Are you a member? Log in


Most of our team of Observers now have the Institute of Motor Industries (IMI) National Observer Qualification with others working towards that.  Thus all Aberdeen Associates can be sure that their allocated Observer will deliver a consistently high standard of coaching during the sessions, which is not only geared to the individual Associate's needs but hopefully is enjoyable and provides the inspiration for building confidence in his / her overall driving ability. 

If you would like to know what an Associate should expect from his / her Observer and what we expect from Associates when undertaking an advanced driving or riding course, please click this link:


Below, we'd like to present the Aberdeen team of Observers.

National Observers with Local Observer Assessor Qualification

AAM have 2 National Observers with Local Observer Assessor qualifications.

Neil Warden on location

Neil Warden - Car, Motorcycle & Commercial Vehicle Observer Assessor

Neil completed an advanced driving course in 1995 with Grampian Police and thereafter joined Aberdeen Advanced Motorists, passing the IAM test, and then getting involved as an Observer before joining the committee as Observer Trainer. Neil is qualified as both a National Observer and a Local Observer Assessor. He has previously been Group Chairman, for 3 different terms, Vice Chair in 2019 and from 2020 onwards as Aberdeen Group Secretary and Observer Liaison for the biker group, primarily. Neil passed his driver Masters with distinction in October 2021.

Gary Macalister

Gary Macalister - Car Observer Assessor

Gary passed his Advanced test in 1987 and soon after started Observing. At that time, Observers were not so lucky as to have the standards clearly spelled out as in today's IAM Observers Handbook. Nevertheless, Gary has successfully found the right skills to coach Associates to meet the requirements and successfully pass the IAM Advanced test. Gary gained his National Observer qualification in 2017 and was appointed as a Local Observer Assessor in November 2018. Gary is also now serving his second term on the Committee with the role of Observer Liaison for the car observer team, primarily.

National Observers

AAM have a further 9 National Observers.


Joff Christie - Biker Observer

Joff gained his motorcycle driving license in 1989, and for a month or so, worked as a motorcycle courier between Southampton and the surrounding area, including London. When Joff bought a powerful VFR800, he thought it wise to better his understanding of being able to ride safely and efficiently by signing up to the IAM. He has been an Observer since 2014 and would recommend other riders to do the same, helping other like minded motorcyclists become better and safer riders. Joff is presently in his second year as Chairman of the Aberdeen Group, having been an active member on the Committee since 2014 and previously held the post of Treasurer.

Kenny Hair

Kenny Hair - Biker Observer

For many years, Kenny had trained, coached and assisted personnel while at work, so it seemed a natural progression to carry this through to motorcycling. Kenny is now a National Observer for the bike section and gains great satisfaction in passing on his years of riding experience, helping other bikers get more enjoyment out of their own rides as they increase their experiences, knowledge and competence. Kenny notes that it sometimes comes as quite a shock to many Associate riders that there is indeed a lot of fun to be had while learning and absorbing the IAM Advanced Rider course. Kenny is always keen to speak to anybody about Advanced Rider (or Driver) training especially if you see him while he's "Oot an' Aboot" on his beautiful black BMW 1200GS.

Gary Lashbrook

Gary Lashbrook - Biker Observer

Gary started riding at 16 to commute around London then in 1999, he passed IAM Advanced Riding test in Kent with EKAM. He later joined Northallerton Advanced Bikes and trained as a Local Observer in 2008 and as a National Observer in 2015. Gary later moved north to Aboyne and joined AAM , adding to our National Observer team.


Chris Noble - Biker Observer

We are very pleased to welcome back Chris Noble after a short break away. Chris is an experienced National Observer and has a Masters with Distinction qualification. Chris also recently renewed his Fellow assessment and achieved a F1RST. He also has a RoSPA Gold. Chris is our most qualified National Observer.

Nick Readman

Nick Readman - Biker Observer

Nick has been riding bikes off-road since the age of 6 and passed his bike license in 1991. When time permits, he still likes to compete in local trials and enduro events with the Bon Accord Motorcycle Club as well as trying his hand at the occasional track day. Nick has been an Advanced driver and rider for 19 years and an Observer since 2008. He left the Group in 2017 to help establish the local Blood Biker group but as this is now successfully up and running, we are very happy to see that Nick has re-committed to motorcycle observing and has just passed his National Observer qualification. Nick states that he is looking forward to making making learning fun for his allocated Associates.

T Webb

Tony Webb - Driver Observer

Tony joined AAM in 2018, having moved to the area from West Sussex. He has more than 50 years of driving bikes and cars under his belt and passed the original Institute of Advanced Motorists test in 1970. Having retired from sports marketing, but still consulting to the World Air Sports Federation, he gained his IMI Local Observer qualification in 2017 before moving to Scotland. He gained his National Observer's qualification in 2019. Tony also follows the classic car movement, especially those from the earlier motoring days of 1960s and 1970s. In fact 2 of his current Associates are like-minded CC enthusiasts.

Ian McIver

Icon Car

Awaiting details  







Phil Lamb

Icon bike

Awaiting details 


Karen Kirkwood

Icon Car

Awaiting details

Trainee Observers

AAM currently have 9 further Trainee Observers, who have yet to complete their IMI Local or National assessments, 6 in the biker Observer team and 3 Car Observers. 

Alan Fraser

Alan Fraser - Driver Observer

Alan joined IAM in 1983 and became a Committee member of AAM shortly thereafter. A change of career and family commitments meant that he didn't have enough time for AAM matters and he resigned from AAM duties quite a few years ago. However, Alan has now got more time on his hands and is once again keen to become more involved with Committee matters and Observing duties. We are very pleased to re-welcome him to our team.

Dirk McBain (2)

Dirk McBain - Biker Observer

Dirk’s passion for motorcycling came in 1982 when he got his first off-road motorbike and was hooked on riding 2 wheels, it wasn’t until 1993 he obtained his full bike license. Dirk served in in the Royal Engineers where he was an active member of the off-road Motorcycle team and also had the opportunity to tour parts of Canada, USA and Europe and more recently taken part in many charity rides throughout the UK. Wanting to improve his riding skills and share his knowledge and experience led him to becoming and advanced rider and subsequently pursue an observers qualification

Gordon Drysdale

Gordon Drysdale - Biker Observer

Gordon has been riding bikes since the age of 16 but his interest in them lapsed due to family commitments. However, he rediscovered his love of bikes after a trip to the USA and once again bought a bike. He joined the local Blood Bikes group in 2017 and became an Advanced Rider in 2019. We are very pleased that that his enthusiasm for bike riding makes him take up the challenge of becoming a Local Observer.

Ian Smith

Ian Smith - Biker Observer

Ian has been involved in road transport all his life, HGV’s, PSV’s, Tanks, Vans & Cars. However bikes have always been his absolute passion. He passed test in 1988 and has been able to do some serious mileage both here in the UK and abroad, including currently averaging around 9000 miles a year on two wheels. He took his advanced rider in 2018 after attending a Bike Safe assessment with the Police the year before..... Ian says "such were the advantages, it just seemed the right thing to do, its made a great difference to me and those I ride with." Becoming an Observer, he's hoping to further develop his skills, but more importantly pass those skills and experience on to like minded motorcyclists looking to enhance their riding.

john banks

John Banks - Driver Observer

After starting to drive in 1994, John says that it took him far too many years to start the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driving course. It was one of these things that it seemed he would never get round to. The impetus to take up advanced driving was predicated on a desire to be a better, safer, more considerate driver and to enjoy long drives around the country. So finally in 2021, John took the plunge and passed his assessment with a F1RST. This success motivated him to continue to learn and contribute by becoming a trainee car Observer. John aims to get his Local Observer qualification as the next step on this journey.

Ross Bradley

Ross Bradley - Biker Observer

Ross started driving in 1996 and passed his motorcycle test in 2006. After enjoying several years of touring and riding, he decided that he wanted to improve his riding skills and so completed an IAM Advanced Riding course, passing his test in June 2019. He found that the IAM process was a great benefit to his riding and consequently, decided to progress towards National bike Observer which allows him to share the skills and knowledge, that he acquired through the IAM course, with others.

Wayne Clark

Wayne Clarke - Biker Observer

Wayne started driving 1985 when he was with the Royal Air Force and 10 years later, obtained his motorcycle license when serving in Anglesey. He has ridden a bike all over UK from Land’s End to Shetland and really enjoys the rural roads in Aberdeenshire. Some of his rides have been associated with charity events and is also a current participating member of the local NERVS Blood Bikes charity. In fact, it was through Blood Bikes that Wayne committed to an IAM Course for Advanced Riding and came into contact with other AAM bikers. He found that riding with AAM was most enjoyable and was more than happy when asked to join our team as an Observer; he is currently training to become a Local Observer. Wayne was also elected to the Committee for 2020.

We are awaiting details from Neil Taylor who will become a driver Local Observer and from David Kerr who aims to become biker Local Observer.

Details last updated in October 2021.


Opportunities from Observing

Becoming an Observer can lead to meeting lots of interesting people and sometimes new opportunities.  In this piece, Tony Webb tells us about he became involved in setting up a drone port in Montrose. This particular business recently appeared in a good news item on STV's 6 o'clock News.

BVLOS by Tony Webb