Investigating the impact of the Cycling Proficiency Scheme in schools in Northern Ireland

This statistical brief was commissioned by Safe and Sustainable Transport Division, Promotion and Outreach Branch, DfI. The paper considers any changes in the attitudes of children towards road safety issues associated with cycling following the completion of the Cycling Proficiency Scheme at school.


The Cycling Proficiency Scheme (CPS) has operated in Northern Ireland schools for over 40 years, training more than 400,000 pupils. Early road safety education is crucial in keeping children safe on the roads. The purpose of the scheme is to help children develop their skills, increase their confidence as cyclists and identify risks they may come across on the roads. The CPS is delivered by school staff and instructors who are approved by, and registered with, DFI Safe & Sustainable Travel Division, Promotion and Outreach Branch.

A survey of school children who took part in CPS in Northern Ireland is carried out to consider the attitudes of the children towards various aspects of road safety before and after completion of the scheme.  The questions were designed to assess how much the scheme had changed the attitudes and actions of participants in respect of various safety aspects of cycling such as wearing a helmet and reflective clothing, carrying out safety checks on bicycles and specifics of manoeuvring on the roads. The analysis monitors the effectiveness of the Scheme, allowing the Department to identify positive changes in participants’ behaviour as well as areas requiring improved support and guidance.



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