Survival Skills Rider Training is one of the longest-established post-test training schools in the UK. Survival Skills was established by Kevin Williams in 1997 and has been offering advanced and development training to qualified riders ever since. As well as trainees from all over the UK, I’ve had trainees travel from France, Belgium, Namibia, Canada and New Zealand. I’ve travelled to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal to deliver courses. And I’ve worked with everyone from newly-qualified riders to fully-qualified police motorcycle riders.
“A good advanced course won’t just deliver a fixed syllabus. As well as fixing what you thought you were weak in, it will show you what you didn’t know you needed to know! Rather than change your style, wherever possible the new skills should fit in around your existing style of riding.”
Survival Skills post-test rider training courses are, by deliberate intent, highly relevant to real-life riding. My personal riding experience taught me to take a pragmatic view of riding. Everyone on the road, ourselves included, makes mistakes and latest research is showing that understanding error is a key part of safer riding. If we understand why riders and drivers make errors, then we can understand how to avoid our own or other road users’ errors, and how to get out of trouble when things do go wrong. My approach is always to be in a position to deal with the ‘worst case scenario’, setting Survival Skills apart from other training courses. Motorcycling is an enjoyable activity, but it’s a lot more enjoyable if we don’t scare ourselves every time we ride. By staying out of trouble, riding is a lot more fun!
My courses are specifically designed to meet the differing needs of riders at different stages of personal development. The ‘base’ course is the two-day ‘Survival: SKILLS’ course’ which covers core advanced riding skills in rural and urban environments, but other courses include:
I even offer courses in France to get used to riding on the right-hand side of the road and different traffic rules. For more information on all practical courses, visit http://www.survivalskills.co.uk
The range of carefully thought-out courses means that trainees are not feed into a ‘standard’ course delivering a ‘standard’ syllabus, requiring a ‘standard’ riding style. In particular, there is no requirement to ‘make progress’ on my courses. Nor are you tied to a particular riding test. Instead, my courses are fully client-centred and always have been. I aim to give you the skills and knowledge to improve your own decision-making and riding ability as you develop your own style.
Whilst delivery is flexible, the courses are carefully structured and employ proven teaching techniques to avoid ad-hoc delivery. Using the “learning loop” of explanation, demonstration, practice and correction, you are set clearly understandable and achievable goals at all times. ‘Best Practice’ as laid out for the RPMT has long been in place, with flexible lesson planning and risk-assessed training routes, and learning goals individually tailored and learning outcomes assessed.
Content has been researched in depth – I’ve read hundreds of research papers on motorcycling and accident studies from the 1970s “Hurt Report” to the more recent MAIDS Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study. The content is therefore subject to continual review and improvement. As an independent school I can draw on material from outside the UK – for example, Keith Code’s “A Twist of the Wrist” and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s training programmes from the USA, and the “Ride On” scheme from Australia – as well as the more usual “Motorcycle Roadcraft”. I also incorporate ideas from top US rider coaches such as Pat Hahn and Nick Ienatsch.
The final level achieved after a course depends on trainee and the course being delivered, but the ultimate aim is to achieve a level of riding at least on a par with the standards required to pass the UK advanced riding tests offered by organisations like the IAM, RoSPA and the DIA.
Uniquely, full post course support is provided by email and via our Facebook page. Finally, I can call on my own practical experience of over 30 years as a professional rider. Many of the lessons covered have been personally learned the hard way during my time in the despatch industry!
SURVIVAL SKILLS IN PARTNERSHIP
Survival Skills Rider Training has been chosen to work on rider safety initiatives by a number of different organisations. I was an approved assessor for Buckinghamshire County Council for the ‘Be a Better Biker Scheme’ in the late 1990s. Between 2004 and 2007, I worked with Somerset Road Safety Partnership assisting on their ‘Better Biking’ days delivering an innovative rider safety module at Castle Coombe circuit in Wiltshire. I was contracted to research and produce the text for a series of rider safety aids, currently being published by ACEM (the European Motorcycle Manufacturers’ Association) which were published as the “Lucky 13” series of cartoons. Since 2011 I have delivered the ‘Science of Being Seen’ module on behalf of Kent Fire and Rescue as part of the multi-award winning’Biker Down’ course which is now offered by more than half of the UK’s fire services. I also work with Kent Fire and Rescue on their ‘Ride Skills’ days at Brands Hatch.
ABOUT KEVIN WILLIAMS
After leaving university, I worked for sixteen years as a courier and switched to working full-time in motorcycle training in 1995. In that time I’ve taught more than one thousand riders at advanced level, and in excess of a thousand more to DVSA test standard during my twelve years as a basic trainer. I am one of a select group of BTEC-qualified instructors. My own BTEC was independently assessed by Edexel. I’m also an NVQ-qualified e-tutor and so uniquely, Survival Skills can offer an online e-course covering all aspects of advanced riding. I also hold a Masters degree in the biological sciences which gives me an unparalleled ability to look at the physiology and psychology of riding and road safety. As a former member of the National Motorcycle Escort Group, my own riding has been assessed at the highest standard and I’ve marshalled UK championship cycle races.
I also write extensively.
I’ve written three major works on riding, ‘Survival SKILLS’, ‘Tarmac Tactics’ and ‘MIND over MOTORCYCLE’. Between them they cover all the aspects of learning and skills we need to ride on the road and deal safely with hazards. Watch out for another book – a handbook for all motorcycle trainers.
From 2002 to 2014, I wrote the safety column for the Motorcycle Action Group published in their journal ‘The Road” – the articles are now published as a pair of paperbacks; ‘The MAG Columns’ and ‘The MAG Columns 2 – the end of the road’.
My riding articles have appeared in the Daily Telegraph motorcycle column and the mainstream motorcycle press. They include ‘The little RiDE book of Emergencies, ‘Superbike’, and ‘Two Wheels Only’. My articles have been published by a number of advanced riding group magazines including ‘Riders’ (Kent Advanced Motorcyclists group), ‘Slipstream’ (Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists), ‘Martlett’ (Sussex) and many others.
And there are many more articles here on this website.