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Government outline proposed CBT changes

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Government to roll out CBT changes from December

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 11 Mar 2015

The Government has released plans intended to ‘improve’ Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for motorcyclists and is seeking feedback through a public consultation.

Last December, a report commissioned by the Department for Transport into the effectiveness of CBT courses recommended a number of changes be implemented in order to make motorcycling safer for new riders. 

As the law stands, CBT tests can be taken from 16 years old and once passed, a rider can ride a motorcycle up to 125cc on the road unaccompanied with ‘L’ plates for two years. 

The proposals come after statistics showed there were between 7,000 and 8,000 road collisions involving motorcyclists or moped riders aged 16-26 each year from 2009 to 2012. 58% of these incidents involved riders aged between 16 and 19.

The plans proposed by the Government cover five main changes to the existing system without the need to alter legislation. This means some of the initial report’s tougher suggestions, such as introducing a mandatory theory test, have been put on the backburner for now.

The changes proposed are:

1.    Align training with the National Standard for Driver and Rider Training framework and develop training materials to reflect those standards

How it’ll be done:

  • Ensuring instructors incorporate agreed standards into training methods

  • Creation of new training materials to reflect that agreed standard

  • Establish a network for trainers to share best practice

 2.    Ensure training is tailored to suit the individual learning needs and skill levels of each trainee. This includes theoretical knowledge and ensuring that during the on the road ride trainees have demonstrated their competence to ride unaccompanied

How it’ll be done:

  • Move training away form ‘one-size-fits-all’ fashion – acknowledge that different learners will require different levels of tuition

  • Address gaps in theoretical knowledge during test, without introducing a mandatory theory test at this stage

  • Encourage trainers and learners to recognise a minimum standard of riding to be achieved during the on the road ride and acknowledge that this may take some learners longer to achieve than the current two hours

  • The need to move away from the idea that a rider is competent after just a one-day course

 3.    Improve public knowledge about CBT and improve awareness of what they can expect from their instructor

How it’ll be done:

  • Better communications aimed at learners and their parents/guardians to ensure they understand the aims of CBT and the importance of choosing a good trainer

  • Learners need to be able to identify where they can get a good quality of training

  • Introduce shorter, additional sessions for a set fee on top of one-day courses should a learner need more time

 4.    Revise the standards check so that it supports a risk based approach to quality assurance and earned recognition for good trainers, which they can use to promote and endorse their skills

How it’ll be done:

  • Talking to the training industry and identify information they need to better understand

  • Refocusing checks on how training is delivered and ensuring training is client-focused

  • Introduce standard checks for CBT taken during DAS

  • Introduced ‘earned recognition’ for schools who demonstrate best practice

 5.    Revise the qualification process for motorcycle instructors

How it’ll be done:

  • Focus on ‘how’ training is delivered and the manner in which trainers identify and assess trainees’ learning styles and needs rather than an assessment based on topics covered

The plan also references a number of future considerations, including:

  • Restricting the riding to automatic motorcycles if CBT was taken on a twist and go scooter/moped

  • Flexible approach to CBT – do riders taking their second CBT need to complete the full course again?

  • Reducing the validity of repeat CBT certificates to encourage more riders to take their full tests

  • Introduce an appeals process

To have your say on the proposed changes, click here.

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