Back in the summer we reported on the relaunch of the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS), which has since brought a pleasing new impetus to the scheme.
Laura Smith, of Midlands based RMT Motorcycle Training is an instructor who also offers ERS training. In DVSA’s latest Despatch Blog Post, guest author Laura answers some questions on how the scheme works, and how it's benefited her students.
How does the new scheme work?
Your instructor will ask you about your riding history and experience before offering an assessment ride. This gives them the opportunity to look at every aspect of your riding, from cornering, to slow control, overtaking along with your planning and awareness.
When they’ve seen how you ride, the instructor will then be able to focus on what areas need improvement.
How it can benefit my riding?
For many of my students, cornering, bend assessment and overtaking are the areas they struggle with the most.
What a difference it would make to know the severity of the bend before you’re in it. How nice would it feel to be able to overtake with a plan, knowing exactly where you’ll execute the overtake and when to get back into position?
These are skills ERS trainers can work on, making sure that the training day works for you and your needs.
So, whilst it may be that your current riding skills mean that you only need one day to gain your ERS qualification, it may take some riders up to 3 days. But in my opinion, you can never learn enough. Quite often a “top up” of skills is always useful, especially after a break from riding.
What kind of experience will I have during the training?
I’d say you’ll find the training enjoyable and fun!
Training after a break can seem daunting and the thought of another person having an opinion on your riding off-putting, but the beauty of ERS is that it’s delivered by fully qualified advanced instructors. They’re trained to deliver advanced riding skills in a professional environment.
While other training days might offer a cheaper way of learning, they can sometimes be a lengthier way of gaining the right skills, as the training is more generic. The ERS is also the only DVSA-approved training course!
Another great thing about ERS training is that we work on the same skills that all advanced riders use to improve their riding, but there’s no formal test. We know riding under test conditions can be uncomfortable and sometimes can even affect your riding.
Instead, ERS means you can enjoy learning new skills, and understand and use advanced riding techniques while gaining a qualification at the same time. What’s not to love?
Students are often surprised about the amount they can learn in a day - usually so much that they need time to absorb and practise before they come back in for their next session. This reflection and practise time allows students to build up their skills progressively.
What happens after I’ve completed the scheme?
Once you’ve completed your ERS qualification, you’ll be in a position to move to an advanced test.
Both the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) organise ride outs and assessment rides with a view to putting you forward for a test.
By completing ERS you’ll be in a far better position to put in for your advanced test because of the skills you’ve learnt from your fully qualified professional instructor. This should save you the time and money of taking more lessons.
ERS offers core modules, which you can see in the syllabus, as well as extra modules that can be a further addition to your qualifications.
Some of these include riding abroad, group riding, blood bikes and riding off-road. I’d recommend checking out the extra modules your trainer can offer and how this might benefit your riding.
How do I find a DVSA ERS instructor?
If you’re interested in doing the DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme, you can find a qualified trainer near you at Gov.uk.
Please also visit our courses page to find out if your local authority offers a subsidy for ERS.