Vehicle Certification Agency

What we will do for you

VCA offers a competitive package including optional non-contributory pension scheme, 30 days annual leave and regular training and development opportunities. Salary is dependant on qualifications and experience but within the following range:

  • PTO salary starts at £21,525 rising to £26,120
  • HPTO grade starts at £26,780 rising to £35,315 p.a*.

VCA is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to eliminating discrimination from employment practices. Applications are welcome from all suitably qualified people; nationals of EC countries are also welcome to apply.

Life at Vehicle Certification Agency

The VCA Graduate Training Scheme

About our scheme

The VCA Graduate Training Scheme is a 4 year IMechE accredited programme which aims to develop talented engineers. The scheme follows the IMechE Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS) and offers graduates a structured and supported route to Chartership. As part of this, each graduate will be assigned a mentor, an experienced Chartered engineer, to help with their development.

The scheme follows a placement programme for the first 2 years.  These placements are related to type approval and the work of VCA and will also help develop engineering competencies required for Chartership and ensure fully rounded type approval engineers.  These placements will begin with either 6 months at VCA Bristol or VCA Midlands Centre, and could then follow with 3 month placements at:

  • The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)
  • A vehicle manufacturer
  • The Department for Transport, International Vehicle Standards division
  • Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)
  • A VCA overseas office (not guaranteed)
  • Millbrook Proving Ground

Following successful completion of the placements, the graduate will be offered a permanent responsible position at VCA for the final 2 years on the scheme.

An important aim of the scheme is to work towards achieving Chartership at the end of the 4th year.   The graduate is expected to keep up to date with reports and regularly meet with Mentor and Line Manager to discuss their progress.

Graduate benefits

Starting at ‘PTO’ grade with a salary of £25,045 progression is then rapid, with an increase to £27,570 in year 2 followed, subject to satisfactory performance, by promotion to ‘HPTO’ grade and salaries of £30,182 and £33,350 in years 3 and 4 respectively. Although the Graduate Scheme runs for four years, annual pay progression continues for a further two years leading to a potential £37,915 in your sixth year with VCA*.

Flexible working is available and encouraged, and you will be eligible to join a Civil Service pension.

*Based on 2013 (current) pay scales, which are subject to a revised pay offer currently under consideration

We will invest a great deal of time into your development during the 4 year scheme and you will have excellent support from your mentor, line manager, current graduate engineers and experienced engineers. The support and training opportunities we offer will enable you to achieve Chartered status at the end of the scheme.

The key benefits of working for VCA:

A career with Us

We currently employ around 150 staff in a variety of administrative, engineering, auditing and
specialist roles throughout our offices.


Our bonus arrangements provide staff with recognition and reward for delivery of outstanding

There are two types of award:

In-Year Bonuses up to the value of £500 – paid to individuals or teams in recognition
of one-off achievements during the year;

Annual Bonuses up to the value of £1000 – which are paid to staff for the delivery of
an outstanding outcome or contribution sustained throughout the whole year.

Learning and Development

We are committed to ensuring that our staff have the knowledge and skills to carry out their
work and to providing learning and development opportunities to all of our staff.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

We offer staff an employee assistance programme. This service provides you and your
close family direct access to a team of specialists and counsellors, geared up to help tackle a
whole range of practical and emotional issues. The EAP free phone number operates 24
hours a day, 7 days a week.

More About Us

VCA is an Executive Agency of the United Kingdom Department for Transport and the United Kingdom’s national approval authority for new road vehicles, agricultural tractors and off-road vehicles. Our status allows close links with the UK Government and European policy formulation and enforcement of vehicle safety and environmental standards. We bring the authority and back-up of Government, but with the freedom to react to your changing needs.

Our main headquarters office is in Bristol, with an office and test facilities on the MIRA site at Nuneaton and an office at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Milton Keynes. Worldwide we have offices in the US (long established offices in Northville Michigan, and Ashland Ohio), Asia-Pacific (Japan), Malaysia, China, India, Italy and Australia. We also have agents in many other locations around the world, enabling us to satisfy the needs of vehicle manufacturers wherever they are based.

We pride ourselves in providing expert international test and certification services for vehicles and vehicle parts. Our approval certificates are recognised without question throughout the European Community and the wider group of countries belonging to the European Economic Area and the Geneva-based United Nations organisation (ECE).

Equal Opportunities

We are an Equal Opportunities Employer. Our staff are entitled to receive fair and equal
treatment in all areas of their working life, irrespective of your race, ethnic or national origin,
age, religion or belief, sex, gender identity, marital status, disability, sexual orientation,
working pattern, employment status, caring responsibility or trade union membership.

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