We had a great weekend (8th-9th June) ran by some of the Observer Team. Gordon, Chris, Pete, and Simon.
Training started on a very wet Saturday morning early to ensure we made the most of the day at the Halford Inn, which was very welcoming and a perfect size for the 4 trainees and 4 instructors. Coffee was welcome after the wet ride and we then started the course with a morning was classroom-based from 9 until 12.
Plenty of coffee and tea available and needed as the pace was high but delivered in Gordan’s usual relaxed and friendly manner. Gordon explained the different elements to the course and what the training team expected out of the candidates.
Lunch was a welcome break and even the rain had stopped which was great because the afternoon was spent out on the road.
Observers paired up with candidates with pre-set routes already programmed in sat nav’s and the practical sessions started.
Riding out with 2 observers and 2 trainees effectively meant the trainee received 1 to 1 attention. People were rotated all weekend to ensure everyone had the opportunity to be assessed and to discuss relevant points with each other.
15mins ride outs followed by a debrief were repeated over the afternoon with the Observers creating scenarios for the trainees to identify and correct.
The words “Bad” and “Faults” were banned and replaced with improvement and opportunities.
I gained a greater understanding of how to do a positive, concise debrief with every assessed ride.
This was challenging but a lot of fun as the guys played the parts very well.
I woke up Sunday raring to go.
After a short presentation on a surprise area of roadcraft. All taken from discussions the day before concentration was moved over to how to carry out an effective pre-ride brief.
Paying attention to the associate’s expectations and ensuring we were having a conversation and not an interrogation.
More assessment rides followed with the observers increasing the expectation on us to find areas to improve the assessed rider's skills, to explain these improvements in a positive but simple manner.
Finally, ready or not we were given a single Observer and did a final test.
A ride out with a break in the middle to discuss and instruct any improvements the riders could make and a ride back to the venue for a final debrief then filling in a formal assessment sheet.
Fortunately, we all must have all progressed well over the 2 days because we all passed.
A great result following some very intense training over the two days.