Cheltenham & Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists
promoting safer riding

What is it?

A rider skills improvement programme, developed by IAM Roadsmart (the UK's leading road safety charity), for any motorcyclist with a full licence who wishes to improve their riding skills. This is a core programme of rider skills enhancement designed to assess, explain and develop the individual's riding techniques to make you a safer, focussed and more confident rider. This will bring you to a standard that will prepare you for the advanced riding test. On passing that, you will become a full member of IAM Roadsmart.

How does it work?

Once you have enrolled on the Advanced Rider Course as an associate member, a membership pack will be forwarded to you to include:

  • An Advanced Rider Course handbook (based upon the Police “Roadcraft” training manual). This will be used throughout your course as a reference guide.
  • First year membership of the IAM RoadSmart.
  • First year membership of CCAM.
  • Examination cost covering your advanced riding test.

How do I enrol on the Advanced Rider Course?

Enrol on the IAM website (click here). The Advanced rider course is currently £149. When prompted to enter your preferred group, please enter "Cheltenham and Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists group 1265" - this ensures that you are allocated to the C-CAM group (if you don't, it is allocated by IAM and you may not get allocated to C-CAM).

What next?

You will be allocated to a local CCAM Observer who will take you through the programme designed to provide 'One on One' guidance. You and your observer will arrange observed rides at mutually convenient times, with rides usually lasting 2-3hrs each time. Generally, a total of 6-8 runs would be sufficient for the average associate. You can expect the programme to take 2-3 months to complete. The observed runs are conducted in an informal relaxed manner, and two-way dialogue is encouraged.

How do I enrol on the SFL course?

You will be allocated to a trained CCAM Observer who will take you through the course, providing coaching and guidance on a 1-to-1 basis. You and your observer will arrange observed rides at mutually convenient times which generally last 2-3hrs each time. You will be out on your own motorcycle (which must be legal and safe), and usually a total of 6 to 8 runs would be sufficient for most associates to achieve the required standard. You can expect the programme to take 3 to 6 months to complete with regular rides. The observed runs are conducted in an informal relaxed manner and two-way dialogue is encouraged.

Any further costs?

As all IAM observers are volunteers using their own bikes and time, we do ask that as an associate, you contribute towards your observer's fuel costs.

Once I have passed, what next?

First and foremost, well done! Having passed the IAM advanced test, you are now entitled to full IAM membership and continued membership of CCAM. This will allow you to continue to access further riding skills development within the club, such as low speed control skill courses and off road/track based events where organised. You could of course consider becoming an observer yourself within the group.

Still not sure if the Advanced Rider Course is for you? Then come along to one of our relaxed monthly meetings or take part in one of our rideouts (see diary). You will be able to meet our observers who will be more than happy to answer your questions and perhaps any concerns that you may have.

These notes provide some guidelines for Associates and Observers for CCAM observing. The guidelines are aimed to ensure that suitable progress can be made by both Associates and Observers.

If any issues arise during observed sessions, or if there are difficulties meeting these guidelines, the first point of contact is the Associate Co-ordinator.

It is expected that riders on CCAM rides (observed or otherwise) will wear appropriate kit; this includes boots (which cover the ankles), gloves, motorcycle jacket and appropriate trousers (and of course a legal helmet). Waterproofs should be worn or carried if rain is considered possible. Flip-front helmets will be closed when riding (except for those which are legal in the open position).

If the observing process is to work well it is essential that it is, as far as possible, an uninterrupted process. The expectation is that normally rides are carried out at least every 2 weeks; ideally the next ride should be arranged at the end of each observed ride. It is appreciated that there are some occasions (illness, holidays etc.) this may not be possible, however if the time between rides extends to 4 weeks on more than 1 occasion the Associate Co-ordinator should be contacted. If the Observer is aware that they may not be able to achieve this frequency they should contact the Associate Co-ordinator to see if they can arrange an alternative Observer as required. If the Associate feels that they cannot commit the time required for observing at this frequency they should withdraw from the process (freeing up the Observer), the Associate Co-ordinator can then reallocate the Associate another Observer when they are advised that the Associate can commit to the process.

In general rides should not be postponed for weather except in extreme cases (temperature below freezing, snow ice, gales etc.), rides should not normally be cancelled for rain (unless torrential). This is similar to the expectations for the IAM test.

If either party needs to postpone a ride, please give as much notice as possible. If this becomes necessary on a repeated basis the issue should be brought to the attention of the Associate Co-ordinator.

There is the possibility of a very rare occasion where there is a communication issue between Observer and Associate (not operating on the same wavelength) this should be discussed between the Observer and the Associate, if necessary this should then be raised with the Associate Co-ordinator. Consideration can then be given to reallocating the Associate to another Observer.

The expectation is that before applying for the test each associate will have a check ride with another experienced observer (either National Observer or standing Senior Observer). This is mainly to simulate a test by using a different observer, and a longer period between stops (if possible using radios for directions). Ideally the Observer would accompany the Associate on the check ride so that any issues raised can be put into context (this is not essential but is highly desirable). If there are any comments raised, or it is recommended that further rides may be beneficial, the comments should be fed back to the Observer (if they are not on the ride); any further observed runs would be expected to be carried out by the Observer carrying out the check ride. This is in line with the comments raised above where it is sometimes helpful to simply have a different style of communication. The Observer carrying out the check ride will recommend to the Associate when they should apply for the test (once they are considered to be ready), this should minimise any variations between expectations of what is required as the test standard (by using a limited number of experienced Observers in this role, this is similar to using Staff Examiners to test Senior Observers). The Observer carrying out the check ride should contact the Associate Co-ordinator who will set the candidate as ‘test ready’ on DTE, thus prompting the IAM to contact the examiner to arrange the test date.

These guidelines should ensure that Associates have the opportunity to make suitable progress with the observing process, and that as far as possible unallocated Associates are not held up waiting for an Observer to become available.

Associates should offer their observer a contribution towards the observer petrol costs (as they are volunteers using their own bikes). It should be noted that this is not a fee or charge and should only cover petrol costs (it is not a running cost contribution) and in any case should not exceed £10 per run.

If there are any questions or comments relating to these Guidelines please contact the Associate Co-ordinator or Group Secretary.

January 2015

Click on Bike Safe Gloucestershire for our local Bike Safe days. If you want to see how you could improve your riding skills, CCAM recommends signing up for one of these excellent 2 day courses. This year's dates are on the link above.

An associate's view of the system.

Cheltenham & Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists
promoting safer riding