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Warrington Advanced Motorists
Registered Charity No. 1048554
Affiliated to IAM RoadSmart, formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
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Where do we meet for Observed Runs?

We will be meeting every Sunday (except between Christmas and New Year's Day) at Fairfield & Howley Neighbourhood Project, Fairfield Street, Warrington  WA1 3AJ (off the Manchester Road, Opposite St Elphins Park) at 10:15am.  Note there is an entrance into the Car Park at the back of the building by turning right off Fairfield Street into Harrison Close and it is the first entrance on the right - opposite Claude Street).

More details are available on THIS PAGE.

What's an Observed Run?

An Observed Run consists of the Associate (someone who has not yet passed the IAM Test) driving his or her car accompanied by one of our Observers (see below).  Guidance and advice is given during the Observed Run to help the Associate better understand and put into practice the principles of Advanced Driving.  Each run lasts about an hour and includes a feedback discussion at the end of the run and advice to the Associate on how to improve aspects of their driving which are not up to the IAM test standard.

Sounds intimidating!

We try not to be!  All Warrington Group Observers have been Associates themselves and remember what it's like, so they do their best to put the Associate at their ease.  If you are not enjoying it or finding it useful, then we must be doing something wrong, so please tell us - we really do want to know.

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How many runs will I need?

We work to a flexible system based on a series of modules which break the required skills down into eight easy to manage and logical blocks.  Note that our Observers do not "teach" or "instruct" but give advice, counsel and sometimes suggest ideas and techniques that will help.  This eight-module course is essentially a combination of practical driving sessions (the Observed Runs) in combination with a little bit of your own self-study of the relevant portions of your "Advanced Driver Course Logbook issued as part of the course by the IAM.

I can't make it on Sundays.  What about other days?

If our normal Sunday meets are not convenient (shift work, other commitments, etc.), then we can assign an Observer who is available at other times and days of the week so that mutually convenient times for the Observed Run can be arranged.  In practice we find most Associates are up to the IAM Test standard within 10 runs, and go on to pass the Advanced Test after about 3 further Observed Runs.  However, we can be flexible and Associates are offered as many Observed Runs as they feel they need (within reason) before going for the IAM Advanced Test.

So, who are these "Observers"?

"Observers" are people who have already passed the IAM Advanced Test and have undertaken further training and Observed Runs under supervision within the Group to ensure they have the required skills to pass on the relevant advice and suggestions.  They are then examined and tested against an IAM National Observer Qualification Scheme which is accredited and monitored by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI - the UK's leading organisation for training in the Motor Industry).

There are three levels of Observers within the scheme:

  1. Trainee Observers - a person who has recently passed their IAM Advanced Test and who is undergoing training to achieve the required skill levels. They will have a second mre experienced Observer sitting in with them as part of their training until they have shown the experience and skills to do an "Observed run" without supervision while they prepare to pass their test for the next level - a Local Observer.

  2. Local Observers - a person who has achieved the requirements for this grade and has been assessed as such within the Warrington Group to the National Standards by a National Observer.

  3. National Observer - a person who has achieved the Local Observer status and had further assessments on their own Driving and Observing skills and are assessed by an external IAM full time Examiner (and they have to be re-assessed every 5 years).

All Local and National Observers are subject to a re-qualification scheme so you can have complete confidence in the Observer who is sitting next to you giving advice and guidance.

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