Applying to the Vehicle Certification Agency

When applying to the VCA, we’ll assess your experience, as well as your strengths, and will give you the best opportunity to showcase these.

Application and selection process

Summary of process
Making an application
Success Profiles
How we select candidates
Summary of process
Summary of process
Making an application
Success Profiles
How we select candidates

Summary of process

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Application: Completion of career history, relevant qualifications or experience and the experience indicators in the personal statement.

Sift: All applications assessed against the essential and desirable criteria, and experience indicators.

Assessment: Blended interview to assess candidates further using Success Profiles.

Making an application

Firstly, read the whole advert. This will provide useful information on the:

  • Job summary
  • Job description
  • Person specification
  • Specific qualifications needed for the role
  • How to apply
  • Success Profiles being assessed during the selection process.

It is important you provide an up-to-date CV. This will allow the recruiting manager to determine if you have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to perform the role. It helps to look at the person specification when doing this.

Success Profiles

The vacancy you are interested in uses a method called Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

The vacancy you are interested in uses a method called Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

We value a fair and thorough selection process to identify the most suitable candidate/s for our roles. Our selection process ensures a comprehensive assessment of each applicant’s qualifications, skills, and potential fit within our organisation.

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How we select candidates

Stage 1: Initial experience-based sift
In this stage, we carefully review all applications to shortlist candidates who clearly demonstrate the necessary skills and qualifications, experience and behaviours for the role. Our aim is to identify candidates whose relevant experience aligns with the specific requirements of the position.

Stage 2: In-Person assessment
The final stage involves an in-person assessment, where selected candidates will be invited to visit one of our premises.

Top tips

Make sure you understand which elements of the Success Profile are to be assessed at each stage of the process.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is an opportunity to give evidenced examples of how you fit the requirements on the person specification and why you suited to the job. Always remember to directly address the experience indicators detailed in the job advert. It is a good idea to use headings to break up your paragraphs, this gives a clear structure to the different areas you want to cover. Always use full explanations of terms rather than abbreviations or acronyms. Try using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) model to help you structure your answers:

  • Situation: What was happening?
  • Task: What needed to happen?
  • Action: What did you do?
  • Result: How was your action successful?

Spend more time on the ‘action’ and ‘result’ parts of STAR. This tells the recruiting panel what you did and what happened as a result. Seek a second opinion and read it again – make sure you are content that your statement provides the evidence requested to demonstrate the essential criteria and ask questions if you are unsure about anything. Stick to the word count.

Career History / CV

A great Curriculum Vitae (CV) should be tailored to the role you are applying for – make sure you highlight your most relevant skills and experience. Your CV should be both easy to read and follow, keep the format simple and clear.

When listing your responsibilities for your previous role

  • When sharing your experience, in addition to your role title, avoid using high level team responsibilities and instead provide details that can be easily evaluated against the experience indicators. Please refer to the examples shown.
  • Avoid using too many acronyms, they may be specific to your business and not understood by the sifting panel
  • Try to provide some data to give an indication of the scale of your responsibility
  • Try to give a brief explanation of what your responsibilities were for the items listed, it can be helpful to mention if you were personally responsible for monitoring key targets, or providing management data for key stakeholders, developing strategy, etc

There are usually two or three people on an interview panel; typically, the vacancy holder, a colleague or individual who understands the role well, and finally an independent person to ensure every candidate is treated and assessed consistently.

Embracing an inclusive culture will help us to recruit and retain the best people from the widest talent pool. Our recruitment panels should reflect this commitment, and as such, we endeavour to ensure that all panels at VCA reflect the diversity of our workforce.

You can also use the STAR format in an interview, in the same way you use it for an application.

  • Remember to answer using ‘I’ not ‘we’.
  • Use dynamic language.
  • Give structure to your answer.
How to structure the CV section

Do use details to further explain the role

Senior HR Manager
Hotel ABC – 2017 – present

  • Managed the Payroll Team of 6 people
  • Member of Corporate Leadership Board, making strategic decisions for key business initiatives
  • Managed TUPE of 150 staff, including union discussions and staff communications
  • Managed employee engagement, including staff survey, coordinating action plans and reporting to the management board

Do not only include basic information

Senior HR Manager
Hotel ABC – 2017 – present

  • Payroll
  • Attend CLB
  • TUPE
  • Employee Engagement
Applying to the VCA – Video guidance

We’ve created a quick video with some things to do and not to do when applying for a role at the VCA.

Things you need to know

Help with your application

When you submit your online application, you will receive an acknowledgement, if you do not receive this acknowledgement or you have any problems with submitting your application, please email and a member of the Recruitment team will pick up your query. Please include the vacancy reference number and job title in the subject line.

Pre-Employment Checks

All successful candidates will need to undergo pre-employment checks before joining us.

These security checks enable us to confirm a candidate’s right to work in the UK, eligibility under nationality rules, and any underspent criminal convictions.

Depending on the level of checks required, you may be requested to present personal documentation as proof of your identity and eligibility to work in the UK. All candidates will be given clear instructions of this process at the time and supported to complete these checks efficiently.

Please note, only original copies of documentation will be accepted; photocopies and online documents will be declined.

Where you can find us

Our largest sites are in Bristol (headquarters) and the Midlands (Nuneaton). Both sites are well served by good transport links, including road, rail and bike. Our Nuneaton office is based on the HORIBA MIRA site and we also have a presence at the Millbrook Proving Ground, near Milton Keynes. Our Dangerous Goods team is based in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Our UK based offices offer free parking for colleagues and electric car charging at a reduced rate is available at our largest sites. We also run a cycle to work scheme, with facilities for leaving a bike securely onsite.

Our overseas offices are in North and South America, Japan, China, India, South Korea and Australia.

Several of our roles offer the opportunity to travel in the UK and overseas, giving our colleagues an opportunity to experience new countries and cultures. These experiences can be highly rewarding, opening doors to working in new and exciting environments with highly skilled colleagues and world-leading manufacturers.

Contact us

If you have any general queries or technical problems please email:

If you have any role specific queries, please contact the hiring manager listed on the job advert.

Further information

More help and guidance about how to apply, as well as further information about life and careers within the civil service, can be found on the Civil Service Careers website.

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