By Jim Leese, Group Chair at Dorchester and West Dorset Advanced Motorcyclists (DWDAM), and Nigel Williams, Chief Observer at Bournemouth and Wessex Advanced Motorcyclists (BWAM)
Over 40 Observers from the two clubs, together with two guests from the Plymouth group, all met in Tiverton, Dorset, for a successful weekend of Observer training. The focus for the training weekend was to prepare for National Observer assessments, and to check peer-to-peer quality assurance across the groups involved.
IAM RoadSmart Area Service Delivery Manager’s, Shaun Cronin and Robbie Downing, had encouraged the cross-group interaction and had made themselves available for the weekend to host a presentation, as well as completing six National Observer assessments over the two days.
The riders spent Saturday in pairs or groups of three focusing on briefing, riding and debriefing. During this time Shaun and Robbie worked with six candidates who focused their time on assessment. Each one of them had a successful time and, contrary to their initial apprehension, very much enjoyed their experience and the feedback was extremely positive – with them all agreeing that the assessment process was in no way as daunting as they had previously thought.
Below: The successful candidates are shown below with their IAM RoadSmart ASDMs. Pictured left to right: Geoff Brazier, Steve Bielby, Robbie Downing, Steve Richards, Shaun Cronin, Catherine Bates, Iain Jeffries, and Andrew Wiley
During the weekend, Shaun and Robbie gave a presentation to the 40 Observers in attendance, covering many of the finer points of Advanced Riding. This also provided an open platform to help answer questions from an Assessor’s perspective. This included braking, gear changes, road markings, Roadcraft, techniques - and of course many of the answers started with ‘it depends…’.
Comments received from those attending were all very positive, and the groups plan to repeat the weekend later in the year. IAM RoadSmart’s ASDMs felt that this new approach and format could be replicated between other groups across the country as a way of sharing good practice, combining training activities, and assessments.
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart’s Advanced courses, visit here https://www.iamroadsmart.com/courses