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Set Up an Approved Training Body (ATB)

This guide explains how to set up and run a motorcycle approved training body (ATB) so you can offer training to learner riders.

After completing the setting up process you will be able to provide compulsory basic training (CBT) and the direct access scheme (DAS) as part of running a motorcycle training school.

DVSA Rules for Becoming a Motorcycle ATB

Only approved training bodies (ATBs) registered with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can provide:

  • Compulsory basic training (for learner motorcyclists).
  • DAS training (to riders learning to ride a big motorbike).

Also, only DVSA certified instructors can give CBT and DAS training to learners through an approved training body (ATB).

Note: The DVSA must also approve the site used to provide motorbike rider training. The registration process for qualified instructors who provide on-road tuition and CBT training differs in Northern Ireland.

Being a ‘Fit and Proper’ Person

DVSA will want to see that you are a ‘fit and proper’ person for setting up and running a motorcycle approved training body (ATB). As a rule, that means they will look at whether you have:

Providing the Correct Training

Note: You must give compulsory basic training (CBT) courses as an ATB. All the CBT and direct access scheme (DAS) courses that you offer and conduct need to meet the legal requirements.

The DVSA compulsory basic training (CBT) syllabus and guidance notes contain further details on what you must provide. But, the key requirements state that:

  • An instructor cannot supervise more than two (2) trainees during on-road tuition.
  • While giving on-road tuition, instructors must be in radio contact with all the trainees and at all times.
Suitable Training Sites

During the off-road parts of the CBT course your ATB must have a suitable site (or sites) for training. The DVSA need to authorise the sites before you use them for training purposes.

Instructor Qualifications

All instructors need to have a valid instructor certificate for the specific type of training that they conduct. The certificate must also show the name of the ATB offering the training.

Note: At least one of the instructors who teach at your ATB must have successfully become a DVSA assessed CBT motorcycle instructor.

After you have set up an ATB, DVSA-assessed instructors can conduct ‘down-training’. Down training is a process that allows instructors to train other staff members so you can appoint them as motorcycle instructors.

But, you would need to have at least one (1) DVSA-assessed instructor for every ten ‘down-trained’ instructors.

Monitoring Your Courses

The required information and details that you should send to the DVSA about the courses you provide, include:

  • Reports of any incidents.
  • The dates when you provide CBT courses.
  • The CBT certificates of completion that your ATB issues.

Note: The DVSA ATB manual explains how to set up and run a motorcycle training school to give CBT and DAS training for learner motorcyclists.

How to Register an Approved Training Body

You will need to download three application forms from the GOV.UK website and send them to the DVSA to apply to become an approved training body (ATB).

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street

Note: You should allow up to eight (8) weeks for the DVSA to process your application (includes the time needed to inspect the site used for the off-road elements of compulsory basic training).

Applying for CBT Site Authorisation

The DVSA need to authorise all sites intended for use in the practical training and the riding elements of the CBT course.

You get authorisation by downloading the compulsory basic training site application form (see above). Remember to include a draft plan of the site you intend to use (e.g. an annotated satellite image).

Note : YOU MUST NOT use a site for motorcycle training until you have authorisation from the DVSA to do so.

During site inspection the DVSA will:
  • Inspect the site.
  • Send you a site report.
  • Send you a unique site code (providing they see the site as suitable).

The site report will include and explain any rules set by the DVSA (including how many trainees can be on the site). Be sure to inform all your motorbike trainers about these details.

Making Changes to an Authorised CBT Site

You must inform DVSA without delay if you alter or add something to a site (using the CBT application form). You would also need to include:

  • A draft plan that shows any changes made to the original authorised site.
  • A permission letter (authorising the changes) signed by the site owner.

Note: can remove authorisation of a compulsory basic training (CBT) training site if it becomes unsuitable.

If You Stop Using a CBT Site

You must notify the DVSA without delay if you stop using a site for CBT courses (by email). Remember to include your approved training body (ATB) number and the unique code for your particular site.

Mail:[email protected]

Delivering CBT Courses

There are five (5) parts to the compulsory basic training (CBT) course. You must follow the course syllabus, and in the correct order, as set out in law for the United Kingdom.

CBT Certificate of Completion (DL196)

After trainees reach the required standard you need to give them a CBT certificate of completion (DL196). As a rule, the instructor who conducts part E of the CBT course is the one who should complete and sign the trainee’s certificate.

Note: Remember to include the name and address of your approved training body (ATB) on the certificate of completion (DL196).

How to Order DL196 Certificates

You can order compulsory basic training (CBT) certificates from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) online. Each book costs £200 and contains twenty five (25) certificates.

How the DVSA Monitor ATBs

Part of setting up and managing a motorcycle approved training body (ATB) means making sure your instructors are available for their motorcycle trainer standards check.

Staff from the DVSA will be monitoring the standard of instruction delivered by (both):

  • Approved training bodies (ATBs).
  • Instructors who provide compulsory basic training (CBT) courses.

Note: Be sure to let your local DVSA CBT manager know the dates and times of when your ATB will be running CBT courses.

After Getting an Assessment Visit

DVSA will give you a letter of confirmation and report after an assessment visit (if the training you deliver meets the required standards). But, the DVSA may conduct extra assessments, if:

  • The training you deliver falls short of the required standard.
  • There are serious breaches of regulations.
  • They receive reports of a failure to follow the conditions of appointment.

DVSA can withdraw a motorcycle trainer’s authority to deliver courses if he or she fails to achieve the required standard during any subsequent assessments.

Important: DVSA can withdraw ATB authorisation to deliver training courses if assessments show ‘consistent’ failings in the provision of full and proper CBT courses.

If You Disagree with the Decision

You can make an appeal to the DVSA if either you (e.g. someone running an ATB) or an instructor disagrees with a decision made to withdraw your authority.

Chief Driving Examiner
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street

Documentation for Approved Training Bodies

Note: You can stay up to date with changes to the CBT syllabus and guidance notes by creating a DVSA email alerts account.

Compliance Checks on Non-compliant Motorcycle Trainers

The DVSA carry out compliance checks as part of their crack down on non-compliant motorcycle trainers. As a result, the main objective is to ensure all approved training bodies (ATBs) stay on the right side of the rules.

Hence, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will be checking to see if the ATB:

  • Provides motorcycles in a safe condition and whether they have valid road tax and MOT.
  • Provides the correct protective equipment to trainees (and whether it’s in a satisfactory condition).
  • Completes all the training records in a proper manner.
  • Reports all incidents to the DVSA.

Note: The DVSA carry out compliance checks based on intelligence gathered from several different sources, including customer complaints and previous standards checks.

How to Set Up and Run a Motorcycle ATB in United Kingdom