Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

Adam Hewitt
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Apprenticeship Standard for Metal Recycling General Operative Now Available


Wamitab’s Project Manager, Sharon Simpson provides us with some information regarding the Apprenticeship Standard for Metal Recycling General Operative (MRGO). 

The Metal Recycling General Operative (MRGO) at Level 2 was approved for delivery in August 2018, which is one of a range new Apprenticeship Standards that are being introduced to gradually replace the old-style apprenticeship frameworks in England. 

The Apprenticeship Standard has been developed by employers and key stakeholders and now includes a graded end-point assessment. An independent organisation must be involved in the end-point assessment to ensure a consistent assessment process and only organisations on the register of end-point assessment organisations are eligible to conduct independent end-point assessment of apprentices.

WAMITAB is planning to offer end-point assessment services and further information will be available shortly on the website: (

Funding for apprenticeships in England

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 and requires all UK employers with a pay bill of £3m to make a 0.5% contribution through their PAYE. 

In England apprenticeships are an all-age, all-sector, all-level programme with the Government providing a 10% top up on the levy paid by employers, which is then made available in the form of a digital account to fund apprenticeship delivery. For businesses too small to pay the Levy, apprenticeships are funded with 10% from the Employer and 90% from the Government. Different funding rules apply in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Brief information about the MRGO

  • Typical length: 12-18 months
  • Current funding band: Up to £9,000 per apprentice
  • Content:
  • how to identify different metal types
  • risk assessment and how to handle and store materials correctly
  • safe operation of machinery and equipment
  • building relationships with colleagues and customers
  • Options (select one):
  • End-of-life vehicles (ELV)
  • Weighbridge operative
  • Material handler (specialist equipment) operative
  • Material classification operative
  • WEEE waste electrical and electronic equipment operative
  • Entry requirements: Individual employers will set the selection criteria and specify the entry requirements applicable to the area of work. 
  • Qualifications: apprentices must have achieved level 1 English and maths (equivalent to GCSE grades 3 to 1 or D to G) before taking their end-point assessment.

Who is it for?

This qualification is designed for operatives working for companies of all sizes, from large multi-nationals to SMEs to family-run independents. The job roles can include a wide range of different tasks and responsibilities both outside on the yard and in an office-like environment. 

What does the qualification cover?

Core Knowledge

  • Understanding the MRGO role and how it fits into business and industry and the commercial implications of day-to-day business actions.
  • Environmental policy and procedures, eg, Fire Prevention Plan, Environmental Action Plan, Monitoring, etc.
  • Current legislation, regulations, codes of practice, eg, Scrap Metal Dealers Act (SMDA).
  • Handling and care of fixed and mobile plant and machinery.
  • Acceptance of authorised or rejection of unauthorised materials, hazardous/non-hazardous materials, inspection procedures and processing methods.
  • Safe Systems of Work, COSHH, risk assessments, on-site incident reporting procedures, etc.
  • Identification of materials, grades sorting, storage and quality control
  • Functional areas, eg, ELV, weighbridge operation, banksman systems, and an understanding of customers, visitors and colleagues.
  • Safe loading and unloading, eg, shipping containers and heavy good vehicles.

Core Skills and Behaviours

  • Ability to identify H&S/Environmental issues and respond accordingly.
  • Ability to identify metal grades, authorised/unauthorised wastes, hazardous/non-hazardous waste, their quality validation and commercial viability.
  • Ability to identify, sort and store materials in line with operating procedures, risk assessment and legislation, eg, 1992 Manual Handling Regulations.
  • Ability to safely operate and maintain machinery and equipment and load/unload different types of transport. 
  • Effective communication with colleagues, customers and site visitors. 
  • Problem-solve and take action to meet organisational procedures/policies and prioritise working tasks and challenges
  • Consistently demonstrate integrity and behaviour that adheres to safety procedures and respects the working environment, customers, plant and machinery.
  • Behave in a collaborative manner and respond proactively to changes whilst remaining flexible and adaptable to the needs of the business.

What does the End-of-Life Vehicle Option Cover?

When a vehicle has reached the end of its life, it has to undergo a rigorous depollution and recycling process, which will be different if the vehicle is damaged. Depollution is the critical first stage in a complex process, which requires 95% of every ELV being recovered and recycled. Understanding and identifying the components; the order of their removal and the appropriate tools to use is critical to mitigating risk and maximising the efficiency. The depollution of air condition units is covered by additional legislation with operators requiring specific training and qualification for the handling of F Gas (CFCs) from air conditioning units. 

The ELV option covers: 


  • The potential risk and hazard of any ELV component and its removal, and how to deal with any unexpected incidents relating to the depollution process.
  • The process for depolluting an ELV in accordance with the risk assessment, operating procedures and current legislation, eg, End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (latest version).
  • Safe storage requirements for removed materials and parts.


  • Complete the process of preparing ELVs for depollution in accordance with operating procedures, risk assessments and current legislation.
  • Depollute an ELV in accordance with the risk assessment, operating procedures and current legislation, eg, End of Life Vehicles Directive (as amended)
  • Demonstrate the appropriate regard for, and handling procedures of, all hazardous components in an ELV.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of how best to deal with unforeseen incidents following recognised health and safety procedures.

How is it assessed?

This qualification is assessed in a number of ways:

  • Multiple choice question paper
  • Professional discussion
  • Observation/simulation

Grades will be awarded at a Fail, Pass or Distinction in each assessment and to achieve a Pass overall, a Pass in each assessment must be achieved with a minimum of 55% collectively. Similarly, for a Distinction, this grade must be achieved in each assessment with a minimum of 85% collectively. Resits are available.

Want to know more?

Full details about this qualification including the training providers that are approved to deliver it can be found on the website

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