This apprenticeship will be retired from ​12 February 2024. Although this apprenticeship is being retired, the occupation remains on the Occupational Map for potential use as the basis of another technical education product.

This apprenticeship standard has been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. However, starts on the apprenticeship will only be possible once a suitable end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) has obtained Ofqual recognition. Once the EPAO has obtained Ofqual recognition, funding for apprentice starts will be permitted and this message will be removed.

This apprenticeship has been retired

Overview of the role

Investigate and reconstruct road traffic and other vehicle-related incidents using scientific and engineering principles to determine how an incident occurred.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in both the public and private sector in organisations such as the Police, large fleet operators and civil litigation law firms.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to investigate and reconstruct road traffic and other vehicle-related incidents using scientific and engineering principles to determine how an incident occurred. Practitioners provide expert opinion to relevant parties including courts and other arenas.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with Departments, fleet operators or individuals dealing with internal or external complaints or insurance claims, Criminal, Civil and Coroners Courts, the Employment Disciplinary & Tribunal process and members of the legal profession.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for identifying, preserving and recording physical evidence from the scene of an incident. This includes photographing / videoing the incident scene and as appropriate, surveying the scene, preparing scale plans and other visual representations, conducting tests or forensic examinations towards building a reconstruction. Sometimes these road collision incidents can be traumatic.They will review witness evidence, test it against the physical evidence and use expert knowledge to provide analysis and provide advice and guidance to support an investigation. They produce key documents such as briefing notes, technical and expert witness reports which could be used in court as evidence for a criminal conviction and liaise with relevant parties to present the findings of the investigation and reconstruction. They provide ‘expert’ testimony at court or any hearing, complying with the legislative requirements of the Criminal Procedure Rules and the Civil Procedure Rules as appropriate. Although working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, they have sole responsibility for the investigation including the production and sign off of reports..

Typical job titles include:

Accident investigator Coding Collision investigator Collision reduction officer Forensic collision investigator

Entry requirements

Due to the potentially traumatic nature of the work, the minimum age for apprentices is 18, in line with the young person criteria under ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’.

Typically, entrants may be required to have a minimum of 2 A levels at grade C or above; one of which should be in maths or a science, and 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (or equivalent) including English, Maths, and Science or suitable equivalent as BTECs.

A full category B driving licence is required within 12 months of starting the apprenticeship.

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Maintain a high standard of professionalism adhering to the codes of practice and conduct of the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators (ITAI) or the Chartered Society of Forensic Science (CSoFS)

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20

S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30

B1 B2 B6

Duty 2 Ensure all activities, pre-scene, scene and post scene are in compliance with either the organisations Standard Operating Procedures or the Good Practice Guides published on the Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators website

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 3 When requested to attend an incident site, decide on the level of response required and on arrival at the incident liaise with others to ensure a proper and thorough investigation can be carried out

K1 K20

S1 S30

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 4 Decide on and implement a strategy to identify and record the scene evidence using the appropriate techniques and equipment

K2 K20

S2 S3 S4 S30

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 5 Secure and recover digital data for later analysis


S9 S18 S21

B1 B2 B4 B6

Duty 6 Identify, design, & conduct vehicle examinations to identify defects and faults which may or may not have contributed to the incident. Incorporate the findings into the investigation process

K1 K2 K17

S1 S2 S4 S6 S7 S25 S26

B1 B2 B4 B6

Duty 7 Review witness evidence and where appropriate incorporate their evidence into the investigation process



B1 B2 B4 B6

Duty 8 Review published papers, carry out research, design and conduct tests to aid in any investigation or to aid the understanding of the collision investigation community

K1 K3 K6 K7 K13 K16

S1 S8 S15 S23 S24 S31 S32 S33 S34

B1 B2 B6

Duty 9 Use Newtonian mechanics in the investigation process to describe the behaviour of vehicle and calculate speed. Report on the degree of uncertainty in any calculations

K3 K4 K5 K7 K10 K11 K12 K14 K15 K16 K17

S5 S8 S11 S12 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S22

B1 B2 B6

Duty 10 During the investigation, consider whether human factors were a contributory factor in an incident


S13 S15 S22

B1 B2 B6

Duty 11 Use specialist software and advanced collision investigation techniques to aid in an investigation

K4 K5 K7 K12 K14 K15 K16 K17

S5 S8 S9 S11 S12 S14 S17 S18

B1 B2 B6

Duty 12 Undertake critical review of own investigations and those of others. Ensure that the output is valid by understanding the underpinning research and when that research can be appropriately applied to a reconstruction or if it requires a wider confidence interval in those circumstances.


S2 S27 S29

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 13 Take the results of an investigation and write documents such as briefing notes, technical or expert witness reports for use as evidence in various situation e.g. at Courts, in tribunals or hearings. Prepare joint statements



B1 B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 14 Liaise with relevant parties to present the findings of the investigation and reconstruction. e.g. insurance companies, lawyers, tribunals & managers



B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 15 Present evidence as an expert witness to a court or other arena



B1 B2 B3 B5



K1: What hazards are likely to be found at the scene of an incident and how to mitigate them to establish a safe working environment. Back to Duty

K2: How to preserve, record and analyse the scene of an incident. This may include examining, measuring, photographing, videoing and mapping the locus of the incident, the vehicles and other physical material present. Back to Duty

K3: How to accurately obtain the deceleration and acceleration rates of a vehicle using an accelerometer. How to establish deceleration and acceleration rates of vehicles and other objects by drag testing, from manufacturers’ data or other documents. Back to Duty

K4: How to recover, critically appraise and interpret data from various data recorders such as digital tachographs, electronic control units, insurance data boxes. Back to Duty

K5: How to measure crush damage to a motor vehicle following a collision. Understand how crush damage, equivalent energy speed (EES) and equivalent barrier speed (EBS) can be used to calculate velocity change and the actual speed of vehicles. Back to Duty

K6: How to use Newtonian mechanics in collision investigation. Back to Duty

K7: Know how to use and obtain results from spreadsheets and other math calculation software. Back to Duty

K8: Be conversant with published literature around human factors for use in investigations. Know how environmental factors may affect persons and vehicles involved in the collision. Back to Duty

K9: What constitutes a critical speed state and understand what criteria to apply to a vehicle in critical speed Back to Duty

K10: The kinematics involved when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. Know which throw model to apply in the particular circumstances to find speed. Back to Duty

K11: The handling characteristics of a two wheeled motorcycle and the various ways in which control can be lost. Know how to calculate speed from wheelbase shortening. Back to Duty

K12: Know how to evaluate video footage to calculate the speed of relevant objects. Back to Duty

K13: Following a collision, how to design and run experiments to obtain additional information to aid in a reconstruction ensuring that the results are valid, unambiguous and statistically sound. Back to Duty

K14: How to perform statistical calculations to find the uncertainty in calculations. Back to Duty

K15: How use software to produce plans, simulations and 3D models to assist in the reconstruction of an incident. Back to Duty

K16: How to design and execute a research project to reach balanced and valid conclusions. Back to Duty

K17: Following a collision, how to undertake a vehicle examination. Identify the mechanical component of the vehicle including tyres, brakes, suspension and steering. Identify both active and passive safety systems fitted to the vehicle. Identify the components of a vehicles electrical system. Know how to investigate/interrogate those components to detect defects and faults that may affect the handling of the vehicle (vehicles up to 7500kg and motorcycles). Back to Duty

K18: The law in relation to the writing of expert witness reports and what an expert may or may not say in Court. Back to Duty

K19: How to present evidence to a Court, tribunal or other arena. Back to Duty

K20: How emergency services work both individually and collaboratively at collision scenes and during the post-collision process. Back to Duty


S1: Determine the hazards and implement a safe working environment appropriate to the activity. Back to Duty

S2: Identify, preserve and mark the evidence found at the scene of an incident and/or on vehicles and objects relevant to the investigation. Back to Duty

S3: Document the scene and scene evidence including vehicles and other relevant features by notes (electronic, written, or audio or a combination) taking measuring either electronically or using manual measuring techniques. Back to Duty

S4: Photograph and video the incident scene including vehicles and other relevant features and objects. Back to Duty

S5: Use software to create visual products including 2D plans, 3D models and simulations using software. Back to Duty

S6: During a vehicle examination identify, document and record the condition of vehicle systems and component parts. Identify defects and faults Back to Duty

S7: Following a vehicle examination, describe how any vehicle defects found during the examination process would affect the roadworthiness of a vehicle and how it would or would not have contributed to the collision. Back to Duty

S8: Determine the deceleration and acceleration rates of vehicles and other objects using an accelerometer or by drag testing. Adjust the data to take account of slope or partial braking. Back to Duty

S9: Recover data from data recorders including digital tachographs, vehicle ECU’s and vehicle telematics. Back to Duty

S10: Use the appropriate technique to measure the crush damage caused to a vehicle(s) involved in a collision, assess the principle direction of force and any other adjusting factors to calculate speed. Back to Duty

S11: Using Newtonian mechanics calculate speed, time, distance and acceleration Back to Duty

S12: Use spreadsheets and other math calculation software to assist in the investigation process. Back to Duty

S13: Calculate the range of uncertainty in any calculations. Back to Duty

S14: Analyse and interpret the data from data recorders, including ECU’s, digital tachographs, performance computers and vehicle telematics. Back to Duty

S15: Use an appropriate method to calculate the driver response time in a variety of situations such as night time recognition, limited visibility, low contrast and looming situations. Back to Duty

S16: Calculate the critical speed of vehicles and/or bends. Back to Duty

S17: Calculate vehicle speed from pedestrian throw. Back to Duty

S18: Calculate speed from CCTV footage. Back to Duty

S19: Following a collision, use the appropriate technique to measure the damage to a motorcycle and use the data to calculate its immediate approach speed. Back to Duty

S20: Demonstrate how EES, EBS and momentum can be used to assess the speed of a vehicle involved in a collision. Back to Duty

S21: Maintain the integrity and security of digital data. Back to Duty

S22: Describe the behaviour of a vehicle in the immediate lead up to and during an incident. Back to Duty

S23: Carry out experiments as part of an investigation. Back to Duty

S24: Interpret and incorporate the results from published literature into the investigation. Back to Duty

S25: Identify, record and comment upon the condition of the vehicle, systems and component parts to identify defects, roadworthiness, incident causation, contributory factors Back to Duty

S26: Analyse the scene data, witness evidence any experiment’s, calculations and examinations to prepare a written report into the circumstances of a collision. Back to Duty

S27: Prepare written reports and in accordance the rules, regulations and guidance in force in relation to expert witnesses. Back to Duty

S28: Present evidence to a court or other arena e.g. criminal, civil, Coroners’ courts, tribunal or hearing. Back to Duty

S29: Critically review a completed investigation carried out by another investigator. Give written and oral feedback as part of the review. Back to Duty

S30: Liaise with other emergency services personnel to ensure that scene evidence is not lost as a result of poor communication between different services. Back to Duty

S31: Critically appraise current subject literature and analyse shortcomings Back to Duty

S32: Identify a research need and develop a research question. Back to Duty

S33: Using the scientific method conduct experiments or analysis to test a hypothesis. Back to Duty

S34: From research develop valid and robust conclusions based on observations. Back to Duty


B1: Accountability - For self and others to ensure that actions are in the best interest of affected parties Back to Duty

B2: Professional integrity - Maintain the highest standards of professionalism and trustworthiness, making sure that values, moral codes and ethical standards are always upheld Back to Duty

B3: Emotionally astute - Understand and effectively manage own emotions in stressful situations and treat people with sensitivity Back to Duty

B4: Team working - Collaboration, influence, and respect for others. Value diversity and difference in approaches to work, thinking and background Back to Duty

B5: Supportive & inspirational leading - Role model the organisational values providing inspiration and clarity to colleagues and stakeholders. Consider how the wider organisation and others are impacted, and help others to deliver their objectives effectively Back to Duty

B6: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - Critically review published research. Accountability of own and others development needs, undertaking CPD. Curiosity of science, mathematics and engineering, proactively developing knowledge to ensure that decisions are based on strong evidence Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

BSc in Forensic Road Collision Investigation

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Institute Of Traffic Accident Investigators for
  • Chartered Society of Forensic Science for

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Retired
Level: 6
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0850
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 12/02/2024
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 42 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £27000
LARS Code: 589
EQA Provider: Office for Students

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Metropolitan Police, Staffordshire Police, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, West Yorkshire Police, North Wales Police, Northumbria Police, London Ambulance Service, Essex Police, Surrey and Sussex Police, Independent Collision Investigation Services, Wagstaff Forensic Consultancy, DPD, AiTS, Institute of Traffic Investigators, DeMontfort University, Chartered Society of Forensic Science, National Police Chiefs Council, College of Policing, BRAKE

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Retired 07/08/2020 12/02/2024 Not set

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