Introducing the BMF RTS

The day the "Dear John" letter arrived from Jeffrey Rose I was staffing the Triumph stand at the NEC. At the first opportunity I showed it to Harold Booty at the BMF display. He was aware of the letter but the implications for the BMF had not yet sunk in. Obviously many others had reached the conclusion that the BMF was the natural inheritor of the RAC/ACU mantle. The BMF had earned credibility as the representative rider organisation.

The BMF got its act together quickly and called a meeting to gauge support.



Following the collapse of the RAC/ACU Training Scheme it has become clear that very many schemes are at a loss to know which way to turn. Although they have been canvassed by interested commercial and existing organisations it is also clear that a great number of training schemes have a desire to remain independent within the spirit of the RAC/ACU Training Scheme.

Following the publication in the weekly motorcycle press of the BMF's request for any such schemes to get in touch there has been a considerable response and, following a meeting of the BMF Directors it has been decided to take the following action.

A meeting will be called in London on May 8th of all interested parties to discuss the best way that the BMF can assist to save many of the schemes from being closed. It is the earnest hope of the BMF that the schemes will see this meeting as a means of communicating their needs to the Federation and the BMF are anxious not to impose their views too strongly upon those present. However following a number of discussions during the past week it becomes clear that the BMF may be asked to proceed in the following areas and we would ask delegates from those schemes attending to canvass the views of their colleagues on the following possible courses of action.

  1. As a basic start it is possible that the BMF could provide an administrative base to co-ordinate the paperwork of the various schemes and to arrange. favourable terms on things like insurance that would be better arranged as a package.
  2. To maintain a register of approved examiners and to arrange the presence of those examiners at the conclusion of the course.
  3. To continue the training scheme along the lines of the present RAC/ACU one and to produce a training manual to this effect, keeping it up-to-date as necessary and keeping the schemes informed.
  4. To monitor the standards of the schemes to ensure that they train pupils to an agreed standard. This would not necessarily be carried out by central organisation.
  5. To arrange for the presentation of pass certificates to successful pupils.
  6. To arrange the training of Chief Examiners and to ensure that their expertise is available to other local centres.

The aforementioned possibilities are put forward by the BMF as a basis for discussion and not as firm proposals. It must be recognised that to undertake even the basic administration will be an expensive business and the BMF is in the process of applying for a grant from the British Motorcycle Safety Foundation to enable them to set up and run a training scheme if that is the wish of those schemes in attendance. It should be clearly understood that for any plans to be practical it would be essential that some money from whatever source should be forthcoming. It is also clear that any grant will not necessarily be a recurring annual one and any scheme that is formed should be on the expectation of being self-funding within a reasonable space of time. To this end it is clear that some kind of income must be assured and delegates are asked to seek the views of their colleagues as to how best this could be achieved, eg. possibly by a per capita levy on all pupils taking the test.

From the discussions that we have already had the feeling is that the present RAC/ACU Proficiency Test should continue with the Part One test being an integral part of the training course. Again the views of delegates will be sought at the meeting.

Let us stress once again that the BMF have entered this field because they are concerned that many schemes will founder if some help is not given. The level of that help is dependent upon the feelings of the schemes and the amount of money that is available. It is quite understandable that many schemes, for various reasons, will not be able to come to London on the planned date and, to help both yourselves and us to form a fair and balanced view we have compiled a questionnaire that asks some of the questions that we have outlined earlier. If you are unable to attend please try and return this to us before May 8th. If you are able to come on May 8th will you please complete the form below and return it to:- The British Motorcyclists Federation, 4 Hammersmith Broadway, London W6 7AU as a matter of urgency. Because the potential number of those attending is considerable might we please ask that schemes and centres try and limit their delegates to two? Upon receipt of the forms all those who are coming will receive an agenda and exact details of venue in good time.

It must be stressed that the BMF does not see this plan as a way of attracting finance for its central organisation and, to this end, would investigate the possibility of forming a separate company within the Federation to handle the finances of the training scheme.

The subsequent meeting at the Commonwealth Club in London was crowded by delegates. They clearly voiced the commitment of RAC/ACU schemes from all over the country and thrust a leadership role onto the BMF as the riders' choice.

Harold Booty