CBT for N Ireland

Compulsory Basic Training – Introduced In Northern Ireland

As of the 21st February 2012, “all learner moped and motorcycle riders must complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before they can ride unaccompanied on public roads.”

CBT was introduced on 21st February 2011 and riders with a motorcycle provisional licence entitlement were allowed a year to take a motorcycle practical test without having to take CBT.

Basically all learner moped and motorcycle riders must complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before they can ride unaccompanied on public roads.

In addition an Approved Motorcycle Instructor (AMI) Register, similar to that of the present Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Register, has been introduced in order to regulate this training. Only registered Approved Motorcycle Instructors (AMI) will be allowed to conduct these training courses.

Compulsory Basic Training – CBT – was introduced in Northern Ireland on 21st February 2011.

Legislative document: The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 – Click Here

CBT Syllabus

The CBT scheme in NI is based on the current scheme in Great Britain, which has been in place since 1990.
The training is  aimed at all learner motorcyclists on NI roads.

There are five elements in the CBT syllabus that will need to be covered in CBT training.

The CBT Syllabus contains five elements, grouped into three modules and each module is competency based.

The table below shows the content of each of the modules:

  •  Module 1    Element A    Introduction – theoretical training
  •  Element B    Practical training (touch, balance etc)
  •  Module 2    Element C    Practical riding skills
  •  Element D    Pre road-ride briefing
  •  Module 3    Element E    Practical on-road riding (minimum of 4 hours).

Elements A to D are not time bound; the duration will be needs driven and dependent on trainees’ ability.

Element E – practical on-road riding – will have a minimum duration of four hours attached to it.

The overall duration of the course will therefore vary depending on the ability, knowledge, understanding and skills of the trainee.


About Compulsory basic training (CBT) (motoring section) – NI Direct website – Click Here

Taking CBT?

About Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

Prior to 21st February 2011 – Learner motorcyclists who have provisional entitlement prior to 21st February 2011 – must complete CBT  – or pass their motorcycle test – within 12 months of introduction if they wish to continue to ride unaccompanied on a public road.

This includes full car licence holders who are automatically issued with provisional entitlement for motorcycles after they pass the car practical test.

From 21st February 2011, all new moped or motorcycle riders applying for provisional moped or motorcycle entitlement will have to successfully complete CBT before being permitted to ride unaccompanied on public roads.

Car Licence and Moped Entitlement

After 21st February 2011 – Anyone who passes a full car test and receives full moped entitlement on their licence after 21st February 2011 will have to complete a course of CBT once in order to validate this full moped entitlement for life.

In other words you will have to compete a course of CBT to ride a moped or motorcycle on the road. You will not be able to ride a motorcycle or moped on the road unaccompanied until you have a valid CBT certificate.

Before 21st February 2011 – However, those who passed a car driving test before 21st February 2011 will retain full entitlement to a moped licence. They will be able to continue riding a moped without completing a CBT.


In effect, persons riding a motorcycle using provisional entitlement will have to complete CBT prior to riding on public roads, whether this entitlement is on a separate provisional licence, or part of a full driving licence.

In essence any motorcyclist who does not have a full motorcycle licence will have to complete CBT, and provide a certificate as proof of completion if requested.

Once completed, the CBT certificate will be valid for two years.

If a rider has not gained a full motorcycle licence by the expiry date of the CBT certificate, CBT will need to be retaken and the certificate renewed.

Pit Falls For Moped Riders

Information For Moped Riders

Make sure that your vehicle is a moped.

Most modern mopeds are made in the style of a Scooter – Scooters come in varies engine capacities e.g. 50cc – 60cc – 80cc – 100cc – 125cc – 150cc – right up to the Honda FJS600 Silver Wing – 582cc.

A moped is a motorcycle that has the following features:

  •  maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km per hour (about 31 miles per hour)
  •  an engine capacity no greater than 50 cc
  •  it can be moved by pedals, if the moped was first used before 1 September 1977


Information for moped riders – NI Direct website – Click Here

Scooter Gearing

Motorcycles You Can Ride

We have been informed that if you compete a course of CBT on a scooter with a Twist and Go (automatic transmission) type gear change and then wish to complete your motorcycle test you will be required to retake your CBT course in full on a motorcycle with “normal” gears.

However you should have more experience riding on the road, then hopefully with that knowledge and ability, your AMI (Approved Motorcycle Instructor) should take account of your experience and the time spent on Element 1 & 2 of CBT will not require as long to take compared to a new rider.

With only the minimum time after that for the on-road part – Element 3 – 4 hours minimum in Northern Ireland.


Motorcycles You Can Ride – NI Direct website – Click Here

Approved Motorcycle Instructor (AMI) Register

Approved Motorcycle Instructor (AMI)

The AMI register has been introduced in order to regulate the qualification and approval of motorcycle instructors who will provide on-road motorcycle tuition and CBT training. As a basis, the AMI scheme will be similar to the ADI scheme which is currently in place for learner vehicle drivers.

However, this scheme will be aimed specifically at those wishing to teach learner motorcyclists. An AMI will issue the CBT certificate once a learner has reached the standard expected within the CBT scheme.

AMIs will be permitted to conduct training for motorcycle and moped riders for hire or reward and be permitted to conduct CBT courses.

An AMI will have photo identification to identify that they are permitted to conduct training and permitted to conduct a CBT course.

The DVA (Driver Vehicle Agency) will not be setting a fee for CBT training. This will be set by the industry – Instructors and Training Schools.


Approved Motorcycle Instructor (AMI) – NI Direct website – Click Here

Find Your Local AMI – NI Direct website – Click Here

Approved Motorcycle Instructors (AMI) FAQs – NI Direct website – Click Here

Information – Links

Download the CBT leaflet – pdf 309kb – Click Here

For further information regarding CBT and the AMI Register contact DVA – Email: dvlni@doeni.gov.uk

All information supplied is sourced from the NI Direct Website and we believe is correct at time of printing – NI Direct Riding Motorcycles And Mopeds

Right To Ride Comment

We believe that initial rider training in whatever form it is presented is crucial for novice riders.  CBT will provide “off road” and “on road” training elements, giving new riders the basic instruction of how to handle a motorcycle on public roads.  There will be a cost to this of course, but we would expect that this cost will be kept to a level that is affordable.

For Right To Ride, the most important change in tandem with the introduction of CBT, will be the introduction of an AMI register to regulate the qualification and approval of motorcycle instructors, so that trainees should know that they are getting instruction that is both professional and regulated.

The introduction of CBT in Northern Ireland is linked to the introduction of 3rd European Driving Licence Directive (3DLD) which is designed to harmonize motorcycle licences across Europe and enters into force as of 19th January 2013.

The 3DLD will introduce a progressive and direct access licensing system with CBT as a starting point for riders, if they wish to progress to a larger motorcycle in various steps. Along this progression (still to be decided) there are various tests or training to progress to the next licence category (there are 4 in total), which includes the introduction of a Direct Access Scheme (DAS) to larger motorcycles if over a certain age.

However we must remember that CBT is basic training which has been formalised to an approved standard, CBT is the starting point for learning to ride and remains the basic training that you must complete.

Even after completing these various compulsory stages, riders have available to them voluntary post rider training to achieve an advanced motorcycle test, either through private commercial trainers, IAM or RoSPA or the PSNI BikeSafe one hour assessments which are designed to introduce riders to advanced training.

Ideally through compulsory and voluntary training we should have riders that have the requirements, skills and knowledge to ride safely on our roads.

Riding a motorcycle is a learning curve, interaction with other riders and drivers is a skill, but there is another element of riding which is fun and the simple pleasure that riding a motorcycle offers.

Share Button