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Designation of Technical Services for EU and UNECE Type Approval Testing

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 Article 41 of Directive 2007/46/EC as amended (the "Framework Directive").  The VCA is authorised to apply a similar approach to the designation of Technical Services under Article 14 of the 2002/24/EC, and Article 21 of 2003/37/EC, both as amended, and under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 1958 Agreement (E/ECE/324 - E/ECE/TRANS/505-Rev.2. Dated 5 October 1995).

For which subjects can designations be made?

The VCA will designate technical services for the approval subjects listed in the Framework Directives and made under the UNECE 1958 Agreement 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 page). 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 Directive. 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, in accordance with Article 42 of Directive 2007/46/EC.

The procedure that VCA will follow can be seen here: Adobe PDF documentTechnical Service designation procedures (PDF 66.2KB)

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 EU Commission in accordance with Article 43 of 2007/46/EC and to the UNECE Secretariat as appropriate. 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
Vehicle Certification Agency
Midlands Centre
Watling Street
CV10 0TU
United Kingdom

Tel +44 2476 328421

* Customers in North America should contact us here for further information:


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

Adobe PDF documentlist of test facilities suitable for EMC testing (witnessed by VCA) (PDF 40.4KB)

Follow this link to see the Designation Fees Payable.

Please follow this link to view our Adobe PDF documentTechnical Service designation procedures (PDF 66.2KB)

If you would like to apply to be a designated technical service, an on-line application form has been provided:Adobe PDF documentApplication form to be a designated technical service (PDF 621.6KB) (Note - this on-line form requires Acrobat reader version 6.0 and above).

Adobe PDF document Application to open a new job number (PDF 863.7KB)