Taking the RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Motorcycle Instructor Training.
** Please note, depending on which device you are viewing this on, it may vary from the original format **
There are two options when taking the RoSPA Diploma. The first is the 5 day course which consists of 3 days in the classroom with RoSPA Trainers to teach the candidates how to formulate lesson planning and how to brief, assess and debrief another riders ride. This is then followed by 2 days of assessments based on the preceeding 3 days learning. On top of that you have to give a demo ride for around 1 hour, in which you must ride to RoSPA standards and of course, there's also 2 question papers totalling 75 questions to challenge your knowledge of Roadcraft and the Highway Code, of which you must score at least 80% on each paper.
The second option is a 2 day course, which cancels the need for the 3 days of pre-learning and takes you directly to the assessments, exam papers, ride and scenarios. To take this second option you must already hold an advanced riding qualification and be able to prove that you have the knowledge, skills and experience of already delivering motorcycle instruction and training in some form or another.
I've been aware of the RoSPA diploma for many years but never got round to taking it, mainly because it is quite expensive, the 5 day course is over £1200 and 2 day course around £500. However, in the summer of 2019 I decided it was time to put my skills to the test and do the 2 day Diploma. I chose the 2 day option as I believed I met the criteria given my riding qualifications and experience of delivering rider training.
RoSPA like to have 3 candidates per 2 day course, so the next step was to see if I could encourage 2 more people to join me, which turned out to be easier than I expected. I contacted the Tutor Team at my RoSPA group, where I am the Training Officer, and 2 willing volunteers promptly stepped forward and here they are, Simon W and Paul C.
Simon and Paul joined the group as associates a few years ago and went on to successfully pass their RoSPA advanced motorcycle test and then both became group Tutors, meaning they have plenty of tutoring experience. Result!
The next step was to pick the brains of people I know who have already completed the Diploma in order to get the full course content, so we knew exactly what we were up against. For this, my thanks go to Alf G and Paul M whose input in the initial planning and preparation was invaluable.
November came and our applications were submitted and accepted and the hard work began. It's not that we don't know how to ride, coach or instruct advanced riding but we needed to subtly change what we were already doing, to do it the RoSPA Diploma way, whilst also refreshing our knowledge of Roadcraft and the Highway Code for the all important test papers.
(Here's Simon and Paul perfecting their POWDDERSS checks)
In late December 2019 dates were confirmed for the course, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd February 2020.
Over the next few weeks Simon, Paul and myself met up on a weekly basis to run through the various elements of the course. We knew we had to deliver a high standard of riding, give a full POWDDERSS and IAMSAFE explanation linking it all to safety and the European Goals for Driver Education and also ensure our briefings and debriefs for the scenarios were spot on. There was also the matter of not forgetting to back it all up with appropriate and professional use of 'comms' for directional instruction and any immediate intervention should the need arise.
Finally the weekend of reckoning arrived and the 3 of us duly met our examiner, Paul at a hotel in York. Paul had travelled up from the London area to conduct the Diploma assessment and started by setting out how the weekend would unfold and what we were expected to achieve in order to pass successfully.
Saturday started with the exam papers. The first was 50 questions scoring 1 mark per question, the 2nd paper was 25 questions with varying marks per question that totalled another 50 points. 90 minutes later the test was finished....phew!
Following the test we headed out for our assessed rides, with the examiner following each of us in turn to decide if our own riding achieved the necessary standard.
(Heading off in to the distance on the first of the assessed rides)
Having completed our individual rides we then returned to the hotel to start the scenarios. This is where the examiner becomes the student and we had to do a pre-ride briefing, then follow, assess and debrief his ride. This is something all 3 of us do on a regular basis but when you find yourself doing it knowing you're being assessed and examined, it never seems to run quite as smoothly as every other time you do it....why is that?!
Here's Paul (on the left) briefing the 'student' (Examiner) during one of the role play scenarios.
We finished Saturday with some of the role play scenarios completed and were all looking forward to Sunday.
Sunday arrived and we spent the whole day completing more scenarios, eventually finishing the course around 4pm.
It had been an enjoyable and challenging two days and now for our results. We all sat down and our examiner summarised the weekend with the three of us hanging on his every word.....(and the result was?) He told us we'd all done extremely well...(and the result was?).....although there were one or two areas he would highlight in his course summary.....(and the result was?) so he would now send all his paperwork back to RoSPA for verification and they would notify us of the result......in few days! arhhh!!!!
It's fair to say that those next few days were somewhat nail biting but on the afternoon of Wednesday 5th February, we all received emails confirming our results.......we had all passed! It was pleasing to know all the hard work had paid off, especially when I learnt my exam paper result was 96% (Simon and Paul both scored 97%!)
On Thursday 6th we all received our certificates through the post and it was great to see confirmation in 'official' form....and here it is.
Over the years I have taken many courses, tests and exams in relation to riding (and driving) and by far the hardest was my Police Advanced Motorcycle Course. It was almost 4 weeks of relentless riding every day and relentless reading every night but the joy of getting the pass was worth it. 20 years later I feel similar satisfaction at passing the RoSPA Diploma. A great personal achievement that would not have been possible without putting in the required amount of preparation.
My congratulations and thanks go to Simon and Paul on their Diploma passes and for all their effort in working together to achieve our joint aim.
Thanks for reading.