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Occupational Certificate: Vehicle Damage Quantifier 
99507  Occupational Certificate: Vehicle Damage Quantifier 
Development Quality Partner - MERSETA (Business) 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
Undefined  504  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a Vehicle Damage Quantifier.

A Vehicle Damage Quantifier (VDQ) determines the real and actual cost of reinstating the vehicle to the condition it was in before the incident that gave rise to the damage or loss or claim. As part of this process, the learner will verify the cause of the damage, determine the values of the vehicle before and after the incident, provide rectification guidelines and interact with the client or insurance company to take the quantification and rectification processes forward. The occupational qualification also covers a range of technical (practical) skills and work experiences in panel beating, automotive vehicle painting, and in mechanical and auto-electrical aspects to assist the learner with the requisite knowledge to determine the quantum accurately and professionally. The training will include vehicle repairs; however, the qualified learner will not perform any repairs on the damaged vehicle. The final assessment will only focus on the estimation of the damage to the vehicle. While this qualification will serve the needs of the vehicle damage quantifier (motor body estimator) it will serve as a basis for the aspirant Motor Vehicle Insurance Assessor who, upon completing this qualification, will need to complete other insurance-related training relevant to that occupation.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Discuss vehicle components and material in terms of their vulnerability, characteristics and reparability.
  • Quantify damage or loss to vehicle.

    Vehicle Damage Quantifiers (VDQs) and Motor Vehicle Insurance Assessors play a crucial role in the daily lives of South Africans. Motor accidents occur daily and the services of VDQs, Assessors and Body-shop Estimators are required all the time. There are currently in excess of 4000 Assessors and Estimators in the country who operate without a formal qualification; currently they are trained by insurance companies or auto-body shop entities to perform vehicle quantification services. There has also been a long history of tension between insurance companies and auto-body shops over vehicle quantification assessments, attributed in part to the different training courses offered by the two related sectors. It is hoped that this qualification will standardise training of VDQs, Assessors and Estimators and increase the integrity of these occupations.

    This qualification has been endorsed by both the insurance and auto-body shop institutions. Further, a professional body for VDQs- endorsed by both the insurance and auto-body shop sectors - has already been established. It is called the Vehicle Damage Quantification Governing Body of South Africa (VDQGBSA) and it has submitted a letter of intent to become a professional body to SAQA.

    Vehicle Damage Quantifiers (VDQs) and Motor Vehicle Insurance Assessors make a huge contribution to the South African economy. In the implementation of training programmes based on this qualification, these sectors also have the potential of creating significant job opportunities and promoting the transfer of much-needed skills.

    Typical learners will be those already involved in these sectors, who wish to acquire a formal qualification. Other learners will be matriculants with an interest in becoming VDQs and Motor Vehicle Insurance Assessors. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related Curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a Statement of Results or certifying a Work Experience Record.

    RPL for access to the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • NQF Level 4 qualification with Mathematical Literacy. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill Modules:

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 331505000-KM-01, Automotive body repairs, Level 4, 32 Credits.
  • 331505000-KM-02, Automotive vehicle painting, Level 3, 14 Credits.
  • 331505000-KM-03, Automotive mechanical systems, Level 3, 38 Credits.
  • 331505000-KM-04, Auto-electrical systems, diagnostics and electric vehicles, Level 3, 25 Credits.
  • 331505000-KM-05, Vehicle damage quantification, Level 4, 17 Credits.
  • 331505000-KM-06, Management, Level 4, 18 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 144.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 331505000-PM-01, Remove and refit automotive body components, Level 3, 7 Credits.
  • 331505000-PM-02, Repair vehicle body structure, Level 4, 90 Credits.
  • 331505000-PM-03, Paint automotive vehicle body, Level 3, 20 Credits.
  • 331505000-PM-04, Remove and replace mechanical components and perform wheel alignment, Level 3, 17 Credits.
  • 331505000-PM-05, Remove and replace sectional wiring harness and fault find, Level 3, 8 Credits 8.
  • 331505000-PM-06, Quantify damage or loss on automotive vehicle, Level 4, 14 Credits.
  • 331505000-PM-07, Use communication, problem-solving, negotiation and conflict management skills in interaction with clients, Level 4, 12 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 168.

    This qualification also requires the following Work Experience Modules:
  • 331505000-WM-01, Removal and replacement processes for dashboards, interior and exterior trim and moulding in an auto-body workshop, Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • 331505000-WM-02, Repair processes to vehicle body and alignment of vehicle body structure, Level 4, 40 Credits.
  • 331505000-WM-03, Automotive vehicle painting processes, Level 3, 16 Credits 16.
  • 331505000-WM-04, Automotive mechanical components removal and replacement processes, Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • 331505000-WM-05, Auto-electrical activities, Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • 331505000-WM-06, Processes for identification, analysis and quantification of damage or loss, Level 4, 88 Credits.
  • 331505000-WM-07, Structured planning and communication processes in the workplace, Level 4, 12 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 192. 

    1. Interpret and motivate the application of key recognised theories and processes related to vehicle damage quantification.
    2. Assess or quantify vehicle damage or loss. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Vehicle construction is discussed in terms of its concepts, types of chassis, body classification, types of panels, floor pan, basic engine compartment parts and crumple zones.
  • Automotive materials are identified, distinguished in terms of their properties, characteristics, uses and functions.
  • Structural and non-structural repair techniques and structural alignment are discussed.
  • Tools and equipment used in repair processes are identified and described.
  • Paints and primers are discussed in terms of their types, the principles of mixing and matching paints, their respective equipment, their associated harmful effects and disposal procedures.
  • Spray painting techniques, tools and equipment and painting defects and their causes are identified and described.
  • Vehicle polishing materials, techniques, equipment and their attachments and defects are identified and described.
  • The fundamentals of engine technology are discussed.
  • The mechanical systems that constitute the car are differentiated and described, their principles of operation, the techniques to safely remove and replace their components using tools and equipment, and their post-installation procedures are discussed.
  • The principles of operation of auto-electrical systems, the techniques to safely remove and replace their components using tools and equipment, and their related post-installation procedures are discussed.
  • The components, construction and operations of the hybrid and electrical drive systems are discussed.
  • The legislative and financial aspects involved in the work of the Vehicle Damage Quantifier (VDQ) are discussed.
  • Damage assessment procedures, types of damage, measuring processes, the sequence for gauging and analysing damage and estimating systems are discussed.
  • The theory and process of communication is discussed.
  • The types of communication are identified and discussed.
  • Barriers to communication are identified and discussed.
  • The importance of diversity is explained.
  • The concepts of confidentiality, ethical business practice, personal ethics and corporate governance are discussed.
  • The importance of emotional intelligence, work ethic and professionalism in a VDQ's work environment is discussed.
  • Self-management techniques (including anger and stress management) are discussed.
  • The need and importance of reviewing work performance and developing personal goals and vision are explained.
  • Negotiation and conflict management techniques are discussed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Vehicle damage circumstances are established.
  • Vehicle details are established and recorded.
  • Damage is appraised and a safe and appropriate repair specification using published data is established.
  • Vehicle Damage circumstances via "Image Review" are established.
  • Damage is appraised and a safe and appropriate repair specification using published data via images is established.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the Curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality partner, is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria. The external summative assessment will be an evaluation of written and practical tasks covering critical aspects in a simulated environment at an assessment centre accredited by QCTO and conducted by an Assessor registered by the MERSETA. The assessment will take place over a minimum of 2 days. 

    After much initial investigative work on car-manufacturing countries like the United States (US), Japan, India, Korea, England, Germany, Italy and France, it was decided to focus on the United States, England and Australia because of the availability of information.

    International Qualifications:
    United States:
    In the US, there is formal training in the form of a Technical Certificate in Autobody Repair Technology from a community college or vocational institute like the Northern Virginia Community College. Then learner must complete an auto damage appraiser's course like the one from Auto Appraisal Institute of Massachusetts (AAIM). To do this course, candidates must have a High School Diploma or GED for the Autobody Repair course or relevant experience. Training courses have to be approved by one of the following: National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), I-CAR, and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). The auto damage appraiser's course will lead to accreditation through a recognised authority like Commonwealth of Massachusetts Automobile Damage Appraisers License Examination.

    The various auto damage appraiser's courses are very different in terms of duration, depending on the college the learner attends. At Northern Virginia Community College the learner will spend around 16 weeks, depending on the instructor's discretion. The auto appraiser's course through AAIM takes ten weeks.

    In terms of articulation there are more complex auto damage competencies that can be acquired, as part of on-the-job training. There are two-year Associate's Science Degrees in Auto Body Technology, Collision Repair and Automotive High Performance that the learner could pursue.

    In Australia the Certificate IV in Vehicle Loss Assessing is available to learners wishing to become vehicle damage appraisers. The entry requirement is a Certificate III qualification in one of the following disciplines: Automotive Vehicle Body or equivalent, Automotive Paint or equivalent, Automotive Mechanical or equivalent, Automotive Electrical or equivalent. The qualification is unit based and provides a series of units as electives from which choices can be made. The duration of the qualification is 700 notional hours.

    In terms of articulation, this qualification articulates with Diploma of Automotive Management at Level 5 on the Australian framework.

    In England, the Thatcham Institute offers the Thatcham IAEA Assessor Apprenticeship possibly at Level 3 (not clearly stated in the website documents). This qualification includes Vehicle Body Fitter Technician Apprenticeships - called the M.E.T. - at Level 2. It must be noted that a Level 3 qualification in England is equal to a Level 4 qualification on the South African NQF.

    The entry requirement into the Vehicle Body Fitter Technician Apprenticeships requires a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) with Mathematics and English. Acquisition of this qualification allows one into the Assessor Apprenticeship. With the rapid change in technology an assessor will need to continuously be trained on aspects related to the trade.

    The duration for the qualifications is as follows: 15 months for Vehicle Body Fitter Technician Apprenticeships (M.E.T. at Level 2) and 9 months for the IAEA Assessor Apprenticeship.

    No articulation possibilities have been stated in any of the documents. However, there could be articulation from the IAEA Assessor Apprenticeship into a Level 4 qualification within the automotive sector.

    The above is a synopsis of the various qualifications on offer in the three countries selected. The qualifications selected are some of the many other qualifications offered in those that contribute towards the training of vehicle damage quantifiers or auto damage estimators or appraisers as they are called in the US.

    In two of these countries the learning is scaffolded. In Australia, entry into the certificate programme is predicated on having a Certificate III relating to the automotive industry, as indicated above. The same applies to the Thatcham programme in the UK. The programme of the Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors (IAEA) can be accessed only after completion of a relevant autobody-related programme at Level 2. In the US there is no clear cut pathway, except to say that the learner has to acquire some formal education or that a learner ought to become substantially acquainted with the automotive repair industry through a traineeship programme and then study towards the auto damage estimator or appraiser programme.

    The competencies in the UK Level 2 and the IAEA closely resemble those of the South African proposed VDQ qualification. Similar competencies are covered in the North Carolina Community College programme, albeit with some differences. The latter qualification covers both panel beater and estimator knowledge. While the South African occupational qualification is one document encompassing several levels, documents in other countries maintain distinct bits of learning (a qualification or set of competencies at a time at a particular NQF level) building up to the point when the individual becomes a vehicle damage quantifier. The most comprehensive programme from those identified for discussion is the Australian qualification.

    The duration of these qualifications is significantly different in the different countries.

    In terms of articulation and upward mobility, the Australian qualification allows for a move into Automotive Management. Information on articulation in the UK qualification is not clear. While the South African occupational qualification is not unit standards based, the Australian qualification - which is unit based - provides a very clear perspective on the elements that constitute it.

    Green Skills:
    International qualifications are increasingly including green skills.

    The Australian Qualifications Framework also has a range of manufacturing sector specific sustainable development units which are applicable to this qualification. The identified Australian qualification has two units of learning in green skills:" Environmental and sustainability best practice in an automotive workplace" and "Environmental compliance in an automotive workplace".

    Green skills for a vehicle damage quantifier could be linked to Thatcham's Ready 2 Repair programme.

    Recommendations for international benchmarking:
    The Australian qualification is predicated on the fact that a learner will have attempted a Certificate III in an automotive sector (Automotive Vehicle Body or equivalent, Automotive Paint or equivalent, Automotive Mechanical or equivalent, Automotive Electrical or equivalent) to give the learner sufficient expertise to attempt the Certificate IV in Vehicle Loss Assessing.

    The US qualification is based on the premise that a learner will have some formal education or experience in autobody repairs before being allowed to enter the actual damage estimation course, which essentially is a short course. Should the learner pass this, the learner will be entitled to attempt the external examination conducted by an authorised and recognised agency. Success at this level means that the learner can practise as a VDQ.

    In the case of the UK, the Thatcham programme was selected for comparison because it is very reputable and internationally well-known. In this programme the learner must have passed the Level 2 qualification (equivalent to a Level 3 on the Australian NQF) before the learner can be trained in the vehicle damage assessment course.

    The information provided can only be compared at the level of the vehicle damage assessment course; the rest of the information (the autobody repair sets of competencies) has been listed to show how the acquisition of the body repair qualification or sets of competencies can lead to the acquisition of the vehicle damage assessment course.

    Hence, the table below constitutes a comparison of the vehicle damage assessment course. It becomes obvious that the Australian qualification is the most comprehensive of the three and very concentrated on the aspect of damage assessment. The training in the US and the UK qualifications is short and focussed on methodologies relating to damage description, repair procedures and quantification.

    However, of the US and the UK courses, the UK one is far more thorough and extensive - a full nine months as compared to the US's three-month course.

    Of the three qualifications, the Australian one is the most similar in terms of its extent and depth. It also has the sustainable development units built into the qualification and not as an add-on aspect. It is suggested that the South African qualification encompasses the panel beating and vehicle damage quantifying aspects to be meaningful and to assist learners to make the right decisions when doing their jobs. Only a detailed appreciation and understanding of the panel beating aspect (theory, practical skills and work experience) will impart the requisite skills to the learners. 

    Horizontal articulation is possible with other occupational specialisations like Claims Assessor, Insurance Claims Assessor and Insurance Loss Adjuster.

    Vertical articulation is possible with Insurance Investigator occupational qualification and increasing Vehicle Damage Quantifier (VDQ) specialisations like damage quantification of boats, heavy agricultural equipment, etc. 



    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of Statements of Results and Work Experience Records, including Foundational Learning Competence or equivalent.

    Additional Legal or Physical Entry Requirements:
    Learners must meet the physical and legal requirements to function as a Vehicle Damage Quantifier V (DQ) prior to registering for training.

    Criteria for the Accreditation of Providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant Curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The Curriculum title and code is: Vehicle Damage Quantifier and 331505000.

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • Not applicable.

    Part Qualifications:
  • None. 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.