The Advanced Driving Test                                                                                
The Advanced driving test, what is it?                                                                       
The IAM offers the advanced driving test. It is run independently, and does not affect the driving licence from the country where the associate lives. The test is significantly more difficult than the standard driving test, but is within the reach of most drivers with the right guidance. The techniques are based on the UK police driving manual.Reasons for attempting the test include improving skills, safety or simply for fun. Motor insurers normally award a small discount on premiums (typically 10%), but a greater insurance discount is usually found with the IAM's associated insurance company (IAM Surety). It may also appeal because the associate can improve their skill as an individual, avoiding bland assumptions of risk based on statistics.It is marketed under the name Skills for Life to emphasise the purpose of preventing fatalities and enhanced skills.Research has shown advanced drivers to be safer and have better fuel efficiency too. For example, a study by Brunel University found advanced drivers who had been through the IAM system of car control were nearly 70% better in all aspects of their driving – from steering to judging distances and speed. Earlier research by the Transport Research Laboratory that concluded drivers are less likely to crash if they have reached a measurable higher driving standard. Unpublished research by IAM Surety showed that insurance claims by IAM members were far cheaper than comparable non-IAM members, because IAM members generally didn't have big accidents. In short, IAM members are safer drivers.400,000 people have attempted the advanced test, and the pass rate is around 75%.                                                                                                                   
Before attempting the test, associates complete a training programme with volunteers called "observers" provided by the local group, and arranged at mutually convenient times. IAM suggest six lessons may be enough to pass, but time taken varies and there is no maximum. Associates use a textbook called How to be a Better Driver, which is a simplified version of the police driving manual Roadcraft. How to be a Better Driver has been criticised by some for being over simplified.Observers are not paid for their time, although motorcycle associates may reimburse their observers for fuel. (In motorcycling, the associate and observer ride their own bikes.) Observers are trained internally, but accredited though an external body. Variable quality of observers was a criticism of the IAM, which it started to address in 2013-14 by strengthening observer training and using IMI to externally accredit observers. Some observers are professional instructors or hold the RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Instruction. There are some more senior instructors, called National Observers, in each group.As with any road situation, legality and paperwork (including licence, insurance, and vehicle inspection) is the driver's responsibility.                                                                                                             
Test procedure:                                                                                                   
The test is nothing like an L-test. There's less pressure, because pass or fail makes no difference to a driving licence. Rather, the IAM 'test' provides a rare opportunity to gain an assessment, guidance and tips from by a police pursuit driver. This suits enthusiastic drivers or simply those curious about how to further enhance their skills. In short, it's a far more enjoyable and valuable learning experience than the L-test. Many people report that their advanced test was the best part of the programme, because of the high quality of expertise and tips passed on by the police Class One examiner. Due to the police operational background of IAM examiners, candidates can expect them to be practical and pragmatic, not to mention an often infectious enthusiasm for driving.The 'test' lasts for approximately 90 minutes and covers about 30 to 40 miles (48 to 64 km) and including urban and rural areas; and motorways and/or dual carriageways (as available), to test the candidate in a wide range of conditions, each with different hazards. The examiner is a serving or retired police officer who holds a Police Advanced Driving Certificate (or holds the Police Driving Instructor Certificate from the UK Home Office).Tests are marked simply as a fail, pass or F1RST. The test can be retaken as often as desired. It is not unusual for those who have passed to retake the test to aim for a F1RST. Once the test is passed, the candidate is an advanced driver for life - unlike RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders (RoADAR), which requires a 3-yearly re-test. He or she is not subject to re-testing by IAM, even if their licence is suspended by the government, but relevant motoring convictions must be disclosed on annual renewal of membership."

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