Inspect heavy goods and public service vehicles

Business Sectors (Suites): Maintenance and Repair - Heavy Goods and Public Service Vehicles
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2021


This standard is about carrying out a range of inspections on heavy goods and public service vehicles using a variety of testing methods and equipment. These include pre-delivery and pre-purchase inspections, pre-DVSA and/or Preventative Maintenance Inspections (PMI), safety inspections and pre- and post-accident inspections

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 use suitable personal and vehicle protective equipment throughout all vehicle inspection activities
P2 use suitable sources of technical and legal information to support your vehicle inspection activities
P3 prepare the vehicle, vehicle systems and work area for safe working procedures 
P4 confirm that equipment has been calibrated to meet manufacturers' and legal requirements, where necessary
P5 carry out systematic vehicle inspections following:

P5.1 your workplace procedures
P5.2 health, safety and environmental requirements
P6 conduct all vehicle testing following:

P6.1 manufacturer's instructions
P6.2 industry recognised test methods
P6.3 your workplace procedures
P6.4 health, safety and environmental requirements
P7 ensure your inspection and testing of the vehicle against specification identifies any:

P7.1 differences from the vehicle specification
P7.2 vehicle appearance and condition faults
P7.3 non-compliance with statutory requirements
P8 work in a way which minimises the risk of damage to the vehicle and its systems, other people and their property
P9 make suitable recommendations for future action based upon the results of your tests and inspections
P10 ensure your records are accurate, complete and promptly passed to the relevant person(s) in the format required
P11 complete all inspection activities within the agreed timescale
P12 promptly report any anticipated delays in completion to the relevant person(s) 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

Legislative and organisational requirements and procedures
K1 the legislation and workplace procedures relevant to: 

K1.1 health and safety
K1.2 the environment (including waste disposal)
K1.3 personal and vehicle protective equipment
K2 the legislation, including Operator licensing, relevant to vehicle inspections 
K3 the implications on an Operators Licence of not carrying out repairs and inspections correctly
K4 your workplace procedures for:

K4.1 recording vehicle inspections and any variations from acceptable tolerances
K4.2 the referral of problems
K4.3 reporting delays to the completion of work
K5 the importance of making accurate records of the results of your tests and inspections and interpreting them correctly
K6 the importance of working to agreed timescales and keeping others informed of progress
K7 the relationship between time, costs and productivity
K8 the importance of promptly reporting anticipated delays to the relevant person(s) 

Use of technical information
K9 how to find, interpret and use technical information
K10 the importance of using technical and legislative information to inform your inspection and testing of vehicles

Testing methods and the conducting of Inspections
K11 how vehicle systems operate (including the engine area, transmission area, chassis area, body area and electrical area) and the operational tolerances for the types of vehicle on which you work
K12 how to follow procedures for the systematic inspection of vehicles
K13 how to test the operation of vehicle systems and assess vehicle condition, including workshop based and road tests
K14 how to compare test and inspection results against vehicle specifications and legal requirements
K15 how to record test and inspection results in the format required
K16 how to make recommendations based upon the results of your inspections
K17 the importance of inspecting the vehicle following any repairs 
K18 the implications of signing workplace documentation and vehicle records
K19 the hazards associated with working on or near high voltage electrical vehicle components


1. Vehicle inspections are:

1.1. pre-delivery
1.2. pre-purchase
1.3. pre-DVSA and/or Preventative Maintenance Inspections (PMI)
1.4. safety
1.5. pre- and post-accident

2. Test methods are:

2.1. sensory
2.2. functional
2.3. measurement

3. Equipment examples are:

3.1. emissions testing
3.2. brake testing
3.3. headlamp alignment
3.4. wheel alignment
3.5. torque setting
3.6. specialist diagnostic equipment

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





This section contains examples and explanations of some of the terms used but does not form part of the standard.

Agreed timescales
Examples include: manufacturer's recommended work times, job times set by your company or a job time agreed with a specific customer.

Heavy goods and public service vehicles
These are medium and large goods vehicles, buses and coaches of 3500kgs gross vehicle mass (GVM) and above.

Sensory testing methods
These may include looking, listening, smelling and touching for heat.

Sources of technical information*
Examples include: inspection schedules, mandatory annual test inspection manuals (DVSA) and guides, manufacturers' manuals and trade association check lists, workplace procedures.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Mar 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Engineering, Heavy Vehicle Diagnostic Technician (Automotive), Heavy Vehicle Service Technician (Automotive), Vehicle Trades, Bus and Coach Mechanic, Bus and Coach Mechelec

SOC Code



Inspect; heavy goods vehicle; public service vehicle; inspections; DVSA; bus; coach;