- This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 8 months ago by Anonymous.
19/11/2012 at 8:35 PM #9923AnonymousInactive
I got chatting to someone the other day about the options available to progress their riding after they’ve passed their practical test. He was confused as to the difference between “Enhanced” and “Advanced”, and wanted some advice on which option would best suit a rider with little post test riding experience who wanted to improve his/her riding.
Here’s my understanding of the various options:
“Enhanced” riding refers to the scheme introduced by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the government body responsible for the driving tests and licence rules, to provide further education and training for riders beyond the standard practical test. It was introduced a few years ago and consists of an initial assessment followed by some optional training in order to achieve a standard level of competence in each of a number of skill areas. The assessments and training are delivered by DSA approved instructors who are on the Register of Post-test Motorcycle Trainers (RPMT). On reaching the level of competence, the instructor will issue a Certificate of Competency, which can be used to obtain an insurance discount from a number of motorcycle insurance companies. It does not aim to define ‘how’ to ride, only to assess competence against a defined framework.
“Advanced” riding differs in that it is based on following the System of Motorcycle Control as outlined in Roadcraft – the Police Rider’s Handbook. The System dates back to the first Police driving school and has been refined over the years to become THE definitive approach to good driving/riding, which aims to always ensure that the vehicle is in the correct position, travelling at the correct speed and in the correct gear for the current road, traffic and weather situation. Adopting a Systematic approach to riding has a number of real-world benefits, not least being that it is repeatable and applicable to all situations as it is applied flexibly based on the prevailing conditions. UK Police riders are recognised around the world as some of the best trained, and the System is at the heart of their training. Advanced riding following Roadcraft is the basis of both the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and RoSPA/RoADAR, who both administer their own tests. The highest standard of Advanced riding for civilians is a RoSPA Gold pass, a standard comparable with a Class One Police Advanced qualification but omitting the pursuit and police-specific riding. Both the IAM and RoSPA offer volunteer based tutoring through their local groups, which are part of their charity organisations. These volunteer tutors / observers are trained by the local group and all hold Advanced riding qualifications, and they cannot charge for their advice nor can it be classed as instruction. Outside of the groups, anyone can claim to be an Advanced instructor and charge for instruction as the industry is not currently regulated. If you are looking for instruction, check the instructor’s qualifications carefully (the most highly regarded of which is a ROSPA Diploma in Advaned Riding Instruction, such as I hold! 😎 ). It’s worth noting that a RoSPA Advanced qualification needs to be retaken every 3 years, as holding one of these shows you really are serious about your riding (the Diploma also needs to be retested every 3 years!).
So, which is best?
Both will give you an insurance discount, and both will help you develop and improve your riding. Advanced riding will also teach you how to ride better by following a systematic way of riding that will make you smoother, safer and more consistent.
The first thing to do is have your riding assessed by a qualified instructor, who will then be able to advise you on the best next step for you based on your current level and your ambitions. Some schools, such as RJH offer this service free (so there really is no reason not to!).
But if you’re serious about your riding, then aiming to improve towards a RoSPA Gold is the ultimate target…19/11/2012 at 8:45 PM #10425Rob1965Keymaster
That all makes things very clear Paul. Take a newly qualified rider (DAS) what would be an average time to become Gold Standard? Is there a waiting list for a test?19/11/2012 at 9:08 PM #10426AnonymousInactive
That’s an impossible question, Rob, as it depends on how quickly a rider learns and how well they apply the System. Riding at Gold is not just for the hour-long test ride, as it’s more about understanding and consistently being able to ride at a very high standard using the System.
A good rider, with experience on the road from driving, could get to Gold relatively quickly – say after a week’s training. But it’s best learnt over a longer period so all the principles can be practiced until fully embedded. Most riders would do their training over a period of a month or two.
The tests are administered by the local IAM or RoSPA groups and the examiners are serving or retired Police Class One licence holders. Availability therefore varies more than the per-scheduled DSA tests. Having spoken to the IAM and RoSPA, it looks like there is a 3-week waiting list for the advanced test.
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