Down Trained Motorcycle Instructor

Training and Qualification

The First Step

The first step on the ladder for instructors usually starts as a Down Trained Motorcycle Instructor.

This means that a trainer has a certificate issued to them by an Approved Training Body (ATB). Instructors can only conduct motorcycle training for that training school.

Down Trained Motorcycle Instructors can only train learner riders on smaller powered motorbikes. They can conduct CBT courses and on-road training on motorcycles not exceeding 125cc.

Down Trained Motorcycle Instructor Training Course


Prior knowledge of the CBT is advised before taking an intensive course, because it can be demanding and an information overload for new trainers.

This course will not always give the necessary experience to qualify as a Down Trained instructor, however it is a brilliant foundation.

A Structured Approach is Essential

Having structured Lesson Plans is essential for starting off in the right direction. Lesson Plans are the instructors guide to what and how to teach.

Far too often trainers are allowed to start teaching before they are ready. This can be a challenge for both new motorcycle trainers and students, not to mention the elevated risk to the learner rider. 

Trainee instructors are not allowed to teach learner riders on their own. This is because they are not qualified and not insured if anything goes wrong.

A suggested way to start teaching is to deliver lessons to qualified instructors whilst undergoing training. This method of guidance will eliminate inexperienced trainers casually being ‘given a go’ at teaching a lesson to students.

Delivering to a qualified trainer first, ensures mistakes can be highlighted with guidance and development to improve lesson content and delivery methods.

A Lengthy Process

For new trainers to gain the qualification as a Down Trained Motorcycle Instructor, they must undergo thorough instructor training.

There are various routes to becoming qualified.

A common and lengthy way is by going to a local training school every week to observe qualified instructors delivering CBT courses. This method is widely used and can take a long time.

It does not give a new motorcycle trainer the necessary skills to become an instructor, as they only learn from watching courses being conducted. As a result, this process can stretch out and take many months.

Another way to become qualified, is by attending a bespoke residential course, so that new trainers receive dedicated instructor training. This will teach them all the lessons that must be conducted during a CBT course.

Don’t Rush!

Getting ready and becoming prepared is not a quick and easy process. Trainee instructors must fully understand methods of instruction and the different ways of delivering lessons. Lesson delivery types that must be understood are:

  • Classroom based lessons
  • Practical skills during off-road training
  • Instruction given by radio during practical on-road training

NB. Instructors can hold more than one DVSA CBT1 training certificate. This allows them to work at multiple training schools, from where certificates are issued.

Qualification Route


  • A Certificate is issued by the ATB where the Down Trained Motorcycle Instructor works.

Who You Can Train When Qualified

  • Learners on mopeds and up to 125cc motorcycles

  • CBT and On-Road Training in preparation for category A1 motorcycle test on smaller powered motorcycles

Assessment Process

  • This can be in-house or external training to gain knowledge and experience.
  • An ATB can issue a Down Trained Motorcycle Instructor certificate. This means the instructor can only deliver CBT’s for that training school.