PAS 43 Certificaton and Standard | NQA

PAS 43 is the specification for vehicle breakdown and recovery operators.

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Process Control, Risk Management, Operational Efficiency, Bids and Tenders, Contractual Requirements, Safety and Emergency Preparedness


PAS 43 is the publicly available management system specification for the safe working of vehicle breakdown and recovery operations.

The standard is sponsored by SURVIVE (Safe Use of Roadside Verges in Vehicular Emergencies) which exists to improve the safety of breakdown operatives, employees and customers at breakdown and recovery situations.

1998 saw six vehicle recovery operators killed on the motorways and hard shoulders of Britain and, as a result, the AA and the RAC funded the establishment of SURVIVE in March 1999. The purpose of the group was to promote the safety of persons working or stopping on motorway hard shoulders and high-speed dual carriageways.

The SURVIVE report was published in May 2000 and included a large number of conclusions, including:

  • Some organisations were unable to give sufficient advice to operatives or to demonstrate effective training
  • Members of the public are frequently unaware of the dangers of stopping on a hard shoulder
  • No standardised practise for the livery or lighting of recovery vehicles.

As a result, the following recommendations were made:

  • The extension of motorway lighting at junctions has clearly shown a reduction in accidents and should be continued
  • ‘Rumble strips’ have shown to be effective in improving safety and should be introduced across the entire motorway network
  • Information regarding these issues should be standardised and better disseminated to the public
  • A common code of practice should be introduced for breakdown and recovery operators, including requirements for training, competence and best practice

Following the recommendations made by SURVIVE, a committee comprising representatives from the Police Force, the Government, motor services organisations and the motor industry, was set up to create a specification (PAS 43) encompassing these recommendations.


The scheme is applicable to all vehicle breakdown and recovery operators and similar organisations working on the Highways Agency motorway networks.


  • Improved stakeholder relationships - particularly employees and customers who will recognise that the organisation takes their safety and welfare seriously
  • Improved risk management - through improved working practices that protect employees and customers from harm during recovery
  • Customer satisfaction - through service delivery that consistently meet customer requirements
  • Reduced operating costs - through continual improvement of processes and resulting operational efficiencies
  • Legal compliance - by understanding how statutory and regulatory requirements impact the organization and its customers
  • Proven business credentials - through independent verification against recognized standards
  • Ability to win more business - particularly where procurement specifications require certification to PAS 43 as a condition to supply
  • Safe working - vehicle breakdown, recovery and removal operations are managed effectively.


We provide certification to PAS 43 as an extension to scope of an existing ISO 9001 registration. The process of registration is:

  • Application for registration is made by completing the ISO 9001 quote request form
  • Assessment to ISO 9001 and PAS 43 is undertaken by NQA - the organisation must be able to demonstrate that its quality management system has been fully operative for a minimum of three months and has been subject of a full cycle of internal audits
  • Certification is issued by NQA and maintained by the organisation
  • Maintenance is confirmed through a programme of annual surveillance visits and a three yearly re-certification audit.

Initial Certification Audit

Stage 1 - The purpose of this visit is to confirm the readiness of the organisation for full assessment. Your assessor will:

  • confirm that the quality manual conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001 and PAS 43  
  • confirm its implementation status
  • confirm the scope of certification check legislative compliance
  • produce a report that identifies any non-compliance or potential for non-compliance and agree a corrective action plan if required
  • produce an assessment plan and confirm a date for the Stage 2 assessment visit.

Stage 2 - The purpose of this visit is to confirm that the quality management system fully conforms to the requirements of ISO 9001 and PAS 43 in practice. Your assessor will:

  • undertake sample audits of the processes and activities defined in the scope of assessment
  • document how the system complies with the standard report any non-compliances or potential for non-compliance
  • produce a visit plan for the first surveillance visit

Please note that if any major non-compliance is identified, the organisation cannot be certified until corrective action is taken and verified.


QMS Training - We provide a range of IRCA and CPD accredited training options to suit your needs and budget. These are designed to give you the skills to implement, audit and manage an effective quality management system.

Gap Analysis - We can undertake a gap analysis to help you determine the likely workload and timescale for implementing a quality management system that will achieve PAS 43 certification. You can use this to plan implementation or brief a consultant.

Consultancy - We don't provide consultancy but we can help you choose a reputable consultant from the NQA Associate Consultant Register.

Get a Quote - We'll give you a clear indication of the costs of gaining and maintaining certification.


We can advise you on how to achieve certification, related training, useful resources and finding a reputable consultant.

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