Please read our articles about some of the fun we have with bikes and riders and discover that 'BEING SAFE IS FAR FROM BORING'. Be warned that once you get into the theatre of learning you will want more and more.

International Motorcycle Diploma

“An Englishman, an Irishman and a Welshman went on a course in Merseyside; but, it was no joke”


As the season, for some,  came to an end, John, Dave and Gwynn came together on a course working until darkness fell(1630) on Merseyside.  With current, previously earned qualifications and experience in training and riding they chose to challenge themselves once more over two days to see if they had what it takes to pass a RoSPA National Diploma in advanced motorcycle instruction.


From 0900 on the first day they were being tested.  First came the formal 1.5 hour theory test then straight into a riding ability test before lunch.  Once refreshed they had their chance, in turn to demonstrate what they knew about delivering a structured development programme for a candidate as principle, second and third instructor.


Their customer changed each time and day-two, having been tested on what they knew, gave them all the opportunity to demonstrate ‘effective’ assessment skills and flexibility in the use of what they knew.  Although this course is not designed to teach instructors, there is no doubt that learning and development takes place. However, if the skill and knowledge isn’t there in the first place it is a steep hill to climb and candidates should consider the five-day training course instead.


Having said that this course was no joke,  an Englishman and Irishman and a Welshman can’t come together without having a laugh and I will remember this course as much for the fun we had as the commitment of the delegates and the result.


Please read on to see what they thought.

Mike Addison

The Englishman


Name   -  John Yates


Profile  - Former Cumbrian Owner DSA Approved Motorcycle TrainingSchool (ATB) 10+ years RPMT registered now based at AthertonManchester (last 5 years) volunteer ‘rideout secretary’ with RoADARMerseyside.



Rationale - I had been thinking of doing the RoSPA diploma course for some

years, but was put off a little by the 5 day course. So when I found out

about the 2 day option I believed this was the way for me to go.

Believing that I had most of the core skills required, already in place. 

Then when one was being held close to where I live I had no option.


Why did I what to do this course?


(1)    To learn new things. The more we know ourselves the better we should become and this will help us and our students.


(2)    Self-satisfaction.  In the knowledge that I am good enough.  To me it was also a sort of an independent check on my own standards.


(3)    The extra qualification.  That may attract more work my way and maybe open new doorways. 


The course/test was lead very skilfully by Mike Addison who tutored and coached to get the best out of all three of us in the group.  As a group and also as individuals.  It was a very enjoyable two days.


Were my goals achieved?  Very much so.  THANKS.


I would like to reflect on my experience and some thoughts I had.


On the course with me (an Englishman) Dave Stears (an Irishman) and Gwynn Pritchard (a Welshman) were up to 15 other people,  all in the one body of our trainer,  Mike Addison.  They ranged from a 19 year old super racer to an elderly man that just needed a pee.  Some only appeared for a short time and then left. They were from all walks of life including a van driver to a pilot.  But,  the body of Mike stayed the same.


Here now are some of my thoughts after completing the 2 days.


What are we,  to the people that come to us to learn?  A Teacher,  trainer,  instructor,  tutor,  coach,  observer best mate,  mum,  dad,  God?   And what should we be to them?   What is the best way to impregnate a thought to make changes to our students that will stick and change possible bad habits and make them safer?


First ourselves do we not need to be very knowledgeable in our subject matter i.e. road craft highway code ECT?  Yes but I also think we need to be good Integrators,  and run through the ‘who what and why’ question’s.


Who they are?    

-  Try to get to know as much about them as possible;  age,  mate’s,  things they like etc...


What they do?   

- This will also give you something that you can relate to,  build around and you may find they’re more skilled in some areas than you and able to learn from them too.


Why are they there?

          - Sent by dad,  insurance,  like to lean new stuff,  had a scare etc...


What do they what to get out of it?

-  Just the bit of paper,  you to tell them l how brilliant you think they are?


Then we may become a teacher,  trainer,  instructor,  tutor,  coach,  observer,  best mate,  mum,  dad,  God? But be ready to change from one to another when required.


One of the Best ways to learn I feel is when having fun and enjoyment but we also need to know ‘why’ we do something ,  there is no better way than self-realization as then this will stick.  To me,  this is the real skill in a way we can change people.


On my 2 days, did I have fun?-YES.

  did I learn stuff?    -     YES

   did I work stuff out in listening and learning from others?-      YES

did I have self-realisation moments?

                -              YES

John Yates. RoSPA Dip


The Welshman


Name    -Gwyn Pritchard


Profile   -Former International Emergency Medical Services Consultant and

Paramedic - Teacher in the USA,  Canada,  Middle East & Europe.  

Active RoSPA Advanced Diploma Motorcycle Instructor but my

certification expired following an injury in Cyprus resulting in two years off.


Rationale -I thought about doing the RoSPA five-day diploma course again to

recertify and get current which would be great as a refresher as

well.  I needed something shorter and more to the point as

another five-days course,  travel and hotel was cost & time

prohibitive.  I ‘Googled’ as you do,  spoke to RoSPA and others,  I

was told that there was a two-day version of the course that may

be better suited for my background.  So when I found out about

the two-day option I believed this was the best way for me.


Why did I want to do this course?


I needed the refresher and to make sure I was keeping up with the standards. Having now retired from travelling,  I wanted to get involved in Advanced Training again in Wales and be able to provide courses in both English and Welsh. 


What did you think of it?


I expected classrooms,  power point presentations,  thinking and stopping distances to be learnt then forgotten again with the Gospel of Roadcraft and ongoing discussion on which foot should go down when stopping.  What I expected to be a rather rigid,  boring event turned out to be exactly opposite.  It turned out to be a lot of learning fun.  What I expected to be a rather rigid, boring event,  turned out to be exactly the opposite.


There were three of us, an Englishman,  an Irishman and Welshman.  We laughed ‘but’;  this was no joke.  We were there for RoSPA Diploma training. What a pleasant surprise!  It turned out to be a lot of learning fun.  The Instructor-Examiner,  Mike Addison had that unique and motivating personality with an ability to recognise strengths,  identify weaknesses and cultivate confidence on so many levels.  His portrayal in role-playing characters brilliantly demonstrated great skill in acting 'imperfections' and underlying causes. 


The whole course was based around us as learners. Not like the old fashioned, outdated teaching. The concentration was on creating a learning environment, identifying learning styles and building on strengths.  No boring Instructor where Power Point and Roadcraft exsanguinates from every orifice.  A teacher genuinely interested in seeing students progress from the known to the unknown and leave there with better people skills and advanced riding instruction techniques.  


There were challenges,  not lectures,  with seeds planted to grow into strong analytical skills,  a fairness towards students,  reality with reasonableness and the ultimate objective to develop a foundation of “excellence in advanced motorcycle instruction."


So if you’re out there wondering whether advanced courses are for the 'Clairol for Men' & 'Sam Brown' belt brigade,  for those with chrome RoSPA and IAM badges next to photos of the Grand-kids and a copy of Roadcraft in every room; think again.  


Make sure you contact RoSPA HQ or Mike Addison and find out that it's really cool to learn advanced motorcycling skills.  Better still, take an Advanced Motorcycling Instructors Course and let others learn from you - it's a great feeling.  "If any motorcyclist out there is toying with the idea of advanced motorcycle instructor training then,  be sure to choose the right place and most importantly,  the right instructor.  



Cheers and thanks: Gwyn Pritchard. RoSPA Dip.

The Irishman


Name - David Stears


Profile - Owner of ADS Motoring, Motorcycle Training School RSA registered, IBTApproved


Rationale -If there is one thing I have learned over the years is, You never stop

learning. Time to continue..........


Why did I what to do this course?

Being the owner of a Motorcycle training school and a full time Instructor, I have people of all ages and genders come through the doors looking for Motorcycle training. The common denominator between them all is, they all want to learn. Taking this into account I feel it is an absolute MUST that every person receives the best and most professional training possible. The only way I can guarantee this is to make sure my skills at at the highest level, hence the RoSPA advanced diploma was my next goal.




After an 8 hour crossing of the Irish Sea and a good nights sleep, I was ready for day 1 of the course. We met in the hotel and pleasantries were exchanged, and Mike explained what the agenda for the 2 days would be. So without delay Mike gave the green light and we all made our way to the car park where our bikes were parked. The first part of the course was to asses the riding skills of each person, and  so it began, Mike gives the thumbs up, the engines of all bikes come to life on a chilly Monday morning.... and were off...... No NO HOLD ON HOLD ON,


THE Irishman waves franticly telling his colleagues to stop. Yes it was the motorbike riders nightmare....... a flat tyre. Now I will say I was nervous enough without this happening, however I had no need to worry, there was a petrol station beside us and we managed to inflate the tyre. We were now behind time, but again Mike had a plan. We drove to his house where we repaired the tyre which allowed me to continue with the rest of the course. A bit like the Marines...... RoSPA never leaves a man behind !!!!!!!




Again we met in the hotel and we had all been informed about the days proceedings. Basically on day one we had a range of role plays, riding skills, advise , a laugh and most of all a lot of very professional advice from Mike. We set off for another day riding the roads of Liverpool. Each scenario we were given today would be a lot more difficult than day 1, however after the advise received from Mike on day 1 it meant we could approach the task in a more structured way, resulting in a more professional delivery.


We completed our course with a ride back to the starting point that day and were treated to the most spectacular sunset which would put a smile on any face.


Now I dont think the words above do any real justice to the content and structure of the course, but let me assure you, when I completed the course I 100% felt it was worthwhile and a complete success. I'm riding bikes over 30 years have seen a lot of good and bad things happen, yet to walk away with that feeling of having learned not only how to be a safer rider but help make others safer on our roads.


David Stears

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Advanced Motorcycle Training Isle of Man - May (Nearly Full) & September (filling fast)

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