As soon as an observer is allocated, associates will be taken out in their own vehicle for 6 observed runs, free of charge, each of one and a half hours approximate duration, normally once a week. These will be over various routes through town and country, including single-track roads and dual carriageway. During the runs, manoeuvres, such as reversing round corners, turning in the road, and parallel parking, will be carried out. The purpose of the observed runs is to allow the associate to develop the practical skills needed to become an advanced driver. Any queries or relevant points will be discussed during stops on the route and you will be given a progress report on your driving at the end of each run.
When the runs have been completed the observer will arrange with the Observed Runs Organiser for an assessment to be carried out. In between runs, the associate is expected to practice the skills whilst out driving on a day-to-day basis.
After the associate’s sixth observed run an assessment (referred to as a Progress Drive) will be conducted by a Senior Observer who will decide whether the associate is ready to apply for the test. If the associate is ready the he/she will forward a ‘Test Ready’ form to IAM in London and will be contacted by an examiner to arrange a suitable date. Further observed runs may be taken until the test date. If the senior observer thinks he or she is not ready to apply for a test, the associate will be taken out for further runs until the required standard is reached.
The test is carried out over a period of approximately one and a half hours. There is no fixed route but will be conducted over routes similar to the ones used in the observed runs. During the test, giving commentary is encouraged but it is not mandatory but by doing so the associate gives the examiner a better indication as to what he or she is seeing and what action he or she may be thinking of taking. The result will be given at the end of the test. If the associate is successful, he or she will be recommended to become a member of the IAM. If the associate is not successful, he or she will be able to apply to sit the test again, at the cost of £35. On successful completion of the test, a certificate will be issued.
The examiners are serving or retired police officers who hold the Advanced Police Driving Certificate, Class 1 or Class 2.