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About compulsory basic training (CBT)

Picture of Motorcyclist and trainer All learner moped and motorcycle riders must complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before they can ride unaccompanied on public roads. Only registered Approved Motorcycle Instructors (AMIs)/CBT trainers are allowed to conduct these training courses.

Does CBT apply to me?

You must complete a CBT course and hold a valid CBT Certificate before you can ride on the public road.

The following conditions will apply:

  • learner riders of mopeds (category AM) and light motorcycles (category A1) with a CBT certificate can ride unaccompanied on the public road as long as the CBT certificate is valid or until they have passed their moped or motorcycle test
  • a candidate who has passed a moped test (category AM) will not require CBT for category A1
  • if a rider has completed CBT on a moped or A1 motorcycle, they must complete an additional CBT course on an A2 or A motorcycle as they will not have been trained at speeds more than 45mph
  • learner riders of medium sized motorcycles (category A2) or large motorcycles (category A) with a CBT certificate cannot ride on the public road unless accompanied by an AMI at all times (except during the on road practical test when accompanied by an examiner)
  • learner riders of medium sized motorcycles (category A2) or large motorcycles (category A) will not be restricted to 45 mph while being trained and tested and after they pass a test but must display “R” plates for one year after passing
  • if a candidate has passed an A1 test and gained two years experience they will not require CBT for A2 or A (provided the CBT certificate is valid for the transmission type of the motorcycle test to be taken and they meet the relevant age requirements) as they will have been able to gain one-year’s post-test experience riding at speeds more than 45mph

Are you eligible to take a CBT course?

To take a CBT course you need a provisional licence in the relevant category. This will allow you to sign up for a course and ride on the road whilst undergoing CBT training under the supervision of an AMI.

How long does the CBT course last?

There are five elements in the syllabus that covers CBT training. Elements A to D are not time-bound - the length of time will depend on your ability. However, element E will be a minimum of four hours. The overall length of the course will vary depending on your ability, knowledge, understanding and skills.

CBT syllabus

The CBT Syllabus contains five elements, grouped into three modules and each module is based on your ability. The table below shows the content of each of the modules:

Module 1 Element A Introduction -
theoretical training
Element B Practical training
(touch, balance and so on)
Module 2 Element C Practical riding skills
Element D Pre road-ride briefing
Module 3 Element E Practical on-road riding (compulsory four hours duration)

During CBT, you will receive a log book in which your instructor will record the topics covered and details of your knowledge or skills. Once you have reached a satisfactory level in all three modules the instructor will give you your CBT certificate.

A sample of the log book can be downloaded here:

CBT certificates

Once you have passed CBT you'll be issued with a certificate valid for two years. This will allow you to ride legally on the road unaccompanied (except for categories A2 and A). You must produce your CBT certificate within seven days if requested to do so by the PSNI or an enforcement officer.

If you don't pass your full moped or motorcycle test by the time the CBT certificate expires (two years) and you want to continue riding on the public road you will have to retake the CBT course and get a new certificate.

AMIs can give you a duplicate of the original CBT certificate if you lose it or if it is stolen. However, if the AMI who issued the original certificate is no longer operating, DVA may give you a duplicate certificate. The cost is currently set at a maximum of £20.

Who will conduct CBT?

Only registered AMIs from the mandatory register will be allowed to conduct CBT courses and it is up to them to identify a safe and appropriate area to deliver the training. Instructors can use the form below to report an incident that happened during training:

CBT certificates issued in GB are valid for all categories (A1, A2 and A) unless the course was completed on a moped (category AM). However, only those AMIs on the statutory NI register will be authorised to deliver CBT in Northern Ireland.

Quality assurance of CBT trainers

DVA has responsibility to monitor and regulate the standard of instruction delivered by CBT trainers. DVA will make sure that courses delivered meet regulations and the safety of pupils is protected. To meet these responsibilities, DVA examiners will go to and monitor CBT courses and report their findings to the Registrar.

For further information contact DVA by:

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