Glasgow South IAM Group

Scottish Charity Number SC023513

What is advanced driving or riding?

Our advanced driving and riding courses allow you to hone your skills on the road, enabling you to drive or ride in a safe, smooth and progressive manner.  At the core of advanced driving lies a system commonly known by the mnemonic IPSGA, a system which was originally developed by the Metropolitan Police to meet their own driver training needs.  By applying this system, you will ensure that you are best placed to deal with the hazards you meet.

The ‘I’ in ISPGA stands for ‘information’.  Critical to your development as an advanced driver or rider is the development of the skills of observation and anticipation, which help you to recognise, prioritise and manage hazards.  When you spot a hazard, ask yourself this question: what might I reasonably expect to happen next, and how will I deal with it if it does?

Above all, advanced driving and riding should be about enjoyment.  It is about having the confidence to make maximum use of your own abilities, and those of your vehicle, in order to experience a safe, smooth and progressive drive.


What is an associate?

An associate member is one who has joined IAM RoadSmart in order to undertake the Advanced Driver or Advanced Rider course, but has not yet passed their advanced test to become a full member.


What type of vehicle can I use for the course?

IAM RoadSmart advanced courses are available for cars, motorbikes and commercial vehicles.  At Glasgow South, we are able to prepare associates for the car and motorbike tests.  If your vehicle is road-legal and capable of maintaining the national speed limit, then it’s probably suitable.


What do I need to train for the advanced driving or riding test?

You will need to hold a valid, current full driving licence allowing you to drive or ride in the UK.  You will need access to a vehicle which you are insured to drive, and which is licensed and road-worthy; where required, this vehicle will have to have a valid MOT certificate.  Your must also meet the minimum legal eyesight requirements.  Restrictions also apply to drivers and riders with pending court proceedings which may result in the awarding of penalty points.

Apart from this, the most important thing you can bring is a positive attitude and a willingness to develop the core skills of concentration, observation, anticipation and planning.


Are there any age limits?

Not at all!  As long as you hold a full driving licence for the category of vehicle in which you are training you are eligible to undertake the course.  At Glasgow South, our associate members are drawn from a variety of backgrounds: some are still at school and only recently passed their DVSA tests, while others have been driving for over half a century before joining the group.  As long as you approach the course with an open mind and a willingness to learn, age is no barrier.


What are the benefits of advanced driving and riding?

As an advanced driver or rider, you will be one of the most skilful drivers on the road.  It’s possible that you will benefit from reduced insurance premiums.  The IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driver and Advanced Rider courses are accredited by the DVSA, and can represent a valuable addition to your CV.


What does the training involve?

Preparation for the advanced tests is conducted by our team of volunteer observers, whose qualifications are accredited by the IMI.  The training involves the completion of a series of observed sessions during which you will receive coaching in the various skills and techniques of advanced driving and riding.  In between sessions, you will be asked to practice the skills you have learned on your own.  You will receive a course manual and logbook which describes the skills you need to master, which will help you keep track of your progress and ensure that you’ve covered everything.  All guidance and course materials are included in the price of the course; candidates for the Advanced Rider course will also be asked to make a small contribution towards the petrol costs of their observers.

If you are undertaking the Advanced Driver course, you will be assigned an observer who will work with you on a one-to-one basis as you prepare for the test, meeting you every week or two for an observed drive.  Before sitting the test, you will have the opportunity to complete a drive with a different observer, which will not only give you a second perspective on your development, but will also let you experience a run under conditions similar to those on the test.  Although the amount of preparation required to reach test standard varies, your training will typically involve between eight and ten practical sessions with a total duration of ten to twelve hours.

If you are participating in the Advanced Rider course, you will meet for weekly training sessions between the spring and autumn.  As the programme progresses, you will benefit from coaching from the whole team of observers.  More information may be found on our bike section page.

Both drivers and riders will also have the opportunity to attend classroom-based theory sessions as part of the preparation process.


What happens during the test?

The test last for approximately 90 minutes, and will allow you to demonstrate your skills on every type of road, from urban centres to rural roads, quiet residential streets to high-speed dual carriageways and motorways.  The test will be conducted by an examiner with police advanced driving experience.