Volkswagen High-Voltage Technician Levels

As electric-only, hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles are increasing in sales, they are becoming more commonplace in repair facilities. Along with the unique powertrains that come with these vehicles, also comes unique safety concerns. Regardless of vehicle maker, high-voltage (HV) systems pose a threat of injury or death if not handled properly. Only personnel with the proper training, PPE, tools, equipment, and service information should perform work on the HV systems.

Many OEMs have specific training requirements for different levels of high-voltage technicians. Typically, these levels range from no interaction with any high-voltage part of the vehicle (even after the high-voltage battery is disconnected/isolated), to the ability to work on the vehicle under live conditions at the highest OEM HV education level you can earn. The number of levels in between these two ends varies by OEM. Always check the OEM requirements before attempting to disable an HV system.

As the RTS team is researching these high-voltage technician levels, we are putting together a series of articles identifying which OEMs have these technician requirements. As OEMs produce more electric vehicles and as technology advances, technician requirements may change or be added. Let’s see what Volkswagen has to say.

Volkswagen currently has four levels of high-voltage technician. They specify what responsibilities/actions a technician can perform at each of the four levels in an easy-to-read chart provided in the High-Voltage System-General Information manual.

To locate this manual after signing into

  1. Select Guided Search tab (middle of webpage)
  2. Click Service Information (top of webpage)
  3. Enter Year and Model from dropdowns
  4. Category 1 select Repair Manual
  5. Category 2 select Category 2
  6. Select High-Voltage System-General Information from the search results

The area in the manual that pertains to training levels is Group 93: Electric Drive, area Training/Personnel Qualification.

Some examples for each level from the chart are:

  • Technician trained in electrical systems:
    • Training for non-electrotechnical procedures (< 60 VDC)
  • High-Voltage Technician:
    • Working on intrinsically safe (HV battery disabled) high-voltage production vehicles
  • High-Voltage Expert Level 1:
    • Working on high-voltage production vehicles that are not intrinsically safe (HV battery not disabled)
  • High-Voltage Expert level 2:
    • Working on live components that do not have the necessary contact protection in order to perform fault finding, replace components, etc.

The manual also provides real world scenarios and what level of technician should be working on the vehicle for given circumstances, such as when the airbags are deployed, or when the high-voltage MIL is illuminated on the instrument cluster.

Understanding high-voltage safety, including OEM-specific high-voltage technician levels, will help ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

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