Briefing for New Associates

By The Training Team

We're looking forward to helping you further develop your riding skills and enjoyment of motorcycling. The following notes are intended to explain the process that will lead to you passing the IAM Roadsmart advanced rider qualification. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Training Team. In the meantime, we hope you will join us at one of our social events.

Making contact

Once you join Northumbria Advanced Motorcyclists and have been enrolled on your IAM Roadsmart course, you will be linked with an Observer. He or she will help you prepare for your Advanced test over a number of observed rides. Your Observer, who will have trained beyond Advanced standard, will contact you by email, text or telephone to arrange a mutually convenient time and place to meet.

At the first meeting, your Observer will discuss with your biking history and your reasons for seeking advanced training. Together you will plan a course tailored to your present riding level and needs.

The number of observed rides is not fixed; it depends on how quickly you absorb the required skills into your everyday riding. This will require that you commit to studying your IAM Associates’ booklet and the Highway Code. Reading ‘Roadcraft’, the police training manual is also useful.

Practising between observed sessions is essential!

Preparing for your first ride

It is your responsibility to present yourself with a bike that is legal and roadworthy, and that you wear appropriate riding gear. That does not mean new, or fashionable, or expensive; just practical for the riding conditions. You will not be expected to produce certificates, but you will be required to sign a declaration that you have the appropriate driving licence, insurance, MOT (if neccessary), road tax paid and that you are fit to ride. The declaration form is in the Advanced Rider Course manual sent to you by the IAM. Please read the declaration carefully before signing.

You must have your course manual, including your signed declaration, with you at each observed ride. This ensures that your Observer can complete a run sheet and that you have a record of your progress and skills that may need practice. You will be asked to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres. If you need to wear spectacles to do this, you must wear them while riding (Highway Code rule 92). Should any of the above give him or her cause for concern, your Observer may decline to continue the session.

Please remember that our Observers are all volunteers. You are asked to make a contribution of £15 towards their costs on each ride. It must be stressed that this is a contribution: it does not cover the expenses incurred.

Observed rides

Your Observer will brief you about the conduct of the ride, the route to be taken and the skills to be practised. You are expected to conform to the rules of the road as in the Highway Code. However, remember that you are entirely responsible for your own riding and safety. Your Observer, NAM and the IAM do not accept any responsibility for the way you ride.

Pre-test ride

When you and your Observer consider that you are ready to take your Advanced test, that opinion will be confirmed by a member of the Training Team who will take you for a pre-test ride. This is a check intended to ensure that candidates are ready for the test by an external examiner.

Requesting a new Observer

On very rare occasions, an Associate and Observer may not establish a good working relationship. Should you find yourself in this position, please don’t let it become an issue. There are sufficient Observers available for us to establish compatibility. All you need to do is ask the Training Administrator to make a change.

Have fun!

The above may seem heavy and serious and, to some extent, it has to be. Please don’t let it make you forget that we ride bikes for the pleasure we get from using high levels of skill. Make it fun and enjoy yourself.

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