Forensic Vehicle Examination


Forensic collision investigators need a knowledge and understanding of the components which make up a motor vehicle, how they work and what happens when they fail.  This module apply to vehicles under 7500kg MAM.      

What you will study

With full regard to the student's own, and vehicular safety, to examine a vehicle, and using a good sequence of routine;

  • correctly identify components and their associated connections,
  • correctly describe the function of components and correctly,
  • remove those components to facilitate closer inspection where necessary.
  • in the context of the collision describe whether any fault or failure was a contributory factor.

In regard to the law;

  • be conversant with the relevant Acts and Regulations.

Please note that this is not a PG9 Prohibitions 'course'. It is purely aimed at vehicle inspection following a collision.


The module runs over 8 weeks with the module notes being accessed via the AiTS virtual learning environment. There are two residential weeks, these being Week 2 and Week 5 of the module.


This module is assessed. Your tutor will mark the module and provide you with feedback.

What is the qualification

This module is part of De Montfort university's CertHE in forensic road collision investigation.

Perhaps for legacy reasons we often get asked about the status of this module. Below are the answers to some of the more often asked questions.

We are sometimes asked whether this module is accredited by the IMI.
The answer is no, it is accredited by De Montfort university as part of their CertHE programme.

We sometimes get asked whether a police student who completes the module is an "authorised vehicle examiner".
The answer is that an authorised examiner is someone who is authorised by their Chief Officer under Regulation 67(4)E of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and only those authorised persons may test a vehicle on a road to;

(i) ensure that the construction and use requirements, and
(ii) the requirement that the condition of the vehicle is not such that its use on a road would involve a danger of injury to any person,

are complied with in respect of the vehicle.

Note that under Regulation 67(10) a "test" includes "inspecting" the vehicle at the scene thus all collision investigators working on criminal investigations should be so authorised if they are taking tyre pressures, inspecting seatbelts etc.

We sometimes get asked whether someone who completes this module is 'qualified' to carry out inspections.
The same answer can be applied to use of the equations of motion, carrying out skid tests or putting forward views about a persons perception response. When you go to Court it is only the Judge who can judge whether you have the necessary qualifications or expertise to give opinion and, they can stop you from giving evidence if they decide that you do not. All qualifications give you a level of expertise and provided you have studied the module fully, you will have the necessary expertise to examine a vehicle, find and report on the faults and what effect they will have in relation to a collision. The key is not to step outside the area of your expertise.

There are areas not covered in depth, or not covered at all where to gain a higher level of expertise you will need to complete further training or reading for example in the area of hybrid and all electric vehicles, air brakes, light bulb failure etc.

A top up one week PG9 is available for those who require it.  This sits outside the university pprogramme. 

How to register

The CertHE starts in September of each year. Apply through AiTS.

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The course at a glance

Code: ENGS1017
Credits: 15
Level: 4
Duration: 6 weeks
Type: Blended
Assessment: Written and practical

Links to CertHE modules

Applied maths
Vehicle Examination
CCTV Analysis
Driver and the environment


AiTS have been training collision investigators in the UK and overseas since 1996. We are also the UK's main provider of Roads Policing, Prohibitions and Tachograph training in the UK and Ireland.

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