Northampton Advanced Motorists googleplus  Facebook  Twitter 

What is an Observer?

An Observer is a person who has passed their IAM RoadSmart advanced driving test and has gone a step further and taken a training course to prepare Associate members of the Group to take their advanced driving test.

How do I become an Observer and what is involved?

If you are interested in becoming an Observer (which some members do as a way of putting something back into the Group), then firstly you need to make your wish known to the Chief Observer, whose details can be found on our Contacts page.

Next will come your training culminating in a test to check that you have acquired the standard required to become a qualified observer.


The first part of your training usually starts by you sitting in the back of an Associates car with an already qualified observer sitting in the front. You will normally have about 3 drives out like this during which time you will be required to take note and learn from the qualified observer during the associates guidance drive.

The second part of your training now requires you to sit in the front of an Associates car, with a Senior Observer in the back. From what you learnt as a back seat trainee you will now apply as a front seat trainee and guide the associate to an advanced standard of driving in order for them to pass the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driving Test. The number of drives you do at this stage as a front seat trainee observer will depend on your ability to satisfy the Senior Observer that you are competent to become a Qualified Observer and take out Associates on your own.

Once you are a Qualified Observer you will be required to attend occasional Observers Meetings. These are forums to receive the latest thinking and ideas on observing and also put forward any ideas or problems you have etc.