Designation of Technical Services for EU and UNECE Type Approval Testing

This page was last updated on 5th March 2020

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) is the United Kingdom Type Approval Authority.

As an agency of the Department for Transport (DfT), the VCA is authorised to designate laboratories to act as Technical Services for testing or supervising testing of vehicles, systems or components, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 1958 Agreement (E/ECE/324 – E/ECE/TRANS/505-Rev.3. Dated 20 December 2017) and the appropriate EU type approval frameworks while they apply to and in the United Kingdom.

For which subjects can designations be made?

The VCA will designate Technical Services for the approval subjects listed in the UNECE 1958 Agreement and the EU type approval frameworks as follows:

  1. The VCA will invite applications for approval subjects where VCA does not possess the technical competence or resource capability to undertake the work itself. Invitation notices will be placed on the VCA website, and available from the DfT website when such a need is identified (see our list of current designated technical services and open invitations for new designations). It is expected that only a limited number of Technical Services will be appointed for each subject.
  2. The VCA will accept applications for all other subjects (i.e. those where VCA does have technical competence) where the applicant can demonstrate there is a market need for the designation of the organisation. For example through industry customers requesting the service from the applicant. Applications in this respect may be submitted at any time.

Who can apply?

In both cases applications will be accepted only from reputable organisations who can demonstrate the necessary technical competence and management systems as required by the relevant instruments. The evidence to be provided must be adequate to establish that the organisation:

  • has a good financial history and credit rating;
  • has a record of good repute;
  • is established as a company in the European Union;
  • has skills, technical knowledge and proven experience in the area of designation being sought (including the conducting of a minimum of 5 tests witnessed by VCA); and
  • has appropriate management systems compliant with ISO17025 or 17020.

Applicants will be subject to audit by VCA prior to designation to confirm compliance with the criteria listed above, and during the period of designation. The procedure that VCA will follow can be downloaded here: Technical Service designation procedures

How long will the designation last?

Each designation will be for a period of 3 years which may be extended for a further 3-year period if appropriate.


Designations will be notified to the UNECE Secretariat and EU Commission in accordance with the requirements of the legislative instruments. The notice will include the name, address (including the electronic address), the details of the responsible persons and the category of activities for which the organisation is designated.


Applicants will be liable for fees payable to VCA for the work done (full cost recovery) in processing the application, undertaking the audit, confirming the designation, and monitoring performance during the period of the designation, payable in advance and as set on the Designation Fees Payable page. In addition to designation fees, VCA certificate and administration fees per approval job processed, after designation, will be payable by the applicant.


VCA has an appeals procedure where an application is rejected. All appeals will be considered in accordance with the Appeals Procedure set out on page 5 of the ‘Technical Service designation procedure’ document (see link above).

Register of interest

VCA will keep a register of interested prospective Technical Services who will be contacted when new opportunities arise. Prospective applicants should send expressions of interest to:

Technical Support Group Manager

Please follow this link to view the list of current designated technical services and open invitations for new designations.

list of test facilities suitable for EMC testing (witnessed by VCA)

Follow this link to see the Designation Fees Payable.

Please follow this link to view our Technical Service designation procedures

If you would like to apply to be a designated technical service, an on-line application form has been provided:Application form to be a designated technical service

Application to open a new job number