The Vehicle Certification Agency is the United Kingdom competent authority and one of the European Union competent authorities for the issue of international type approvals for vehicle systems, components and complete vehicles. The technical aspects of type approval work break down into three main elements - vehicle system testing (e.g. brakes, exhaust emissions), inspection of production specification vehicles, and component testing (i.e. devices that may not be vehicle specific like tyres, lamps, seat belts),
The role of the type approval engineer is to liaise with the manufacturer to obtain the technical specification of the type to be approved, to review that information in order to select the tests that need to be carried out and the variants/versions of the type to be tested, to arrange for the tests to be conducted (if necessary appraising the facility for suitability beforehand), to carry out the tests, to finalise the information documents, and finally to compile a technical report and a draft approval certificate.
Each engineer is expected to gain a broad knowledge of Type Approval legislation, Conformity of Production requirements and current and new vehicle legislation. Testing is carried out or witnessed at manufacturer’s site or proving grounds, so occasional travelling is necessary.
A good technical understanding of motor vehicle technology and excellent interpersonal skills including excellent organisational skills and attention to detail are required as this job involves handling large amounts of data.
From the Civil Service Science and Engineering framework: