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Local Group Course

When a driver joins the IAM to take the Advanced Driver Course, their details are passed to the nearest Local Group based on their postcode, unless they request a specific one. The Local Group then accepts them as an Associate Member ("Associate") and provides the necessary driver coaching to enable them to take and pass the IAM Advanced Driver Assessment ("Test").

Our course consists of a combination of classroom-based theory and on-the-road practical coaching. A description of each of these elements follows.

The date of our next course can be found here.

Theory Course

We currently run three theory courses per year, in January/February, May/June, and September/October. The course is designed mainly for the benefit of new Associates to prepare them for the Test, but full Members who have already passed their Test are welcome to attend to 'brush up' their theoretical knowledge.

In addition, some Observers (full Members who have been trained in coaching Associates during on-the-road driving sessions) may also drop in from time to time, and are always willing to pass on their advice and share their experiences.

The course is quite informal and interactive, and the attendees are encouraged to ask questions during and after each session. We are here to help in any way we can.

Each course consists of five two-hour sessions held on consecutive weeks. The week before the course starts there is an informal Meet and Greet session to allow the attendees to meet each other and the course presenters.

The topics covered over the five weeks of the course are:

  • Week 1
    Introduction; What is Advanced Driving?; Skills & Attitudes; Vehicle Stability and Controls
  • Week 2
    Observation & Anticipation; Hazards & Hazard Management; The System of Car Control
  • Week 3
    Positioning; Signalling; Negotiating Bends; Overtaking
  • Week 4
    Spoken Thoughts; Making Progress; Motorways & Dual Carriageways
  • Week 5
    Reversing Manoeuvres; What the Examiner Expects; Whole Course Review; After the Test...

Practical Coaching

This consists of a series of up to 10 drives with one of our experienced Observers. These drives run in parallel with, and build upon, the theory course. Each drive is conducted in a friendly and informative manner, with the Observer providing both constructive criticism and praise where required.

During the early drives the Observer will concentrate on individual topics covered in the theory course, gradually weaving these together into the complete system of driving over the later drives, until the Associate is deemed ready for the Test. At this point the Associate will be referred for a 'check drive'. This is carried out by one of our National Observers, and provides a final, independent check on the 'test readiness' of the Associate. Following a successful check drive the Associate is put forward for the Test.