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The National Standard for Cycle Training provides a framework for cycle training schemes and instructors, helping to ensure there is an agreed level of consistency in delivery across the country.

The National Standard is made up of a series of outcomes covering the skills necessary for cyclists and instructors in different road conditions.

The National Standards are based on the following principles of good practice:

  • Training must be realistic to enable trainees to develop the skills and confidence that are necessary to cycle more safely. By training in an environment with real traffic conditions, trainees can be observed demonstrating the skills of communication and observation that are central to safer cycling.
  • A National Standard Cycle Training course should empower trainees to make their own decisions when cycling on-road. This provides trainees with the necessary skills to cycle more safely in a range of different environments, rather than simply being able to replicate what they have learnt in the training area.
  • Cycle Training is a positive experience for all trainees of varying abilities. Cycling is a beneficial form of transport in terms of health, finance and convenience, and having the skills to cycle more safely is a life skill, which gives trainees the confidence to cycle more often.
  • Training must be progressive, allowing trainees the opportunity to develop their new skills and confidence in increasingly challenging environments. For a cycle training course to be really successful, trainees should come away feeling confident that they can transfer their skills to a range of environments, from quiet residential streets to busier roads with more traffic.
  • Every course is outcome orientated, which means that trainees are continually observed and assessed as the sessions progress. The amount of time required for trainees to complete all of the outcomes may differ from person to person.

There is no test at the end of a National Standard Course and no pass or fail. A National Standard Course is based on continuous assessment of a trainee’s ability to perform the outcomes. Instructors observe trainees throughout a course and provide feedback to support development as each session progresses.

Development and management of the National Standard for Cycle Training

The National Standard was developed by over 20 organisations and is maintained by the Department for Transport (DfT).

In November 2012, a revised version of the National Standard was published, following extensive consultation with cycle training schemes and professional bodies including The Association of Bikeability Schemes (TABS) and the Instructor Training Organisation (ITO) Expert Group. The final draft was reviewed and approved by the Cycle Training Standards Board (CTSB).

The National Standard is maintained by the DfT and governed by the CTSB. The CTSB comprises a group of representatives from the cycling and road safety industries.

There are a number of recognised ITOs across the country, of which British Cycling is one, which are responsible for delivering National Standard Instructor Training and CPD opportunities. This group of organisations meets quarterly to help enhance and maintain the quality of National Standard Instructor Training in England.

TABS sit alongside the ITO group and acts as an industry representative for Bikeability schemes.

TABS is a member organisation governed by a board of directors who meet quarterly to ensure the delivery of high-quality cycle training that is consistent with the National Standard.The association also acts to serve the sector by offering benefits and services to its members.

Steer Davies Gleave manages and administers Bikeability on behalf of the DfT. Their work includes the management and development of the Quality Assurance Process, through which Bikeability schemes are monitored to ensure consistent, high quality delivery of the National Standard and Bikeability across the sector.

For information about Bikeability that is not British Cycling-specific, please contact the team at Steer Davies Gleave by emailing or by phoning 0800 849 1017.

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