Most motorcyclists will not have heard of Karen Cole, despite the fact that she has worked tirelessly for the past 15 years to improve their safety.
As Director of Training for the MCIA, she is well respected within the industry but has had her work with motorcycle safety publicly recognised with three award nominations this year.
With two under her belt from the beginning of the year, she will find out on October 22nd, whether she and her team have won '(IMI) Specialist Centre of the Year 2015’, which is awarded by the Institute of the Motor Industry.
This nomination recognises the work of Karen and her team in setting up an IMI Approved centre in 2013, creating a framework to encourage and signpost high quality motorcycle training.
Known as the Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC), this is a first for any EU country and the latest measure to improve the long term safety of motorcyclists, initiated by Karen in her role for the MCIA.
Karen began working for the Motorcycle Industry Association in 2000.
A rider since the age of 17, she worked in the retail side of motorcycling at M & P Motorcycle Accessories immediately before joining the MCIA.
She was hired initially for a one off-project called 'The Edge' – a rider assessment scheme and probably a little ahead of its time.
One project led to another, and the role grew and grew, developing as time went on to her current status as Director of Training.
Karen regularly collaborates with the Department for Transport, the Association of Chief Police Officers, Transport for London, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), IAM, Institute of the Motor Industry, motorcycle training providers, road safety officers, plus road safety groups and project teams.
She is also a director and motorcycle expert for Prince Michael's International road safety charity Roadsafe.
Other awards Karen has won this year include:
- Services to Rider and Safety Training’ from British Dealer News, which is the motorcycle equivalent of the Oscars.
- Outstanding Individuals Award 2015’ from the Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers (AIRSO).