Glasgow North Group Institute of Advanced Drivers


Allocation of an Observer

Provided you have paid for the Advanced Driver package, you will be allocated an Observer as soon as one is available to start your drives.  Our Chief Observer will advise you of the name of your Observer.  

Your Observer will contact you to arrange the date, time and meeting place for your first observed drive.  Subsequent observed drives (ideally weekly or failing this, fortnightly) will be arranged on completion of each drive.

If you find yourself unable to keep an appointment with your Observer please let him/her know in advance.

Observed drives

At the beginning of the first observed drive your Observer will ask you to sign a document declaration this form replaces physical checks of your driving licence, MOT and insurance documentation and should be signed and handed back prior to your drive with us.

During the observed drives your Observer will cover everything you need to know for your Test but will expect you to put in a great deal of effort (practice) between observed drives.

You will be taken out on different types of roads – just as you will be on the Test.  Your Observer will try to vary the routes he/she takes you on each drive.

Make sure you study the relevant chapter(s) of the Advanced Driver Course Logbook, The Highway Code and Know Your TRAFFIC SIGNS before each meeting with your Observer.

Your Observer will have a route planned for each occasion; he/she will give you directions (in the absence of directions at a junction you should assume that you are required to go straight ahead.  You must, of course, take into your driving plan any diversion signs).

Remember that when you are out with an Observer, you are the driver and so you are in control of the car at all times.  

Driving practice

Between your observed drives:

Practice one new thing at a time until it becomes an integral part of your driving.  

Practice giving a commentary (Spoken Thoughts) even when (particularly when!) you are in the car yourself.

Become more aware of different road signs, lane markings, traffic conditions, stopping distances, road surfaces, etc in between meetings with your Observer.

Find different routes to go on – particularly roads which are unfamiliar to you.  

You will be required to carry out manoeuvres on your Advanced Test – reverse parking, parallel parking, turn in the road using forward and reverse gear.  Practice these!

Duration of training

 IAM RoadSmart is of the view that for the majority of drivers, the Advanced Test Standard can be achieved within a programme of six observed drives; for some, it may take a few more.  

After six observed drives you will have a Check Drive with a National Observer to review your progress.  If you are not yet at test standard, provided you have been seen to be making the required effort and progress, more observed drives will be arranged with your Observer. Thereafter, further Check Drives with the same National Observer will be carried out after each six assessed drives.  

It is recommended that your observed drives are arranged at weekly or fortnightly intervals and it is essential that between your observed drives you put in plenty of driving practice incorporating the advice offered by your Observer and the National Observer who carries out the Check Drive(s).

It is important to remember that the Group has a waiting list of people wanting to become Advanced Drivers, so we to aim to prepare you to Test Standard within a reasonable time frame to ensure we have Observers available to take on new Associates. This is dependant not only on our effort but how much practice and application you do.

Also, remember that your Associate Membership of the Group is for one year only.  

Check Assessment

Once your Observer considers you to have achieved Test standard, arrangements will be made for a one-off observed drive with a National Observer.  This provides a check as to whether you are ready for the Advanced Test and gives you the opportunity of going through a mock Test.

Assuming that the National Observer considers you are ready to take the Advannced Test, your test application will be sent to IAM RoadSmart (London) and you should be contacted by an examiner within the next three weeks to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for the Test.

We strongly recommend that during this ‘waiting period’ you continue to meet with your Observer for observed drive so as to keep yourself ‘up to speed’.

Glasgow North Group of Advanced Motorists

The IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driver Test

Some key points:

1. There is no written test.

2. You will be contacted by telephone by your Examiner.

3. You will come to an agreement about the date and time of the test.

4. Your examiner will tell you where to meet.  

5. Arrive in plenty of time.

6. Your Examiner will give you directions for your test route and may ask you a few questions.

7. Remember that you are the one in charge of the vehicle and in the absence of an instruction at a junction you should assume that you are required to stay on the same route.

8. Throughout the test you will be required to demonstrate a high standard of safe driving.

9. You must be seen to drive to the planned system of driving (IPSGA).

10. Your test will cover a variety of roads – in towns, country roads and on motorways/dual carriageways.

11. Although not essential, it is advisable to give a commentary (Spoken Thoughts) as you go through your test – this will reduce the number of questions you will be asked.

12. Your test is likely to last for about 1 ½ hours and your level of concentration must be extremely high throughout.

13. You will be expected to drive to speed limits – if it safe to do so.  If you feel it is unsafe, then explain why you are not prepared to reach the speed limit for that particular road.

After the Advanced Test

You will be told immediately after the Test whether you have passed.

Your Examiner will communicate the result of your Test to IAM RoadSmart in London.

The examiner does not inform the Glasgow North Group.  The only way we can find out the result of your test is if you tell us.  We would be grateful for this information in order to update our records, so please let you Observer know the outcome of the Test.

Remember that the high standard of driving must be continued after you pass the IAM RoadSmart Advanced test – every time you drive your car, you must drive to that standard.  We are not training you simply to pass a test!

Membership of the Glasgow North Group

As a Member of the IAM we hope you will enrol as a Full Member of the Glasgow North Group which currently costs £10 per year.

The Glasgow North Group meets every second Thursday of the month (January to May and September to November inclusive) at 7:30pm in Bishopbriggs War Memorial Hall, Bishopbriggs unless advised otherwise.  We have an interesting programme of speakers arranged for the current year.  Additional Group activities (e.g. quizzes, competitions, and other social events) are also organised with details published on our website ( and in our quarterly Group Newsletter, an electronic copy of which is sent to all Group Members.  There are also opportunities to participate in other Group activities such as inter-group quizzes and competitions, publicising IAM RoadSmart and the Glasgow North Group at local galas and open days etc.  In time you may be interested in seeking nomination to join the committee.  You might also be interested in training to become an Observer.

Some useful Glasgow North Group contact details

Group Secretary Moray Finlay
Chief Car Observer Elaine Irvine


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