Choosing a Training School
Choosing a Training School
Choosing a training school can be difficult especially if you are not aware of the things that affect the quality of instruction you are likely to receive. Learning to ride is not cheap, but with the right school it will be great value for money.
Inner Circle Training is not the cheapest school in Greater Manchester. This is for a good reason. We believe that cutting corners in order to cut costs is false economy and results in a poorer service to our customers.
We think the main questions you should ask when choosing a training school are:
- Is the training school accredited by the Motorcycle Industry Association?
- How many hours training are included in the “packages” of training?
- What is the ratio of trainees to instructors during the practical off-road element of CBT?
- What motorcycles/scooters will I be learning on and what condition are they in?
- Is there likely to be someone available who I can speak to about my training / tests?
- What happens if I fail either of my tests?
1. Is the training school accredited by the Motorcycle Industry Association?
- In 2014 the Motorcycle Industry Association, the organisation that represents the motorcycle industry – manufacturers, importers, dealers, trainers, etc – launched a training programme and accreditation scheme for professional motorcycle training schools (Approved Training Bodies or ATBs). These are schools authorised by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to deliver CBT and DAS training. This voluntary scheme is aimed at raising the standards of training across the industry and was launched in response to issues regarding the quality of training delivered by some ATBs. Only schools that meet the highest standards will become MCIAC accredited and these are then monitored regularly with monthly customer surveys and annual inspections (as opposed to the current 4-yearly visits by the DVSA). More details on the MCIAC can be found at www.mciac.co.uk.
- Inner Circle Training Ltd. was the first ATB in the North West to be accredited, so you can be assured of the very highest standards of training when taking a course with us.
2. How many hours training are included in the “packages” of training?
- Most schools, including ours, bundle together packages of training to help customers budget for the cost of getting their licence and to help us schedule training to make it cost-effective. These are offered at a discount over booking training sessions individually. However, not all schools make it clear how many hours of training are included in these packages, often quoting “4 days” when 2 of these days are actually only half-days for taking the tests and so include very little real training time.
- Make sure you compare like-for-like when looking at costs of courses!
- All days of our packages are full 6 hour days, with the exception of your module-2 test day, which is at the end of your training and is the “half-day” quoted.
- Your module-1 test, which lasts around 20 minutes, is included during one of your training days so you do not waste a full day off work (tests are held on weekdays only).
3. What is the ratio of pupils to instructors during practical training of the CBT?
- The DVSA stipulates a ratio of no more than 4:1 for Element C of the CBT, which is where you will learn to ride the motorcycle on an off-road training area, and 2:1 for any road-based training.
- Our ratio is 2:1 for ALL practical sessions, including Element C, as we strongly believe that any more than this reduces the quality of training.
- We may run a higher ratio during the classroom sessions, as we feel that the debate and therefore the learning is improved when there are more trainees present.
3. What motorcycles/scooters will you be learning on and what condition are they in?
- The best way to check this is go and have a look at the school and their bikes. You don’t want to be trying to learn to ride a motorcycle by riding one that has been neglected.
- Our motorcycles and scooters are all modern machines and specifically chosen for their suitability for learner riders. We wash them regularly and check them before and after all training sessions. We run regular Bike Maintenance classes, where we also service the school’s bikes, so you can see them being cared for. We replace our fleet every 3 years.
- You are welcome to pop by any time to inspect our bikes and our facilities (and have a brew and a chat!).
4. Is there likely to be someone available who I can speak to about my training / tests?
- Ring the school and speak to their staff. Are they knowledgeable regarding the laws involved? Have they ever ridden themselves? Are they easy to get hold of and do they ring you back promptly?
- We have dedicated local phone numbers for you to call us on and if we can’t answer please leave a voicemail and we will call you back just as soon as we can. The person in charge of bookings, Tracy, has held a full licence for many years and has ridden all over Europe. In the unlikely event she can’t answer your question, she will get the Chief Instructor (Paul) to ring you as soon as possible. We strongly believe good communication is essential to helping you get the most from your learning experience. Put us to the test!
5. What happens if I fail either of my tests?
- If you fail your Module-1 test, the DVSA insists on 3 clear working days before you can retake it. For your Module-2 test, this period is 10 clear working days.
- You need to ensure that you can continue your training using the money you have already paid until you pass your tests. Not all schools make this easy!
- In the unlikely event of you failing your either practical test, we will arrange a re-test as soon as possible for you. All you will have to pay for is a repeat Test Session, which is approximately 2-hours long, and your test fee.
- If you need or want further training before re-taking the test, we can either use days you have already paid for or add additional days to your course.