HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

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Horse
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HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby Horse » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:14 pm

This article was developed from a presentation given at the FIM's 1995 Luxembourg Congress on Further Rider Training.

Context: the massive rewrite edition of [car] Roadcraft had just be published (the bike version was 1996), and the internet was unknown as a vast source of information. Also, this pre-dates 'DAS', 'Skills for Life' courses and the RPMT.

Illustrations not included here. Perhaps I'll get a '___box' account for them sometime . . .


HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

INTRODUCTION
During this presentation I intend to explain the origins of rider training in Great Britain and show the variety of courses that are available for the full-licence holder.

ORIGINS OF UK TRAINING & THE 'SYSTEM'
Great Britain can lay claim to have originated formal high-standard rider training courses and then spread this training method around the world. Mainly this happened through the Commonwealth countries, but several other countries have had riders trained with these courses.

This training, developed for the British Metropolitan Police at the Peel Training Centre, Hendon, London, is known as 'The Police System of Motor Vehicle Control' and is described in the 'Roadcraft' manual, upon which almost all British training, at all skill levels, is based,

In 1934 the accident rate for London's Police drivers was 1 in every 8000 miles. The Police commissioner asked the noted racing driver and World Speed Record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell to test Police drivers. He found high standard driving but a lack of special training facilities, so a Police Driving School was formed. The first basic course started on 7th January 1935, with an advanced course for 'flying squad' and traffic officers following later.

The 'Advanced' course was based on principles laid down by another top racing driver the Earl of Cottenham:
'Applying basic driving skills to the Police need for maintaining rapid progress in all traffic conditions with the driver always in complete control.'
After just four years the accident rate had reduced to 1 in 22000 miles.

The Motorcycle Wing was formed in 1938, and other Police forces around the UK subsequently formed their own driving schools.

Training in the United Kingdom

1919 Traffic Department of London Metropolitan Police formed

1930 Traffic Patrols formed, known as 'Courtesy Cops'

1934 Accident rate for Police drivers 1 in every 8000 miles
Police Driving School formed at Hendon Training Centre

1935 The first (basic) course at Hendon Civilian Driving test introduced

1938 Police acc. rate 1 in 22000 miles (UK road death toll 7,000 each year)
Motorcycle Wing formed

1954 'The Hendon Technique of Driving' published

1955 ... renamed 'Roadcraft'

1957 RAC/ACU course for novice civilian riders started

1965 'Motorcycle Roadcraft' published



THE 'SYSTEM' - DETAIL
The Roadcraft manual was based on the instructors' theory notes and was first published in 1954. A specific motorcycle edition was first published in 1965.

The Police System has seven features, each is considered at the approach to any hazard. Only those applicable are put into operation:

1. COURSE - Choose the correct line of approach, check behind and give a signal if it is needed to warn of the change of road position.
2. SPEED - Check behind again, consider giving a further signal if turning. Reduction in speed for the hazard, preceded by a slowing down signal if required.
3. GEAR - Select the appropriate gear for the chosen speed.
4. REAR OBSERVATION & SIGNAL - Check behind again. Consider giving a signal if not done already or to emphasise an existing signal.
5. HORN - If necessary, give a horn warning.
6. LIFESAVER - A last look behind before turning.
7. ACCELERATION - Applied to leave the hazard safely.

The System from 'Roadcraft' published in 1955, 1965, 1974, 1978:


CIVILIAN TRAINING - NOVICE RIDERS
Almost all civilian on-road training within the UK is based largely on the Police Roadcraft principles. The senior staff and examiners of training organisations are likely to have a Police background or have been through courses or examinations conducted by Police motorcyclists. The level of any rider's ability is usually judged solely against the ability to implement 'Roadcraft' techniques.

All new riders must take training before riding on the road. This known as 'Compulsory Basic Training' (CBT). It includes both off-road (hard surface) and on-road sections. At the end of the session, which is usually completed in one day, the rider will be issued with a certificate which validates the motorcycle entitlement of the driving licence and allows the rider to ride on the road without being accompanied by an instructor.

CBT instructor approval is at two levels:

· 'CBT 1s' who have passed a two-day course at the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) Driving Examiner training centre;

· Other instructors who have been trained by a 'CBT 1'. This process is known as 'train down'. A 'CBT 1' can be responsible for regular supervision of up to 15 other instructors.

Both levels of instructor are subject to random assessment by Supervising Examiners working for the DSA.

The rider then has two years in which to pass a theory test and an on-road riding test to obtain a full licence which allows the rider to ride motorcycles over 125cc, ride on motorways and carry a passenger. If the test has not been passed within the two year limit the rider's motorcycle licence is suspended for one year.

The test takes about 40 minutes and is conducted by a DSA Examiner following the candidate (usually on another motorcycle) and giving directions through a radio link. Riders do not have to take training for this test, although most do. The test pass rate is higher than that for car drivers.

Currently, there is no instructor qualification required to offer this level of training.

This simple progression is set to change in January 1997 with the introduction of a new licensing and training system, with much more stringent requirements for instructor approval.

CIVILIAN TRAINING - EXPERIENCED RIDERS
A few riders will take higher standard on-road training after passing the test. This is often known as 'advanced' training, the name originating from the 1930s Police course. These riders may have a number of different reasons for taking training:

· They may want to learn more, possibly because they are also instructors on lower level courses;
· They may wish to have an independent examination of their riding;
· They may wish to obtain an insurance discount (up to 20%);
· Or they may just want another badge!

In the UK there are three main organisations offering training for experienced riders:

· The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), offering the IAM Test, costing £39.

Training for motorcyclists and private car owners is provided by local volunteer groups. The IAM test can be taken without having taken any training. There is a simple Pass/Fail system. Re-tests are not required.

· The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), offering the RoSPA Advanced Drivers Certificate at £35.

Training for motorcyclists and private car owners is provided by local volunteer groups. The test can be taken without having taken any training. Passes are awarded at three levels. A re-test is required every three years.

· The British Motorcyclists Federation Rider Training Scheme (BMF-RTS), offering the BMF Blue Riband Award. These course cost between £55-£95.

The Award is only available as a course including theory and training followed by a final assessment. The Award is valid for three years. There are approximately 130 BMF-RTS centres offering learner level training, with about 30 offering the BMF Blue Riband Award. Most BMF-RTS centres are operated by volunteers, although there are some commercial and semi-commercial centres.

Both IAM and RoSPA tests are conducted by Police Class 1 motorcyclists. The BMF assessments are conducted by approved BMF-RTS instructors

There is no Nationally recognised qualification for instructors on these types of courses.

Other training groups run courses along similar principles, although these do not have the same national recognition that the other three enjoy, e.g. insurance discounts.

TRACK-BASED TRAINING
Race-track based training is also available at a number of circuits, although the training itself is usually as 'track craft' with concentration on the correct line for that particular track. These sessions give riders the chance to imagine themselves as racers rather than learn machine control skills.

Some sessions will include the use of a race prepared motorcycle (400cc or 600cc is typical) and use of helmet, leathers, boots and gloves. The price can be from £85 up to £200, depending on the circuit and type of session chosen. This is substantially higher than most high standard road-based courses.

More recently, some of the motorcycle magazines have arranged training sessions on race tracks. This year one magazine will be running a number of sessions with Keith Code, known for his California Superbike School and excellent 'Twist Of The Wrist' books and video.

Track sessions attract more riders than on-road based training. In 1995 a total of just over1000 riders achieved a high-standard qualification from the three main on-road training organisations, while over 3000 took part in 'race experience' sessions with the Brands Hatch Leisure Group. Perhaps this indicates that there is a major flaw in our advertising or in the perceived benefits from our on-road training.

(IAM 800-900 passes, BMF Blue Riband Award 100 passes, RoSPA 100 passes)

BMF BLUE RIBAND AWARD
Returning to the road-based training and in particular the BMF Blue Riband Award, the pilot BMF Blue Riband Award course was run in 1988 and the Award was developed and expanded from 1989 until 1993. It has remained stable since then.

During the development of Blue Riband we made a number of decisions about the structure, philosophy and content of the Award:

· The BMF-RTS would set minimum standards for training and testing;

· Centres could be flexible with course structure if those minimum standards were surpassed;

· Emphasis would be on achievement, reaching the highest standard possible within the time available;

· There would be no minimum engine size, only learners and moped (50cc) riders would not be able to take the course;

· The Award would be given in two classes, B, recognises both good, safe riding, & A, rewards higher level skills;

· It would be valid for three years, with a re-test required for renewal (rather than a 'pass for life');

· We would avoid using the phrase 'Advanced' when advertising the course, although this has become synonymous with all high standard training.

The format we agreed on includes:

· Theory session, largely based on 'Roadcraft', lasting about 4 hours;

· Off-road (hard-surface) machine control exercises. This is a short session to check slow riding and emergency stop skills;

· On-road training totalling six hours;

· Final road-riding assessment of 2 hours.

On-road training is usually split into 15-20km sections, with the trainee leading. Each section is followed by a discussion of events during the ride.

Most centres exceed these minimum standards. Variations must be agreed in advance by the training scheme head office, for example courses may be over a number of weeks or as an intensive weekend. These factors affect the course fee.

Gradual developments have been made to the course materials supplied to centres. For example, the marking categories. Originally there were 12. After discussion with centres this was expanded to 16 categories split into three sections:

· Attitude - How the rider thinks about their riding;

· Technique - How the rider uses the controls;

· Observation & Planning - How the rider plans for and deals with hazards.



'New Roadcraft System', from the car edition (the motorcycle version was still in preparation at the time of the Symposium):






NEW ROADCRAFT
During this same time that the BMF-RTS was developing Blue Riband, a major review of the Roadcraft manual was taking place. The Roadcraft manual and 'The System' had remained substantially unchanged in format except for minor changes to content, layout and illustrations.

In 1990, following criticism of Police training and driving standards, a Working Party was set up at the request of the Association of Chief Police Officers. It's task was to review current practices and any alternatives, then combine these new ideas with the original 'Roadcraft' to produce a user-friendly foundation for training. The actual writing of the new manual was undertaken by the National Extension College.

The result, first published in 1994, was very different from it's predecessors:

· Rather than a set of instructor's notes it is a self-teach handbook.

· The first chapter concentrates on developing the correct attitude, without which any amount of skill will never be enough.

· The Police System remains, but presentation has been dramatically changed to a more flexible 'five phases': Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration.

· The chapter on 'Observation' remains, but now places far more emphasis on the mental process of planning the ride and developing this skill.

The self-development exercises included in the new manual not only show the opportunities for alternative training methods, but also help to avoid the problems of interpretation which have occurred in the past.

I understand that driving techniques outside of the UK were not examined, except possibly in an informal manner. The BMF-RTS has not been restricted in this way. During the last four years we have had considerable contact with the American organisation the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), through US Air Force bases in the UK.

Many BMF Blue Riband instructors and IAM members have found the MSF Experienced RiderCourse (ERC) to be an enjoyable, challenging and thought-provoking experience. Of particular interest has been the shocking realisation that Police Roadcraft, the basis of our training, is unknown to American instructors - yet they still manage to produce safe, competent riders!

We have been impressed in many ways by the MSF, such as the high standards required, both from trainees and instructors, high quality instructional materials and visual aids, the level of knowledge which forms the basis for the courses and the research which backs up that knowledge.

In terms of actual methods and riding techniques, much of what we have learnt is either absent from 'traditional' UK training or runs contrary to it. This has even caused problems for some instructors who have subsequently admitted that even attempting the riding exercises has been difficult because of their years of 'Roadcraft' training.

The recent changes to Roadcraft have been especially interesting when compared with the MSF ERC theory:

· The first section of the ERC theory covers Risk Acceptance and Attitude; the new Motorcycle Roadcraft now covers this in it's first chapter.

· The ERC has the mental system Search-Predict-Act. Roadcraft now includes a similar system Observe-Plan-Act. I understand that the ACPO Working Party developed their version totally independently of the MSF.

There is, however, at least one important omission from the new Motorcycle Roadcraft. Counter-steering is not included. I understand that it is considered dangerous to mention it in a book which will be on sale to the public without the additional instruction which a Police rider would receive as part of the training course. This decision has obvious repercussions for all levels of training which use Roadcraft as their basis.

The original Motorcycle Roadcraft told us that:

'Banking the machine over to the left will automatically make it necessary for the rider to circle to the left.'

That wording had been left unchanged for the 40 years that Motorcycle Roadcraft has been published.

The new Motorcycle Roadcraft says:

The rider unconsciously maintains balance by making small adjustments to body position and pressure on the handlebars. At higher speeds the rider needs to lean into the bend to counterbalance the perceived effect of body and bike flying outwards.

The CBT syllabus for novice riders does not include any instruction on steering. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the Government funded organisation which controls rider and driver training and testing in Great Britain, have said that they 'Do not recognise the term counter-steering' and do not see the need to include it in the CBT syllabus. Many instructors are not aware of counter-steering. In the UK it is probably motorcycling's biggest and best-kept secret!

My personal view is that steering is a skill that should be taught and practised. We show riders how to start the engine, pull away, change gear and stop - but at some time those riders will have to go around corners - so should know how to!

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation cornering system of Slow, Look, Lean and Roll is particularly easy to use and effective, with the simple reminder:
"Look Left, Press Left - Go Left"

The MSF involvement we have had has shown that we are far from perfect in our training. Although we have consistently produced high standard riders using the Roadcraft techniques, the MSF have shown us that the mental development has perhaps not been stressed enough and that control skills have been largely ignored once basic-level training has been completed. We have seen that some control skills are not covered at all and others are based on out-dated ideas and theories.

Our higher standard training has concentrated on road-riding, with good forward observation, early anticipation of hazards and safe, progressive riding. There is nothing wrong with any of that - but emphasis and concentration on this has allowed other aspects to be ignored.

The MSF courses do not include any actual on-road riding, which is where we believe we excel. Several of the UK riders who have taken the MSF ERC have said the same thing:
"Combine the best of UK and US training and we could have the perfect course."

Blending the two differing styles of training can be easy. For many years, the 'Four S' reminder has been used in British training:

Safety The priority - everything done must be safe
Smooth All actions must be carried out smoothly
System All hazards must be dealt with using the Police 'System'
Speed If all the above are done, higher speeds can be considered.

Only one part of this needs changing:
'System' need not be just the physical 'Police System', it can also include the mental system of Search Predict Act (or Observe Plan Act) and the cornering system of Slow, Look, Lean & Roll.

During the last few years I have been made aware that there are other ways of training riders. Some of these are much better than our own methods, but finding these other methods can be difficult and trying to spread the information around can be frustrating! However, it is worth the effort if we are to continue to improve the courses we offer.

This would leave one further problem, which goes back to that word 'Attitude':
How do we convince the average rider that they should take our courses?



All diagrams used with permission from HMSO, obtained verbally before the Symposium, I trust that applies to the web as well!

Note: In late 2003 the UK's Driving Standards Agency (which controls learner driver and rider training and testing) held a seminar to consider introducing counter-steering into CBT training. No official outcome has yet been published.
My own views. For better or worse :)

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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby jcochrane » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:21 pm

What I find so ironic is that far too many Advanced Police Drivers and driving organisations are quick to say anything that comes from the track or racing has no place in road driving. But as you point out the two key people to change police training both came from the racing world and used the knowledge and skill they learnt from that discipline to resolve the problems in police training. Laying down a foundation for driving that is widely adopted even to this day.

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Horse
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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby Horse » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:24 pm

jcochrane wrote:What I find so ironic is that far too many Advanced Police Drivers and driving organisations are quick to say anything that comes from the track or racing has no place in road driving. But as you point out the two key people to change police training both came from the racing world and used the knowledge and skill they learnt from that discipline to resolve the problems in police training. Laying down a foundation for driving that is widely adopted even to this day.


Although, playing Devil's advocate, if the situation was to be repeated today with Mr Plod wanting driver training, who would they ask? Racing drivers, or organisations like HPC/RoSPA/IAM? :?:

Oddly, there is a parallel [almost] within the content of the article. While I was at the event, there was an MSF instructor presenting too. Part of the event involved on-track demonstrations. [As an aside: He didn't have a bike, I did (and this was after I'd qualified with them), so it allowed him the opportunity to both give a formal, indoor, presentation and an outdoor 'range' demo too. MSF training involves an instructor demoing an exercise before trainees ride it]

However . . . in his State (location, not mental), the police were concerned about the quality of the training (or riding, depending how you look at it) of their motorcyclists. So the police approached the 'Team Oregan' civilian trainers to provide training for the police!

http://team-oregon.org/training/
http://team-oregon.org/training/advancedmotorstraining/

Advanced Motors Training

AMT is available only to active police motor officers. TEAM OREGON assigns select instructors to two specialty training programs for law enforcement.

The eight-hour Police Advanced Rider Training (ART) focuses on cornering proficiency through repeated exposure to the tight, challenging curves of a kart track. Riding curves quickly, effectively and with an acceptable margin of safety requires good visual habits, precise line selection and smooth control inputs. Officers also practice emergency braking and swerving at highway speeds.

Police High-Speed Training is held on the DPSST (Police Academy) closed road course. This four-hour training provides the opportunity for Police ART graduates to apply the visual skills and strategies of effective cornering technique and vehicle placement at higher speeds. The motorcycle communicates vehicle handling characteristics differently at these speeds. Participants get instruction and practice in properly interpreting these vehicle traits while maintaining a comfortable margin of safety. This program also emphasizes safe pursuit techniques. To qualify for Police High-Speed, officers must have attended Police ART in the current or previous year.
My own views. For better or worse :)

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Mr Cholmondeley-Warner
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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby Mr Cholmondeley-Warner » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:03 pm

I'm not sure it was their racing knowledge the Metropolitan Police were after, rather that they needed people of repute as drivers, and in those days, racing was the place that talented drivers practised their skills. Being a Lord probably helped, too.
Nick

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Horse
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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby Horse » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:10 pm

Anyone know (note I didn't ask 'remember') what sort of publicly-available driver training there was then? Apart from a few chauffeurs and some maverick gentry, I doubt many people even knew how to drive . . .
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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby WhoseGeneration » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:07 pm

Horse wrote:Although, playing Devil's advocate, if the situation was to be repeated today with Mr Plod wanting driver training, who would they ask? Racing drivers, or organisations like HPC/RoSPA/IAM?


They'd, again, have to ask racing and perhaps, other competition drivers.
Because, without the editions of Roadcraft down the ages there'd not be the organisations you reference.
Oops, silly me, today they'd ask BRAKE.

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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby TripleS » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:53 am

WhoseGeneration wrote:
Horse wrote:Although, playing Devil's advocate, if the situation was to be repeated today with Mr Plod wanting driver training, who would they ask? Racing drivers, or organisations like HPC/RoSPA/IAM?


They'd, again, have to ask racing and perhaps, other competition drivers.
Because, without the editions of Roadcraft down the ages there'd not be the organisations you reference.
Oops, silly me, today they'd ask BRAKE.


Yes, that would be a good way of promoting total incompetence amongst the driving population. :evil:

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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby LenWoodman55 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:53 pm

In the Earl of Cottenham's day much of the 'racing' was on public roads. Although usually closed there were many more hazards to deal with. Even when Stirling Moss won the Mille Miglia with Jenkinson it was more like a rally on public roads (read The Racing Driver). Racing lines were more like the 'police' lines with a late apex to get better, earlier vision of the pedestrians, holes in the road, farm carts etc.

Really can't see today's F1 stars being able to contribute much. Haven't heard of any doing HPC or IAM lately, unlike Clark, Hawthorn and Hill. And Stewart who put a lot of effort and study into road driving with Formula Finesse.

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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby Horse » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:08 pm

LenWoodman55 wrote: Racing lines were more like the 'police' lines with a late apex to get better, earlier vision of the pedestrians, holes in the road, farm carts etc.


It's quite interesting to go back through old editions of Rc to see how the content has evolved.

Cornering 'lines' as such weren't IIRC in the first publicly-available versions (early/mid 1950s), featured heavily in the 70s-90s 'blue book' editions, and were then watered-down in from the 95 rewrite onwards.
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Re: HIGH STANDARD/FURTHER TRAINING IN THE UK

Postby Imsensible » Mon May 30, 2016 11:13 am

Anybody who has ever ridden a bicycle will automatically use "counter steering". It is something that you pick up on within a few minutes of learning to balance. It does not need teaching, as it happens naturally, in the same way that people subconsciously move their bodies to keep upright. I suspect that many competent riders would struggle to do it consciously. People have been riding on two wheels for over a century without being schooled in couter-steering. :popcorn:


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