Depollute end of life vehicles

Business Sectors (Suites): Vehicle Recycling
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2022


This standard is about depolluting end of life vehicles (ELVs), conforming to relevant legislation. 

For the purposes of this standard, ELVs include light vehicles, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 use suitable personal protective equipment when carrying out depollution activities
P2 support the depollution of the vehicle by reviewing:

P2.1 vehicle technical data
P2.2 relevant sources of information
P2.3 depollution procedures
P3 prepare the vehicle systems and work area for safe working procedures as appropriate to the vehicle
P4 prepare, check and use all the required depollution equipment following manufacturers' instructions 
P5 carry out all depollution activities following: 

P5.1 your workplace procedures
P5.2 health, safety and environmental requirements
P5.3 relevant regulations
P6 work in a way which minimises the risk of:

P6.1 damage to other vehicle systems, units and components
P6.2 contact with leakage and hazardous substances
P6.3 damage to your working environment
P6.4 injury to self or others
P6.5 fire and explosion
P7 ensure all removed fluids, units and components are segregated and stored in an appropriate manner
P8 ensure your records are accurate, complete and passed to the relevant person(s) within the agreed timescale in the format required
P9 complete all depollution activities within the agreed timescale
P10 promptly report any problems or 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 appropriate personal protective equipment
K1.4 refrigerant handling
K1.5 high voltage systems
K1.6 explosive atmospheres
K2 legal requirements relating to ELVs
K3 your workplace procedures for:

K3.1 depollution activities
K3.2 the referral of problems
K3.3 reporting delays to the completion of work
K4 the importance of working to recognised depollution procedures and processes and referring to correct sources of information as appropriate
K5 the importance of documenting depollution information
K6 the importance of working within your level of competence and responsibility
K7 the hazards associated with working on or near petrol and alternative fuel vehicle systems and components 
K8 the importance of working to agreed timescales and keeping others informed of progress
K9 the importance of promptly reporting anticipated delays to the relevant person(s) 

Use of depollution equipment
K10 how to prepare, check and use depollution equipment
K11 the importance of carrying out daily checks on equipment

Use of technical information
K12 how to find, interpret and use sources of information to obtain depollution information on the ELV
K13 the importance of using the latest version of depollution information

Depollution process *
K14 how to assess vehicle for health and safety hazards, air bags, high voltage components and any additional hazards
K15 the depollution procedure to be followed

K16 how to select the most appropriate depollution method for the system/unit being worked upon
K17 how to remove hazardous *units and components from vehicles 
K18 how to drain fluids from vehicle systems
K19 how to ensure sufficient drainage has been achieved in accordance with risk assessment, operating procedures and current legislation
K20 how to use suitable testing methods to ensure depollution is complete
K21 the importance of correct storage of all hazardous components and substances removed from the vehicle during depollution
K22 how to deal with unforeseen incidents during depollution process


1. Depollution activities are:

1.1. removal of batteries and liquefied gas tanks
1.2. removal or neutralisation of potential explosive components (e.g. air bags)
1.3. removal and collection of fluids
1.4. removal of wheels and tyres
1.5. removal of hazardous components (e.g. lead balancing weights or mercury switches)

2. Testing methods are:

2.1. Sensory
2.2. Measurement
3. Equipment is:

3.1. depollution rig
3.2. air con tools
3.3. cutting equipment
3.4. tyre/wheel tools
3.5. lifting equipment
3.6. powered hand tools
3.7. drills
3.8. punches 
3.9. suction equipment 
3.10. storage equipment

4. Fluids, units and components are:

4.1. fuel
4.2. engine oil 
4.3. gearbox oil
4.4. hydraulic fluids
4.5. coolant
4.6. refrigerant gases
4.7. screen wash
4.8. airbags
4.9. shock absorbers and fluid
4.10. batteries
4.11. catalytic converters

5. Records to include :

5.1. appropriate waste documentation
5.2. certificates and/or notification of destruction 
5.3. consignment notes for hazardous components being removed from site 

6. Unforeseen incidents to include:

6.1. battery damage
6.2. fluid leakage
6.3. seized fixings
6.4. equipment malfunction
6.5. insufficient storage capacity

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge






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

Alternative fuel
This is defined as any type of fuel that may be used to power an internal combustion engine, examples would include LPG, bio ethanol etc. plus hydrogen fuel cell systems. 

End of life vehicle
A vehicle that has come to the end of its useful life as a motor vehicle and is categorised as waste, generally due to age, malfunction or accident. These may include light vehicles, light commercial vehicle and motorcycles.

Sources of information
To include International Dismantling Information System (IDIS) and DEFRA guidance, government website and other commercially available data systems.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Vehicle Recycler

SOC Code



Depollute; ELV; depollution process;