Vehicle Damage Assessor

Occupational overview

A Vehicle Damage Assessor (VDA) works within the Automotive Bodyshop Industry. This industry employs around 200,000 people in a range of large, medium sized and small businesses.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to methodically and accurately inspect and assess all elements of a motor vehicle that has sustained damage and requires repair. They will be able to identify and record damage on a vehicle and determine (using prescribed information from Manufacturers) which parts of the vehicle should be repaired or replaced. A VDA will have an understanding of the manual process of assessing and costing repair of a vehicle, whilst also being able to use the relevant electronic estimating software. They will have knowledge of all types of vehicles including petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid. A VDA will stay abreast of ever changing autonomous technological vehicle safety developments known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The VDA will produce accurate & detailed repair specifications to be used to carry out the required repair process. They will have commercial knowledge of their respective workplace and know how to apply this in order to determine a monetary cost and timescale for each repair job.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with the customer of the damaged vehicle, the Bodyshop manager, vehicle repair technicians and office/administrative staff at their company and insurance companies.  The assessor will work alone (once qualified) to assess the vehicle but will also liaise with the customer, insurance company and vehicle technicians to discuss the assessment, damage to the vehicle and how it will be repaired.  The assessor may report to the Bodyshop manager, or sometimes the commercial director or other members of staff, depending on the staffing structure within their own organisation.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for producing an accurate estimate to carry out a repair job which is subsequently agreed by key stakeholders.

A VDA will have excellent communication skills, be able to negotiate and have a methodical approach to work.  Being able to carry out work accurately is essential.


  1. Vehicles construction and materials
  2. Steering, suspension and braking, systems and operations
  3. Transmission and drivelines
  4. The principles of electrical systems
  5. Electrical/electronic components
  6. Vehicle safety systems
  7. Tools and equipment used in the process
  8. Understand current  Health & Safety legislation in the workplace
  9. The structure of their organisation or workplace
  10. The importance of teamwork in the workplace
  11. How to communicate effectively
  12. Up to date vehicle repair technologies including Paint, Panel and MET
  13. Good understanding of commercial aspects of a body shop
  14. How to produce a job card
  15. Non-accidental related damage
  16. Electronic costings systems
  17. Industry vehicle Repair methods


  1. Recognise properties of different types of vehicle damage
  2. Maintain records
  3. Use manual and digital image technology
  4. Locate vehicle unique identification details
  5. Diagnose safety faults on vehicles
  6. Read, adhere to and apply relevant legislation
  7. Use repair methods
  8. Make judgements on vehicle damage, taking into account safety and cost
  9. Commercial decision making
  10. Prepare costings based on parts and labour ratios
  11. Oral communication, listening and negotiation skills
  12. Use industry guidelines appropriately
  13. Recognises importance of gaining approval before work commences
  14. Use of estimating software, spreadsheets, on-line databases


  1. Customer-focused: demonstrate behaviour that puts the customer first
  2. A right first time approach committed to delivering and maintaining high quality workplace standards
  3. A calm and reasoned approach
  4. A professional approach, demonstrates integrity and confidence in daily activities
  5. Adherence to company values, shows passion and enthusiasm for the industry
  6. Take responsibility for health and safety
  7. Attention to detail

Entry requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 


This apprenticeship lasts 36 months.

Professional qualifications

This is a level 4 apprenticeship.

Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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