Compulsory basic training (CBT) syllabus and guidance notes

Element A: introduction

The aims of CBT, making suitable decisions about equipment and clothing, and meeting the eyesight rules.

About this element

The aim of this element is that:

  • the learner should understand the aims of compulsory basic training (CBT)
  • the learner should make suitable decisions about the equipment and clothing they use
  • the trainer should be confident that the learner meets eyesight rules

A1. Aims of CBT and how it works

What must happen

The learner must be told the aims of the CBT course and how it works.

What the learner must know and understand

The learner must know and understand that:

  • the purpose of CBT is to make sure learners can ride on their own while they prepare for their practical motorcycling tests learn:
    • the necessary theory
    • practical skills to a safe basic level
  • the link between CBT and the motorcycle theory and practical tests
  • what completion of CBT does and does not allow them to do and the machines they can and can’t ride.
  • the 5 elements of CBT and their contents
  • the trainer will only move to the next element when they are happy that the learners have learnt the necessary theory and shown the required practical skills to a safe, basic level
  • within each element, the trainer is free to deliver training in the order they feel is right for the learners
  • if the trainer is confident that a learner has already learnt the necessary theory and can show the required skills, they may move on more quickly

What the learner should be able to do

This section does not require the learner to demonstrate any competence. Understanding should be checked by question and answer.

A2. Equipment and clothing

What must happen

The learner must be coached to understand the importance of using the right equipment and clothing and helped to understand the options available to them.

What the learner must know and understand

The learner must know and understand that:

  • by law, they must wear an approved safety helmet when riding a moped or motorcycle on the road
  • all helmets sold in the UK, for use on the public road, must meet current safety regulations and standards
  • if their helmet receives any serious impact they should always buy a new one
  • damage won’t always be visible to the naked eye
  • they should never buy or wear a second hand helmet, as it is impossible to tell whether the helmet has been damaged
  • they should only clean their helmet in the way recommended by the manufacturer
  • they should not apply any paint or adhesives to their helmet unless these are of a type allowed by the manufacturer
  • a visor, or goggles, is vital to protect their eyes from wind, rain, insects and road dirt
  • all visors or goggles sold in the UK for use on the public road must meet current safety regulations and standards
  • they should not wear tinted glasses, visors or goggles if they are riding in the dark or poor visibility
  • it’s vital to keep their visor or goggles clean
  • goggles and visors should only be cleaned with warm soapy water and that solvents or petrol should never be used

They should also know and understand that:

  • good gloves or gauntlets are vital when riding a motorcycle, because otherwise:
    • their hands could become painfully cold or wet and this could lead to them losing control
    • their hands could be injured if they fell
  • protective and supportive boots or shoes are vital when riding a motorcycle, because otherwise:
    • their feet could become painfully cold or wet and this could lead to them losing control
    • even a minor fall from their vehicle could result in serious injury
  • there are many types of protective clothing and what factors they should consider when deciding what to buy
  • many road accidents involving mopeds or motorcycles occur because road users do not see them
  • they can make themselves more visible by using suitable clothing or aids, for example:
    • a light coloured helmet
    • a hi-viz, fluorescent orange, pink or yellow, jacket, ‘bib’ or ‘Sam-brown’
    • clothing with reflective strips or patches
  • they should think about whether they can be seen from the side as well as the front and back

What the learner should be able to do

To show that they’ve reached the required standard, the learner should be able to:

  • show that the helmet they are using meets the regulations and standards
  • put their helmet on, making sure it fits correctly and is secure
  • use a visor or goggles correctly
  • show that the visor or goggles they are using meet the regulations and standards
  • make an informed choice about the protective clothing and boots or shoes they will wear, given the type of machine they will ride and its use
  • use suitable clothing or aids to maximise their visibility on the road

A3. The learner’s eyesight

What must happen

The learner’s eyesight must be tested.

What the learner must know and understand

The learner must know and understand that:

  • if they need to wear glasses or corrective lenses they must be worn during the training and whenever they ride
  • they should get their eyes tested every 2 years as a minimum, and if their eyesight changes they must obtain suitable glasses or corrective lenses
  • different sorts of tinted and light-sensitive lenses or visors may react in different ways in particular riding conditions, and how this may affect their ability to see clearly

What the learner should be able to do

To show that they’ve reached the required standard, the learner should be able to:

  • read in good daylight, with glasses or contact lenses if they wear them, a motor vehicle number plate from a distance of 20 metres (about 66 feet) - older style number plates should be read from a distance of 20.5 metres (about 67 feet)
  • wear glasses or contact lenses at all times when riding, if needed to meet licence requirements