Cycle Proficiency testing for school children has often been at the whim of schools and local authorities. But now there's a new National Standard, and cycle training - for adults as well as children - will be delivered by trained experts.

Cycle training comes of age

The new National Standard has been developed by all the bodies involved in cycle training and is supported by the government, local authorities and cycling organisations. It was coordinated by CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation.

There’s now no such things as the ‘cycling proficiency test’.

The government is noiw committed to “drive forward action to implement the standard to improve cycle training for children across England by 2005-06" by establishing a formal cycle training and curriculum body – the Cycle Training Reference Group; funding instructor training schemes and accrediting existing training schemes and centres; providing a help desk and web database of trainers to support local authorities, schools and parents administer the National Standard.

The Cycle Training Reference Group was created by CTC and the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association last year to bring together all the expertise in the field and will now be formally recognised by government as a specialist advisory group. CTC was funded by the Department for Transport Cycling Projects Fund grant to create a standard qualification for cycle training instructors.

On-road training is a key part of the new standard.

National Standard training for children

The national standard sets out what a child should be able to do at the end of a training course. There are three levels of training:

Beginner (Level 1) Bicycle control and handling skills including use of gears. Carried out off road. This may be offered as a separate course or at the start of a level 2 course.

Introduction to on-road cycling (Level 2) Carried out on-road. Following a course, most children should be able to cycle safely on their own on quieter local roads. Most should be able to cycle to school. Training will usually be offered to children towards the end of year 5 or early in year 6., enabling them to put new skills into action at primary school.

Advanced training (Level 3) Designed for training of secondary school children. During the course students will be able to plan and ride their safest routes to and from school, providing they don’t live too far away. They will learn how to cope with busier roads and hazards.

Who does the training?

All training will be organised through the local authority. Instructors will be fully accredited professionals trained to deliver the national standard or have undergone a professionally-accredited training course. This includes full police checks. Untrained volunteers will no longer be allowed to deliver cycle training under these new standards.

Adult training

Adult training is also available for everyone from complete beginners to experienced cyclists in need of a refresher.

Further reading

‘Cyclecraft’ by John Franklin is the recommended

course book for the National Sthandard).

More info from:

LARSOA is a national road safety organisation that represents Road Safety Officers (RSOs) employed in local government across the UK. It supports RSOs in fulfilling their statutory role to reduce the number and severity of road accidents through education, training and publicity policies and programmes.

This is a London/SE England based cycle training organisation. It helped with the National Standard.

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