, over the coming years. VCA are reviewing all roles due to be advertised, to identify those that present the opportunity of an apprenticeship.

MCA engineer and apprentice in discussion next to gear wheel.

Jacob Homan, Graduate Engineer

“The graduate scheme has allowed me to gain a wider understanding of the engineering processes that take place in the automotive sector across the world…”

How you can start your career with VCA!

Many exciting opportunities to join the Vehicle Certification Agency are posted on the Civil Service Jobs website. Be sure to check the website regularly to see our latest vacancies, and turn on job alerts so you stay in the loop with the latest jobs as they’re launched!

What our people say about working at VCA

Laura Mason, Human Resources Manager

“The Department creates many opportunities for collaborative working…”

Louise Strange, Financial Controller

“…the finance department feels hugely involved in the life of VCA and it is an..”

Charmaine Perks, Legislation Analyst

“…the expectation to travel is minimal which sits well with my home life…”