About compulsory basic training (CBT)

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.

Duration of the CBT course

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)

Below is a brief outline of the syllabus:

Element A

  • aim of the compulsory basic training course
  • legal requirements for course attendance
  • importance of the correct attitude to riding
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of the Highway Code and the legal requirements for riding on the road
  • importance of right equipment and clothing, including the correct fitting and securing of safety helmets

Element B - practical riding

  • familiarity with the motorcycle, its controls and how it works
  • carry out basic daily and weekly machine checks
  • take the bike on and off the stand(s) safely mounting and dismounting the bike
  • wheel the machine around to the left and right showing proper balance and bring to a controlled halt by braking
  • start and stop the engine satisfactorily

Element C - practical riding

  • ride the machine under control in a straight line and bring to a controlled halt
  • ride the machine slowly under control
  • carry out controlled braking using both brakes
  • change gear satisfactorily 
  • ride the machine round a figure of eight circuit under control
  • negotiate simulated bends safely
  • steering to avoid a collision
  • carry out rear observation correctly
  • carry out simulated left and right turns from major to minor roads and when emerging at junctions, correctly using OSM/PSL routine
  • carry out U-turn manoeuvre satisfactorily
  • bring the machine to a stop under full control as in an emergency

Element D - pre-road ride briefing

Understand how to reduce the following risks:

  • your attitude to riding
  • visibility and vulnerability
  • ride defensively using hazard perception and anticipation
  • use rear observation at appropriate times
  • ride at the correct speed, road position and separation distance according to the road and traffic conditions
  • drug and alcohol use
  • passengers and loads

Understand the correct procedures for CBT Certificate dealing with:

  • varying weather conditions and road surfaces when riding
  • bends
  • roundabouts
  • one way systems
  • traffic light controlled junctions including multi lane junctions
  • dual carriageways, including the use of acceleration and deceleration lanes
  • filtering in traffic
  • incidents and first aid
  • eco-safe riding

Element E - practical on-road riding (minimum of four hours)

  • traffic light/signals controlled junctions including multi lane junctions
  • roundabouts
  • junctions
  • pedestrian crossings
  • gradients
  • bends
  • obstructions
  • dual carriageways, including the use of acceleration and deceleration lanes
  • independent riding

Undertake the following exercises in normal road conditions:

  • carry out a U-turn manoeuvre satisfactorily
  • bring the machine to a stop under full control as in an emergency

CBT logbook

During CBT, you will receive a logbook 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.

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.

CBT trainers

Only registered AMIs will be allowed to conduct CBT courses and it is up to them to identify a safe and appropriate area to deliver the 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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