https://despatch.blog.gov.uk/2019/05/29/atb-owner-simon-hayes-shares-his-views-on-the-dvsa-enhanced-rider-scheme/

Why one motorcycle trainer thinks all bike instructors should offer the enhanced rider scheme

picture of rider

Simon Hayes owns RMT Training School, an Approved Training Body (ATB). He’s written this blog to tell us about his experiences delivering DVSA’s Enhanced Rider Scheme.

Despite the DVSA enhanced rider scheme (ERS) being well received by the motorcycle training industry, many training schools still do not have qualified instructors.

I think this is a shame, as delivering ERS training comes with benefits, as my ATB has found.

Have you thought about offering ERS too?

How we’ve found ERS

We’ve been offering ERS since it was first introduced. Our trainers enjoy the prospect of teaching at a higher level, as it gives variety in their work schedule. They could be teaching CBT one day and advanced training (ERS) the next.

I imagine work can become boring or monotonous at times in any profession, but being able to deliver different levels of training means trainers enjoy variety in their role, improving the customer experience and bringing value to their ATB.

Being able to deliver the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme means we do not say goodbye after a motorcyclist has taken their test. It is a chance to promote further education that will positively impact their biking ability and prepare riders for a safer future.

Delivering post-test training comes at a lower cost than learner training, which makes good financial sense for the business too. Customers use their own bikes, insurance and fuel, which keeps costs down. Obviously, the work is rewarding and safety is a priority, but increased profit margins are a nice extra!

Rider safety is key

Just because a learner rider has passed their motorcycle test, does not mean they are as prepared as they could be for the type of riding they will be undertaking in future. Being able to deliver further education in the form of advanced guidance reinforces our ongoing commitment to road safety, which is satisfying.

Statistics show that post-test riders fall into a vulnerable category, in many cases out on a country road when either cornering or overtaking. This is because inexperienced riders may make errors in judgement when faced with the tricky situations these roads can present, after only just completing the basic motorcycle test.

The revamped DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme targets this vulnerable category of riders, with a revamped syllabus to make it easier for trainers to target key areas, to improve rider safety.

Establishing ERS as the norm

In many cases learners who have just passed their test get a handshake from the ATB and are never seen again. Module 1 and 2 tests are seen by riders as the final hurdle, but we don’t think this is the right way to go.

If we can present ERS to all learner riders as a necessary stepping-stone to further training, they will be encouraged to develop new skills. Once they take further education and start to improve their ability, riders could return many times and enjoy improving their riding skills still further.

Tailoring training

New training programs can be designed and implemented to add value to the ERS package. The training does not have to be completed as a 1-day programme, but can be delivered over a few days. This allows customers to have a say on the skills they wish to develop, it reinforces good riding techniques, and it develops consistency, demonstrating that learning has taken place.

For riders who want to continue improving their skills, there is an opportunity to signpost them to other types of education. They could be encouraged to do courses, such as Biker Down, to learn how to deal with the scene of an accident and give basic first aid.

The learning does not stop there. They could also be signposted to learning in alternative environments, to learn new skills that will undoubtedly give them more confidence and knowledge. In turn, this could lead them back to the professional training sector (local ATB), who can give further training and bring customers up to advanced test standard.

To find out how to become an ERS trainer visit www.gov.uk/dvsa-enhanced-rider-scheme-trainer

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19 comments

  1. Comment by Kathy Keeley posted on

    I think its a good idea to get extra training. As a driver I have been on a moped and ended up in a ditch. Motorbike drivers are very vulnerable on busy roads - I generally think they should avoid them.

    • Replies to Kathy Keeley>

      Comment by Christine posted on

      If I had to avoid busy roads on my motorcycle, how would I get anywhere?

    • Replies to Kathy Keeley>

      Comment by Steve, DAS instructor. posted on

      Hi Kathy,
      Motorcyclists can’t avoid busy roads, it’s about being able to deal with the problems that arise from those type of roads that is important. Equally, non busy roads can offer dangers just of a different nature that motorcyclists should be aware off.
      Getting training from your local riding school will benefit all motorcyclists no matter at what level they are presently riding.
      It’s all about being able to ride safely no matter what situation you find yourself in.

      • Replies to Steve, DAS instructor.>

        Comment by Kathy Keeley posted on

        I agree that motorcyclists should receive training.

        I think that should include selecting the safest route, not just the quickest one.

        • Replies to Kathy Keeley>

          Comment by Steve, DAS instructor posted on

          The motorcycle test and the training motorcyclists receive is to ensure that motorcyclists can ride on all roads safely.

          Maybe other road users would benefit from further training to ensure that they remain focused on driving rather than being distracted by phones, doing makeup, chatting to the kids/passengers with their eyes off the road, drinking, smoking, fiddling with the sat nav, radio, reading etc. Just some of the things I witness every week riding.

      • Replies to Steve, DAS instructor.>

        Comment by Martin A posted on

        Well said Steve. My sentiments exactly.

  2. Comment by Bob Craven posted on

    Not a bad idea though i would think that graduated training over a period of weeks is the way forwards with an obvious emphasis on road safety which is sadly missing with the present DVSA training schemes. I learned and trained with the RAC/ACU in the 1960's and their scheme was over a 13 week period at a minimum of 2 hours per week together with social riding as well which was beneficial as others could have an input into one's riding abilities. More like a club than training.

    It would benefit all training if it all the training organisations trained the same thing and followed the structure of the Police Roadcraft Manual and the H.C. As yet some training organisations do differ from the Manual in certain areas as they have not kept up with the latest issues of that Manual. The last issue was in 2013 and still some training organisations have not cottend on that changes have been made in certain areas concerning safety.

    Also I would like the DVSA and its instructors to stop training to be the Thinking Distances only behind other traffic when in a town traffic situation as that is simply Tailgating by design. Not only an offence but ever so dangerous as its caused a lot of drivers over the last few decades to mistakenly believe that when following traffic in any situation and that traffic slows and stops that they can also slow and stop and that that is the correct and safe following on or full stopping distance in any given situation. It fails to take into account an emergence stop or a full and completely unexpected stop when the vehicle in front is in collision with another vehicle.

    Further that as a result of the debacle that is the EEC ruling about manufacturers and speedometer tolerances and then the same or similar paper produced by the then ACPO now NPCC about a similar allowance to speeders that some instructors are advising candidates to drive or ride faster than the shown speed limit and to take advantage of any speed tolerances or allowances that the police give before considering a motorist to be speeding. It would be safer to recommend to candidates to ride to the shown speed, the road sign and the one shown on their respective speedometers.

  3. Comment by Peter posted on

    Sadly the costs to an instructor of becoming qualified to deliver this training against the takeup mean the sums simply don't add up. Customers have just spent a substantial amount of money to to pass their test, plus buying a bike, insurance, etc. The last thing the majority can afford is post-test training. Job satisfaction is a great thing, but only one aspect. Instructors need to be able to make money out of it in order for it to be viable.

  4. Comment by ROBIN D CARSON posted on

    I am unsure as to whether additional training is the way to go, I think it is more likely a different style of training that is required. A more friendly one to one approach. Plus I don’t agree with the comments that folk are not able to ride country roads.
    Fir example Who teaches the vanishing point ? Slow on a steadily faster on the way out depending on road conditions weather etc
    It’s possible a more immersive training using virtual reality devices could be used ... not a simple tv or monitor screen which doesn’t reflect reality on the road

    Anyway these and many other ideas I have regarding rider safety training
    Which would go sone way to improve understanding of how to ride a motorcycle in confidence and safely

    Having ridden since 1969 and had my share of incidents and covered many 1000s of miles internationally I think I know what’s required

    However it might not meet the rather sterile requirements of rider training

  5. Comment by Dennis McLaughlin posted on

    I wholly agree with this ERS scheme.
    When I passed my motorcycle test I joined my local group of ROSPA trainers in East Kilbride and received advanced tuition in motorcycle roadcraft until unfortunately my instructor changed jobs and left the area.
    Any extra tuition is a benefit to all motorcyclists on today's congested highways.

  6. Comment by Ben Graham (Fleet ADI, former RPMT) posted on

    Totally agree all bike (and car) trainers should offer further training - the basic test of competence is only a starting point. Sadly though, I’m unconvinced of the benefits of the voluntary RPMT or Fleet registers.

  7. Comment by Ian Williams posted on

    I have personally been riding for over 20 years and have been fortunate to have been mentored by a Met motorcycle Police instructor, I also attend the bike safe every 2-3 years as road craft changes constantly.

    Totally agree that any additional training for individuals that have recently passed their test should be manditory as any additional training would benifit new and at times old riders.

  8. Comment by Julie Green posted on

    My first time out on my bike after my test I ended up on the other side of the road when cornering but my nephew took me out on the snakes pass and I soon picked up some tips from him and his friends.

    I do agree further training is needed.

  9. Comment by Michael Abbott posted on

    I think it's also important to say you don't have to work for an ATB and be a learner trainer to be an ERS trainer, but the standard is quite a bit higher.

    Any experienced motorcyclist, with some training, can independently qualify to deliver the ERS Scheme as I did in 2010.

    Delivering the ERS Scheme particularly suits individuals who enjoy their independence.

    The general training methods used by the DVSA are up to date, so are also applicable across other areas of training.

    For me training and assessing riders is particularly rewarding, you meet riders from all walks of life, and I continually run into riders I have trained which is great - although by now I can't remember all their names, as I've trained 100's.

    I'm semi-retired, but many riders want to be trained and assessed on weekends, and also in the evening - a great opportunity to get out on the bike in your spare time for a reason, rather than just for a ride.

    I got carried away with the bike training thing, and started the British Superbike School as I used to race. This gets me to meet quite a different group of riders, although we do also run separate courses for road riders on-track, and the training is equally rewarding, although it is run to the ACU's standards.

    If you love riding, and want to put something back in, this is an ideal opportunity.

  10. Comment by Tony Franquelo posted on

    I think it's a great idea, & would be very interested in one of the training courses.

  11. Comment by Michelle Bruce posted on

    My ERS course helped me to get back-on after an RTC which shook my confidence, and have not regretted it, as I actually learnt better road skills than on the DAS aimed at passing for my full licence. I also completed two Bike Safe courses, one with a pillion, and a Biker Down course. Got given "The Police Rider's handbook to better motorcycling" gives excellent tips for practising. Always continue to learn new road skills. I've also become a better driver being an ERS motorcyclist. I would like ERS to be compulsory after Licencing.

  12. Comment by Kathy Keeley posted on

    People obviously have strong feelings on this issue.

  13. Comment by j waller posted on

    i think that people should start on a motorbike before they get near a car most people drive to work on there own insurance to cover car and bike you only have one but . when traffic is at a stand still on motorways bikes should be aloud to use the hard shoulder at 30mph then people would think about a bike when cars are stood still they should pull to the curb my big hate is cars parked on the road when they have drive ways and push bikes should be on cycle using paths if there

  14. Comment by Dale posted on

    I love the idea that students will want to pay for extra training. At a time when some ATBs are offering cbts for as little as £70, motorcycle training has no monetary value. Tell a student you charge £120 for a cbt and they go elsewhere. Yet even that doesn't pay a living wage to instructors. If the DVSA want to drive up standards start by making a mandatory minimum charge for a Cbt of £150. Put some value on training
    Then there is the point that you don't have to be an instructor to qualify for and deliver ERS. So let's not worry about someone having the ability to pass on knowledge. That in itself is a vital skill in safe training. Before becoming an instructor I was a trainer for a national company and was trained to deliver student centred learning. But that's okay. As long as you can ride you can teach. (hopefully the sarcasm is showing in that statement) Someone said delivering ERS helps take away the boredom of doing the same thing day in day out. I deliver CBTs and enjoy every one. All students are different, all have different reasons to be there and introducing them to safe riding is a privilege. mod 1 training is great, seeing a student learning to control a bigger bike and grow in confidence. Mod 2 training could be a tick box exercise to pass a test, or you could train them to ride safely, on any road at any time and then their test should be a given. This industry needs new, young instructors. Not more old white male retired riders who want a hobby. Push up the prices to a living wage, bring in younger instructors, put a real value into motorcycle training and then more people will think about taking it further. As for ERS being compulsory let's level the playing field first and introduce graduated licenses for cars. Then, maybe, consider more complications for motorcyclists. It's already hard enough to get a bike licence. Don't make it worse.