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trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
On Friday I passed my IAM test smile which went rather well. It was interesting to read MagicalTrevor's 2009 IAM diary - the organisation was different, in particular different observers each time, but there was that same lull in the middle where I wondered what the point of it all was. Fortunately my test experience was far better than the one described there, though I was lucky to have a drive that mirrors my own driving preferences (semi-rural A roads) and I'm really pleased with the outcome. This thread is me asking about where next, but I'm happy to discuss the experience too.

Anyway I'm conscious of the hazard that, like post-DSA, the hard work is done and laziness can now creep in. Because I'm re-enfranchised (?) by the experience and have bought back into the techniques, I'm not too concerned about this in the short term, but I still don't like the 'skill for life' single event nature of it, though I understand why it's done this way.

I wondered about something 'further' like RoSPA Gold but it's hard to gauge how active the Hampshire group is. My examiner also suggested that it might not actually bring me any more benefit.

Another possibility is becoming an IAM observer, which would be for different reasons but also feeds back into keeping the interest alive. I'm not sure how I feel about this; it's not my natural inclination to teach, really, but a factor is that I'm 28 and feel I could potentially make a difference between some prospective candidates taking it up or dismissing it as something for old men (in my local group's defence, the intake has a reasonable demographic mix). I haven't any practical info about it yet, but I will consider it.

Anything else of note that you might suggest?

Don

26,099 posts

170 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
Hi Trashbat,

At 28 you'd be a young Observer. The IAM needs young people badly. But being an Observer is about putting something back into your Group - it's not about furthering your driving.

Rospa is interesting as they grade their test results. A Gold is definitely an achievement. As someone who has passed the IAM you are probably already at their Silver standard (if not Gold) and you might find the experience fun. I certainly learned a few more tips and tricks when I did the Rospa test. Also they re-test every three years - which keeps you on your toes. I've been determined to hold onto a Gold for the last ten years now. So far so good but will I slip?

Another (really fun) direction is to get some professional instruction in skid recovery and the like. This costs real money but is a hoot. (Sliding around in an old Beamer on an oiled skid pan. What a laugh...)

Some track instruction can be revealing about car control too - knowing about limits can help you make sure you never reach them at the wrong time!

There's plenty of entertaining and educational stuff to do after IAM...

AND CONGRATULATIONS!

trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
Don said:
Hi Trashbat,

At 28 you'd be a young Observer. The IAM needs young people badly. But being an Observer is about putting something back into your Group - it's not about furthering your driving.
True - the former would be the reason for doing it, but I think it would also stop what I learnt with IAM turning into one of those certificates you file away under 'done'. A few people have made your first comment so I think it's something I'll pursue.

Don said:
Rospa is interesting as they grade their test results. A Gold is definitely an achievement. As someone who has passed the IAM you are probably already at their Silver standard (if not Gold) and you might find the experience fun. I certainly learned a few more tips and tricks when I did the Rospa test. Also they re-test every three years - which keeps you on your toes. I've been determined to hold onto a Gold for the last ten years now. So far so good but will I slip?
The IAM have a f1rst attempt at a tiered system as well wink Incidentally the examiner commented mid-drive that most IAM passes they see would be equivalent to Bronze. Personally I think I was lucky in my test in that the nature of the drive was conducive to showing my strengths rather than testing my weaknesses, and thus going for Gold would require more honing of skill and thus add value, but it's difficult to self-assess. If anyone has any recent experience of RoADAR Hants then I'd love to hear about it.

Don said:
Another (really fun) direction is to get some professional instruction in skid recovery and the like. This costs real money but is a hoot. (Sliding around in an old Beamer on an oiled skid pan. What a laugh...) Some track instruction can be revealing about car control too - knowing about limits can help you make sure you never reach them at the wrong time!
Both of these are of interest - I've kind of considered them (esp. track) to be the preserve of those with performance cars, but I guess it's not necessarily the case, and certainly skid pan and the like is of value to anyone.

Don said:
AND CONGRATULATIONS!
Ta!

Rob

Synchromesh

2,141 posts

52 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
Although IAM and Rospa are both based on the same principles and 'syllabus' (Roadcraft), having a different observer will give a different critique on your driving. However, you could always try to arrange casual drives with members of your IAM group. The ADUK (advanced driving UK) forum run driving days which are free to attend and an excellent way to drive with some really top drivers - you missed one yesterday but the next is on the 22nd September, in the Brecon Beacons. Your other option is to use a professional coach, your choice of which may be dependant of weather you are keen on being recommend for entry to HPC.

trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
I'm a member of the ADUK forums but I'd not noticed the driving days - guess I should keep a closer eye on that.

The car (lack of P) is probably the biggest barrier to my interest in HPC, then money, but again this is only based on a cursory look at what it's about.
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Synchromesh

2,141 posts

52 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
trashbat said:
I'm a member of the ADUK forums but I'd not noticed the driving days - guess I should keep a closer eye on that.
Look in the Driver Network section.

trashbat said:
The car (lack of P) is probably the biggest barrier to my interest in HPC, then money, but again this is only based on a cursory look at what it's about.
High Performance relates to the driver and not the car, thus there are no requirements in terms of what you drive. In fact, one of the best HPC members I've driven with has a 207 diesel.

trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
Synchromesh said:
High Performance relates to the driver and not the car, thus there are no requirements in terms of what you drive. In fact, one of the best HPC members I've driven with has a 207 diesel.
I was hoping this might be the case. Good to know, and one I'll consider for the medium term then. Thanks for the advice.

Synchromesh

2,141 posts

52 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
trashbat said:
... I'll consider (HPC) for the medium term then.
Yes, this is what I'm doing. At the moment I'm just saving the pennies and brushing up my skills by driving with as many HPC members as I possibly can. In fact, I organised the ADUK driving day yesterday and spent the morning driving a certain HPCer's TVR Tuscan which was insured for all!

You could always try half a day with one of the gatekeepers to begin with and see what they say. I spent what turned into a day with Clive Jones and have no hesitation in recommending him but I've never heard a bad word about Andy Morrison either, while I'm Hugh Noblett has a coaching style which some like more than others.

Where are you based?

trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
Southampton at the mo.

ScoobyChris

268 posts

88 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
trashbat said:
If anyone has any recent experience of RoADAR Hants then I'd love to hear about it.
Depends on how you define recent wink but I did my RoSPA with them back in 2006. I had a mixed experience with them and found that they were a bit thinly spread across a huge area and the observer I had (who also was the IAM group's chief observer) was a bit reluctant to take me beyond RoSPA Bronze standard as that was the best that new associates can expect. In my naivety I went along with that (and achieved Silver) but regret not being more pushy.

As I understand it, from a friend who was on the committee a couple of years back, there's been a big overhaul of the group since then with a focus on bringing in a new committee, giving the web site a lick of paint, and making the course more exciting to attract younger people. My suggestion would be to get in touch with them and have a chat about what you want to get out of it and see the reaction you get.

Chris

Synchromesh

2,141 posts

52 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
trashbat said:
Southampton at the mo.
Ask on ADUK if there are any HPC members down that way who'd go for a drive with you. Nothing to loose, but potentially a lot of knowledge to gain.

waremark

1,928 posts

99 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Congratulations.

Contrary to the comments made by some others about becoming an Observer for IAM, I think you would find that becoming an Observer would seriously develop your own driving, as well as being good for your own personal development (unless you already teach/coach in some other environment), giving you a sense of satisfaction, helping your group and helping other drivers.

But I also endorse all the other suggestions.

R0G

4,061 posts

41 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
WELL DONE on the pass

The IAM now has a F1RST grade which is where the candidate gets mainly 1s on the score sheet

If not been recommended for this then you can opt to go for it later in the form of an assessment

There is always the SA (special assessment) which relly needs an examiner to help you before doing the test with a staff examiner

ROSPA has the teaching diploma which as the name suggests goes more into the teaching aspects

Mr Grayson

158 posts

61 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Well done!

Along with others, highly recommend AD-UK driving days as a way of assessing your progress and finding new paths to explore.

In common with Mark, I think becoming an observer does help your driving as well as giving something back and furthering the cause. Your age is a big bonus in that respect. Those of us who are older don't have the same rapport with younger drivers, potentially.

S. Gonzales Esq.

1,946 posts

98 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Firstly, congratulations on passing, and also on realising that that's not the end of the process.

Where you go next will depend on what you want to do. If you're not sure at the moment, driving with other people from a variety of AD backgrounds will give you some ideas. There may be suitable people in your local IAM or RoSPA groups, but you'll probably need to get involved with the group to find them. ADUK is the obvious way to shortcut this process as everyone there has self-selected as being interested in developing their driving.

That's not to say that you should dismiss other avenues of development though. Observing is rewarding in lots of ways, and developing the ability to analyse an associate's issues and help them do things better will also give you the tools to improve your own driving.

As with most things in life, the more effort you put in, the more you'll get out of it.

trashbat said:
This thread is me asking about where next, but I'm happy to discuss the experience too.
I'd be keen to see a thread about the test. It was my impression that routes were planned to include all types of roads, so I'm interested in the idea that your test played to your strengths.

Art0ir

7,229 posts

56 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Sorry to derail, but can anyone expand upon the practical benefits of achieving these certificates?

trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Art0ir said:
Sorry to derail, but can anyone expand upon the practical benefits of achieving these certificates?
Practical in what sense? Do you mean monetary?

trashbat

Original Poster:

4,001 posts

39 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
S. Gonzales Esq. said:
I'd be keen to see a thread about the test. It was my impression that routes were planned to include all types of roads, so I'm interested in the idea that your test played to your strengths.
It did involve all types of road, from village centre to motorway, but it was predominantly ones where progress was enabled (even got in an overtake). It did not involve any manoeuvres. This is in contrast to my IAM sessions which have, partly due to starting location and time constraints, been far more urban - which changes things a little. I suspect that individuals also have a preference for the type of driving they like to observe/examine/do themselves.

In this case we started off somewhere more remote. Taking what I said about strengths, it feels to me that 90 degree turns highlight IPSGA and in particular brake/gear separation more than a series of roundabouts, although of course a good observer would spot correct technique in either.

Does that make sense?

Synchromesh

2,141 posts

52 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
Art0ir said:
Sorry to derail, but can anyone expand upon the practical benefits of achieving these certificates?
If you're doing IAM / Rospa for the sake of getting a certificate, or even if purely for the insurance benefits, your probably doing it for the wrong reasons. The benefit therefore is not achieving anything, a bit of paper means nothing, it's the knowledge you gain in the process. For me, doing IAM is providing a good platform to take my driver further still.

I think the real benefit is making you more conscious of your own driving, improving your observation, anticipation and planning. This manifests itself in a number of ways. Better progress (town or country), a greater safety margin, smoother, more harmonious interaction with other road users, less wear and tear, less fuel usage, the list goes on...

S. Gonzales Esq.

1,946 posts

98 months

[news] 
Monday 6th August 2012 quote quote all
That sounds more like the test was what I'd expect, but you perhaps didn't get enough open-road stuff during the course. Having said that, it would be fairly standard practice to introduce The System on simple left turns and slow speed junctions, rather than throwing an associate at a fast bend and hoping they sort things out in time.

I reckon the more enjoyable aspects of Advanced Driving tend to be found out of town, and often think it's a shame that the IAM preparation isn't more biased towards this. Once the examiner has satisfied themselves you're not a total liability, they'll be looking for how you actually drive the car rather than how you park it.
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