Identify and rectify major repairs to motor vehicle body panels

Business Sectors (Suites): Vehicle Body Repair
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard is about repairing complex and difficult to access damage to a range of body panel types using a variety of preparation and reinstatement techniques, including hydraulic reforming and panel beating to retain panel contour and structural integrity.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 identify component materials involved in the construction of the vehicle in the areas that will be worked on during repair, prior to working on the vehicle 
P2 select suitable personal protective equipment to wear and use vehicle coverings throughout all vehicle body panel repair activities 
P3 inspect, prepare and use the tools and equipment required following manufacturers' instructions prior to use 
P4 use technical information to check that a repair is allowed
P5 ensure your methods of preparation leave sub-structure body panels clean, free from materials likely to hinder repair/replacement and free of surface finishes when required 
P6 prepare and reinstate vehicle body panels using the equipment recommended and following 

P6.1 the equipment manufacturer's methods/instructions, 
P6.2 recognised researched repair methods
P6.3 your workplace procedure as well as 
P6.4 health, safety and legal requirements 
P7 promptly seek guidance from the relevant person(s) where there is the potential for your work to disturb other vehicle systems 
P8 ensure all repaired body panels are reinstated to their original specified shape, strength and dimensions 
P9 complete repaired components to an agreed condition ready for refinishing processes 
P10 complete all repair activities within the agreed timescale 
P11 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 health and safety legislation and workplace procedures relevant to workshop practices and personal and vehicle protection when repairing vehicle body panels 
K2 the requirements of manufacturer's warranty agreements 
K3 the vehicle work specification agreed 
K4 your workplace procedures for the referral of problems, reporting of delays to the completion of work and personal protection 
K5 the requirements for protecting the vehicle and contents from damage before, during and after repairing vehicle body panels *
K6 the importance of working to agreed timescales and keeping others informed of progress 
K7 the relationship between time, cost and profitability 
K8 your workplace procedures for the referral of problems 
K9 the importance of reporting anticipated delays to the relevant persons(s) promptly 

Tools and equipment
K10 the principles governing the selection and use of hand tools for metal finishing and plastic filling repairs 
K11 the selection and use of panel beating and hydraulic reforming equipment, including specialist pulling systems 
K12 how to prepare, test, use and maintain the *tools and equipment required to repair vehicle body panels 
K13 how to adapt hydraulic push equipment to perform pulling operations 

Preparation and repair techniques
K14 the properties of component materials involved in the construction of the vehicle in the areas that will be worked on during repair 
K15 the types and selection of filling materials, their preparation and application 
K16 the properties, types, grades and use of abrasives used in the vehicle body panel repair process 
K17 the properties and safe use of types of filling materials used to repair panels 
K18 how to mix and apply fillers and stoppers used in repair 
K19 how to prepare the vehicle to avoid contamination 
K20 how to assess the extent of damage, including corrosion damage 
K21 the principles of chassis frame and monocoque vehicle construction 
K22 how body panel and component damage can affect other panels and the operation of vehicle systems 
K23 the factors determining the use of specific preparation and repair methods 
K24 the repair and joining technique implications of working with mild, high and ultra high strength steels, aluminium alloys, galvanised coatings
K25 the consequences of using inappropriate repair methods 
K26 the principles associated with hot and cold shrinking 
K27 how heat can be used to assist reforming 
K28 how heating can affect the properties of steels 
K29 the techniques for identifying the type of plastics used for manufactured components 
K30 the procedures for reinstating anti-corrosion, sealant and sound deadening materials 
K31 the causes and rectification of distortion resulting from welding 
K32 the manufacturer's approved methods of working for the preparation and repair of vehicle body panels and components and the implications of not following them
K33 the specification for panel shapes, dimensions and tolerances for the vehicles worked upon 
K34 the type of quality control checks that can be used to ensure the correct contour and standard of finish 
K35 how to interpret and use sources of information relevant to the repair of vehicle body panels and components 
K36 how to prepare damaged areas to facilitate repairs 
K37 how to prepare the panel surface prior to filling 
K38 how to repair corrosion damage 
K39 how to remove protective materials 
K40 how to repair and reinstate vehicle body panel contours and retain structural integrity to components 
K41 the techniques for reshaping damaged vehicle body panels using hand and specialist tools 
K42 how to check the accuracy of reinstated vehicle body panel shape 
K43 how to complete repair to an agreed condition ready for refinishing process 
K44 how to work safely avoiding damage to the vehicle and its systems 
K45 how pedestrian safety aspects affect the repairability of vehicles
K46 understand what can/can’t be repaired for safety reasons (ADAS for example), manufacturer and industry agreed standards for these and why these standards must be adhered to


All of the items listed below form part of this National Occupational Standard.

1. Repair activities are: 

1.1. correction of severely distorted panels 
1.2. to difficult to access panel damage 
1.3. to fractures on plastic panels 

2. Vehicle body panels are: 

2.1. non-permanently fixed panels 
2.2. permanently fixed component 
2.3. sub-structure component 
2.4. bonded panels 

3. Reinstatement methods are: 

3.1. panel beating 
3.2. panel shrinking 
3.3. hydraulic reforming 
3.4. body filling operations 
3.5. metal finishing 
3.6. plastic repair 
3.7. specialist dent removal methods 

4. Tools and Equipment are: 

4.1. workshop equipment 
4.2. generic hand tools 
4.3. manufacturer's specified and specialist tools

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Accident Repair Technicians, Body Repair and Alignment Technician (Automotive), Body Repair Technician (Automotive)

SOC Code



Major; repairs; motor; vehicle; body; panels;