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Certificate in Vehicle Maintenance - Level 1Apply Now »

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Level: 1

Location: Johnson Building

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This Level 1 Certificate course is aimed at school and college leavers who wish to join the automotive industry.   It is also valuable for individuals keen to develop occupational knowledge and to undertake practical tasks.

Learners will also develop their skills in Maths and English, through either Functional Skills or GCSE studies, which will support their main programme of study to help their future progression and enhance their life skills.

Entry requirements

You must have already completed an Entry Level 3 course in Light Vehicle Repair or a related Engineering subject and/or have achieved GCSEs in Maths and English at grades 4 to 2, and Science at grades C to E (with only one grade 4 in either Maths or English). You will also be required to sit a mechanical comprehension entrance test.

If you have achieved GCSE grade C in BOTH Maths and English, please refer to the Intermediate Diploma.

Course Content

You will study:

  • Health and Safety
  • Tools, Equipment and Maintenance
  • Spark Ignition Systems
  • Liquid Cooling and Lubrication Systems
  • Braking Systems
  • Routine Vehicle Maintenance
  • Wheels and Tyres
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Electrical Foundation Skills
  • Welding Skills
  • Motor Industry
  • English (Functional Skills or GCSE resit)
  • Maths (Functional Skills or GCSE resit)
  • A minimum of five days work experience in a motor vehicle environment

How will I be assessed?

Underpinning knowledge will be assessed 90% through job card evidence - with observations of practical tasks to assess competency - and 10% via external multiple choice online examinations. Maths and English will be assessed through a final exam in both Functional Skills and GCSE formats.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You must provide your own steel toe-capped boots to be worn at all times in the workshop. A £40 fee will also be required for overalls, sweatshirts and T-shirts.

What can I do after this course?

Subject to achieving this qualification, an exemplary attendance record and the required screening outcomes in Maths and English, you can progress to the Level 2 Subsidiary Diploma in Light Vehicle (Car) Maintenance and Repair, the Level 2 Full Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (if GCSE grade C is achieved in both Maths and English) or to a Level 2 Light Vehicle apprenticeship if you are employed in the automotive industry as a vehicle technician.

Want to know more about life in the motor industry? Why not visit www.autocity.org.uk/world-of-work for an introduction?

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This course is run at the Johnson Building

About the Johnson Building »

Suhayl Bhikha

Suhayl Bhikha

Halfords and Derby College offer career switch from shopfront to Autocentre floor

The UK’s leading retailer of motoring products and services Halfords has teamed up with Derby College so that a talented employee can switch from the retail shop front to the Autocentre shop floor.
The move comes as part of a rolling company scheme which gives Halfords’ retail colleagues a chance to change direction and retrain as vehicle mechanics if they want a change in career path.
Suhayl Bhikha, 27, decided to apply to become a trainee mechanic and Derby College Group apprentice when he saw an internal email offering a potential new career.
He was highly praised in his role as a customer service adviser at Halfords’ Wyvern retail site but decided he wanted a new challenge.
Now he is six months into a two-year apprenticeship at the Halfords’ Autocentre based in Wyvern next door to his old job and working towards his Level 2 Autocare qualification at Derby College. He goes into the Johnson Building one day a week for workshop and classroom studies and regularly receives visits and phone calls at work from the college for appraisals and assessments. Throughout, he is mentored and trained on the job by experienced colleagues at Halfords.
Dave Nichols, who looks after the day to day running of the Halfords Autocentres’ apprentice programme, started as an apprentice himself 25 years ago in Essex. The company has 313 Autocentres and more than 120 apprentices on its books.
Dave said: “We chose Derby College for the qualification it provides, and its expertise and facilities. We had done some work with the college in the past, for part-time employment, and we were impressed by the quality of people who came through. The travelling distance is also good for our apprentices – we work with a lot of colleges across the UK and we want to give the best offer we possibly can for them.
“We’ve done a lot of work with our retail arm to give people opportunities to move around in the business and to give the right people the opportunity to move onto an apprenticeship. A lot of people may have been doing really well in retail but the next step was to go into a management role. Some of our colleagues don’t want to do that, it’s not the right pathway for them. This is a very real alternative for progression within the business.”
Suhayl said he was learning something new every time he went into college.
He said: “It’s good – very interesting. The company and college work well together. There’s a different challenge every day, whereas next door it was pretty much the same thing all the time. I applied for the apprenticeship because Halfords look after you and I wanted a career. I’ll get my qualification and decide from there what’s next for me.”
Dave said that Halfords offers its apprentices the opportunity to take Level 3 under its own internal training scheme and this allows them to  become accredited and then to become an MOT Tester. The company is due to take on a new cohort of apprentices in September, with the possibility of a further role coming up at its Derby West Autocentre

It’s good – very interesting. The company and college work well together.


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