Vehicle Accident Repair and Paint Level 2/3

The vehicle re-finishing programme includes paint preparation, chip repair techniques, spraying equipment set­-up, matching paintwork, paint application, burnishing and polishing, identification and rectification of surface defects and cleaning and valeting. This VRQ covers the technical needs for basic repair and preparation procedures. It provides essential knowledge and skills for vehicle body paint operators, working on a wide range of vehicles, in all types of garages, dealerships and specialist body paint businesses.

The Vehicle Accident and Repair (Paint Principles) Diploma Level 2 course has been designed to enhance students’ vehicle body repair/re-finishing skills, knowledge and understanding to Level 2.

The Vehicle Accident and Repair (Paint Principles) Diploma Level 3 is for learners who have already achieved a level 2 paint qualification and wish to develop their paint skills further.

The course will enable the learners to develop skills and understanding of the procedures for the refinishing of new and repaired vehicle panels.

This will be completed by working on real customer’s vehicles and simulated work. In addition to your main programme, you will also engage in activities to develop your English, Maths and employability skills.

National Skills Level 3 Offer

From April 2021, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee gives adult learners (who will be studying for their first full Level 3 qualification) the opportunity to study a fully-funded course. It is part of the government’s National Skills Fund to help adults to gain the skills they need for employment, and to improve their job prospects.

Level 3 of this course offered at Colchester Institute is included in the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

Do I have to pay a fee?

Level 3 will be free if you meet the eligibility criteria listed below. If these do not apply, you may need to pay a fee, and the fee is located further down the course information page. You can apply for a loan to cover all of your tuition fees.

As there is no direct entry onto Level 3 for this course you will need to enrol on a lower level to be able to progress to Level 3. Depending on your circumstances you may also be eligible for free training at Level 2 or below.

If you are aged over 19 and have studied this course at Level 2 with us previously (or at another training provider) and would like to enrol directly onto level 3 please contact our Admissions Department, where candidates will be assessed on an individual basis prior to application.

Level 3 of this course will be free:

  • If you are aged 19+ and enrolling on a full level 3 course and you do not already have a qualification at this level*.

* This means that you have not previously attained a full level 3 or equivalent (2 A Levels or 4 AS Levels, or QAA Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma at level 3, or a level 3 Tech level or applied general qualification (e.g. BTEC)).

***Applications for full-time courses to start in September 2022 are open now!***

We want to make sure you have the best chance of securing a place with us. All full-time applications received by 31st of January 2022 will be guaranteed a place at Colchester Institute, subject to you satisfying the published entry requirements. We still accept applications after this date but may not be able to guarantee you a place on your chosen programme.

Application for this course are made by the ‘Apply Online’ buttons located in the menu further down the page.

If you are looking to start, or are a parent/guardian of a learner looking to start in September 2022, then bookings for our popular January Open Events are also open.

January Open Events

Course Content

The learning programme involves learners studying both the theory and practical aspects, including:

  • preparing metal and pre-painted surfaces
  • preparing and applying fillers and foundation materials to vehicles
  • repairing minor paint defects.

Learners will also gain a broad knowledge and understanding of health and safety in the workplace and other skills associated with working in a garage.

Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles Diploma Level 2 units may include:

  • Vehicle Structure Technology and Workshop
  • Material Technology
  • Repair Techniques and Technology
  • Refinishing Techniques and Technology
  • Employability
  • Functional Skills/GCSEs

Practical work will be undertaken in the workshops on our own vehicles, commercial projects and students’ own vehicles as appropriate.

Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles Diploma Level 3 units may include:

  • Preparation of New and Repaired Panels
  • Skills in Paint Mixing and Matching
  • Spot Repair
  • Skills in the Application of Primers, 2k Solid Colour, Water Born Basecoat, Clear Coat and 3 Stage Pearl
  • Introduction to SMART Repair and Custom Paint Techniques
  • The Ability to Identify and Rectify a Range of Paint Faults

This will be supported by both practical and theory lessons with a bias toward practical work.

Entry Requirements

3 GCSEs (9-1) including English and Maths and an interview.

Progression onto Level 3 is dependent on satisfactory results in the Level 2 Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles, and an interview.

What Can I Do Next?

Level 2: Employment in the body repair and re-finishing industry or further study and training, including progression to the Level 3 in Paint Principles

Level 3: Employment within the motor trade as a painter or the opportunity to study at a higher level of education such as HNCs and Foundation Degrees or look to specialise further in paint principles.

Careers Advice and Guidance

The Careers Guidance team provides information, careers advice and guidance to students across all campuses. They offer confidential and impartial guidance interviews as well as a daily drop in service.They can provide help and support with a wide range of areas including:

  • Career choice
  • Progression Routes
  • Apprenticeships
  • Higher Education
  • Employability Skills

There is well a equipped Careers Centre containing information on careers and courses as well computer guidance software to help students choose and research suitable careers.

The careers guidance service has achieved the national quality award for the provision of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance known as the Quality in Careers Standard. The service is also accredited by the matrix Quality Standard for information, Advice and Guidance.

For further careers advice and guidance and support please contact

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

Vehicle Accident Repair and Paint Level 2/3
LevelLevel 2
Level 3
DurationTwo Years:
Year 1: Level 2
Year 2: Level 3
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: Year 1: £1,875
19+: Year 2: £5,421


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.