...you're probably looking for information about the DVSA’s Enhanced Rider
Scheme (ERS) and the Enhanced Rider Certificate (ERC), which can only be
delivered by DVSA-approved advanced instructors on the Register of Post-test
Motorcycle Trainers (RPMT). Well, we're not on the RPMT so cannot deliver
WHY WE’RE NOT ON THE RPMT: There was talk about a qualification for advanced instructors for quite a few years before the DVSA’s Register of Post-test Motorcycle Trainers (RPMT) was first proposed. The people behind my BTEC in advanced motorcycle instruction put a lot of time, money and effort into producing a formal qualification that should have been acceptable to the DSA (as was) when such a qualification was finally put in place. When the forthcoming RPMT scheme was announced, they went along to the DSA to explain it: based on the long-standing BMF Blue Riband advanced training scheme it comprised a mixture of taught modules, accreditation of prior learning and checks on instructional and riding ability. It was externally moderated by the educational standards body EDEXCEL, and was NVQ standard.
Months later and the scheme was unveiled, along with the available access routes. I was offered a place under ‘grandfather rights’ simply by writing to the DSA to say I was already an advanced trainer. I was also offered an automatic place because I held a Cardington-accessed Direct Access licence issued by the DSA a decade earlier, whether I had any experience of advanced training or not. Police motorcyclists with no history of rider training but with a police motorcycle qualification were also offered the same access.
All I or anyone else joining the register using the above routes had to do was to pass an extended theory test (the same one that new riders take) and then and call themselves an approved advanced trainer and start delivering the ERS. At some point in the future there would also be two short assessments of instructional ability when the DSA got round to it.
And my BTEC? Despite several discussions between the DSA and the organisers, the BTEC was completely ignored. My qualification was considered worthless. At the same time, other training organisations were invited to submit their proposals for a training course leading to automatic qualification, and were subsequently licenced accordingly.
To say I wasn't impressed is a bit of an understatement. Now this may sound like sour grapes, but after the work that went into the BTEC both by the organisers and by myself to gain my qualification, I think it's fair to be disappointed in the scheme. Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention - acceptance required me off sending a large cheque to register then others at regular intervals to renew my registration. That cost would have had to be passed onto you, the customer. Registration remains voluntary so I didn’t join.
DO YOU NEED THE ‘Certificate of Competence’? That's entirely down to you as it's voluntary. Many riders take the ERS simply to use the certificate to get an insurance discount. If that’s all you want, go ahead and find a trainer who offers the ERS assessment.
IS THE Enhance Rider Scheme ADVANCED TRAINING? No, it's not. It's 'post-test' training in the sense that you take it after passing the DVSA's practical motorcycle test but it's not 'advanced' training. The DVSA themselves say the ERS is below IAM test standard and is intended to be more of a check-up after passing the bike test. So if you did your basic training with a good school and got a decent test pass, then our honest advice is look elsewhere; the IAM, RoSPA and training courses like those offered by Survival Skills are all to a higher standard than the ERS requires to issue the certficate.
WHAT'S IN THE ERS SYLLABUS? Although the ERS promises personalised training, in fact it's still based on a DVSA-mandated syllabus. Whilst some new ideas such as night riding, group riding and incident management are covered, much of the content is part of basic training: eg, safety helmets and clothing, using the stands, legal issues, U turns and emergency stops. A returning rider or someone who trained over 20 years ago before CBT may well find the content useful but if you’re a competent rider it’s unlikely to be a challenge. And if you’re newly qualified you’re probably both good at and sick of U turns and emergency stops! That's not sour grapes, just years of training experience.
SO WHAT DO YOU OFFER IF I WANT A HEALTH CHECK ON MY RIDING? There are two options. If you are simply looking for check-up or a benchmark to see if you could benefit from further training, then Survival Skills offers an inexpensive, no-frills but tough riding assessment with a written debrief. If you just feel you're struggling or if you know that you have specific areas of riding that need addressing (perhaps you're not too hot on slow control or cornering), then we also offer inexpensive two-hour sessions in specific issues including slow manoeuvering, emergency evasion skills, cornering and night riding. If you're not quite sure where the problem lies, then we'd suggest looking out our one day Confidence: BUILDER course specifically designed to assess your riding, then structure a session around your issues. Whichever you choose, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.