Improving ATB compliance

I’m Graeme Castles, the CBT Enforcement Manager for the South. My role is to oversee the CBT team. I’ve worked for DVSA for the past 10 years and before that, I was a motorcycle instructor.

In this blog post, I’d like to explain more about the really important work my team do to help everyone through a lifetime of safe riding. I also want to let you know about the changes we’re making to how we assess ATBs’ (approved training bodies) compliance with the rules.

Who are the CBT enforcement team?

The CBT enforcement team is split into 12 geographical areas covering the whole of Great Britain. Each area has its own CBT enforcement examiner (previously known as CBT managers) who are there to help with any aspect of motorcycle training or testing.

In 2017, we also moved into DVSA’s enforcement directorate. The change means we’re now better aligned to provide support and direction to the industry and help improve training standards for new riders.

All of the team are highly qualified and experienced examiners - bikers through and through - and are handpicked for their passion for motorcycling. Being qualified instructors means we have a wealth of knowledge and experience and understand the challenges and rewards of helping people onto two wheels.

What do we do?

First and foremost, we’re here to support you. Whether you need advice on training, operating as an ATB, or have questions about the motorcycle test, we’re here to help you get it right. You can find a handy poster in your local test centre with the name and contact of your CBT area examiner.

We conduct standards checks on instructors every 4 years and we’ll give you feedback on how you did. We also carry out inspections and authorise training sites to set up new off-road sites for CBT.

The team investigate incidents that occur during training and on test across the UK.

And if that wasn’t enough, we also carry out CBT and DAS qualifying assessments for motorcycle instructors at our training facility in Cardington.

Taking action against ATBs who don’t comply

Unfortunately, not everyone in our industry plays by the rules, so part of our role is investigating and taking action against ATBs or instructors we receive complaints about.

You might be aware that we've been carrying out unannounced compliance checks on ATBs for some time. This has been really useful in helping us identify and deal with concerns – some minor, others more serious.

You can let us know if you any concerns about a training school on GOV.UK.

Implementing regular compliance checks

From October 2018, we’ll be implementing regular compliance checks with all ATBs. This will help us to ensure that anyone learning to ride remains safe and has the best experience they can. You can find out more about the changes to ATB compliance checks on GOV.UK.

Although we can’t publicise a lot of the enforcement action we take, I want to reassure you that we do act when genuine concerns are raised with us.

Over the past few years, a number of training schools have been closed down and instructors removed from the register. This is for serious or repeated demonstrations of poor training standards and breaches of ATB approval conditions.

We’d like everyone to teach legally and to a good standard, so please get in touch with us if you have questions.

The industry deserves a level playing field with fair competition. We know some ATBs try to give themselves an unfair advantage by adopting unsafe teaching practices or ignoring the rules. I want to let you know that we won’t tolerate this, and we will take action against those people.

Answering your questions

I hope this blog post helps give you a better understanding of the work we do. We’ll be blogging again soon to answer some of the common questions the team are asked.

If you do have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and we’ll try and cover them in the next blog post.


  1. Comment by Sandy Allan posted on

    Long overdue! If this stops Area Supervising Examiners from taking as gospel the word of shonky ATB’s when they try to close down other trainers that ARE TRYING TO PROVIDE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE, I’m all for you & your departments works!

  2. Comment by Mike Richardson posted on

    As a former cbt / das instructor . Now an ADI , I left motorcycle training as I found some training schools I worked for put money before the pupils safety , and the good ones couldn’t compete , including using un qualified people to do CBTS .


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