A specialist education centre has been set up at the Motorcycle Industry (MCI) headquarters in Coventry and has been awarded official accredited status, in order to provide a programme of new qualifications for motorcycle instructors and motorcycle training businesses.
The Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre was officially approved by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) last year – to run new vocational courses for both instructors and Approved Training Bodies (ATBs), which will begin in April.
Customers currently have no means of distinguishing good from bad when choosing an instructor or ATB. This is particularly important when choosing where to do Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), as the quality of this initial training experience is far more likely to win converts to motorcycling when delivered well. Also, those who invest time and money into building a superior business have no concrete way to stand out from less scrupulous operators.
Introducing qualifications for instructors and ATBs will allow the motorcycle training industry to professionalise ahead of any compulsory requirements to do so and before the car training industry has managed to do the same. These vocational qualifications will be equivalent to level 3 (approximately A level standard) and though they are voluntary, they will demonstrate to customers that the instructor or ATB involved will far exceed any minimum standards.
Vocational Qualifications are work based awards that are achieved through assessment and training, which require the candidates to prove that they have the ability to carry out their job to a required standard.
MCI members also agree that more structure within the training industry will allow them to choose training partners more easily and to develop fleet programmes with corporate clients who need greater quality assurances than are currently available.
The individual instructor training qualification will start in January 2015, but the first ATB course will begin in a few weeks’ time in April of this year. 20 ATBs will be given the chance to be the first in the UK to take a qualification specifically tailored to them. This can be taken by owners, directors, managers or whoever has responsibility for the day to day running, as it concentrates on the business of running an ATB.
Those seeking instructor accreditation next year will need to be part of an ATB which has gained MCIAC ATB accreditation.
Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association explained: “Driver and motorcycle training has been left behind other training sectors in introducing a framework of recognised qualifications. This move should help to change that. Motorcycles should be a natural choice as a means of personal transport and for fleet operators too, but both need clearer signposts when choosing quality instructors.
“We are particularly proud to be able to launch this ahead of anything similar in the car driver training industry and before any compulsory requirements to do so by government bodies.”