At Stanford Coachworks safety is our number one priority. To ensure that all of our vehicles meet high UK safety standards, all of our vehicles undergo either an IVA test or are converted to meet strict National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) regulations.NSSTA provides confirmation that our vehicles meet specific standards and requirements laid out by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
What is Nation Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA)?
Dave Wiggins, our Production Manager, works closely with the VCA and oversees the conversion of every Stanfords vehicle. Our production team ensures that the process of the build, the build itself and the parts used in the build follow an exacting set of rules set out by the VCA. The Type Approval process requires our production and homologation teams to continuously monitor legislation, have complete communication with vehicle manufacturers and have an understanding of the processes involved to help SCW maintain our status as an organisation which holds NSSTA.
What is the process of the NSSTA at Stanford Coachworks?
Since 2014, we have held NSSTA for our Mercedes Sprinter conversions. This allows us to build M2 Mercedes Sprinters in house without the requirement for an offsite examination from the DVSA. Instead, each vehicle is monitored at all stages of the build. This begins from the point of ordering the vehicle, right through to the completion of the conversion. This then culminates in a Type Approval certificate being formulated by Miranda Rowney from Stanford’s production / homologation department. This certificate is then issued by Alan Hollier, Production Director, and can then be used to register the vehicle in the correct vehicle category.
Type Approval is very similar in its processes to ISO in that it is ever improving. Dave’s role is to ensure that our approval is always up to date and with help from our stores department, new parts and ideas can be added to our existing approval to ensure that we stay one step in front of our competitors. All of these updates are careful monitored and inspected by the VCA along with regular audits to confirm that all processes are being suitably followed.
How does the NSSTA benefit Stanford Coachworks?
Although a vast amount of work must be continually completed for our type approval process, it gives us the opportunity to build vehicles to a schedule controlled by us. We do not always have to rely on outside bodies for testing whose schedules are out of our control, ultimately slowing the build process of our conversions.
At Stanford Coachworks, we believe that safety should never be compromised therefore we are incredibly proud to hold this status. We are also extremely grateful to have such a fantastic team who put in an incredibly amount of hard-work to ensure that we maintain our National Small Series Type Approval.