18th June 2017

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Weston & Mendip

Advanced Motorists Group

Registered Charity Number 1050237

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are the most commonly asked questions about the IAM and the ‘Skill for Life’ course that we offer. Simply hover your mouse over the question to see the answer, or click on the question for a more detailed explanation.  If you have a question that is not covered here, please feel free to phone us for a chat on 07020 934714 or email us

What is Advanced Driving?


How do I join?


What are “Observers” and “Associates”?


I can’t decide whether I want to sign up, can I try before I buy?


What if I have penalty points on my licence?


How much does it cost?


What area do you cover?


What happens once I’ve joined?


How much of my time will it take up?


How long does the training take?


I’ve heard someone talk about a “F1rst”, what is this?


What is Advanced Driving?

An Advanced Driver is one who is very aware of their driving environment, making them a better, safer driver, who enjoy their driving to the full.  

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What are Observers and Associates?

An Associate member of the IAM is someone who is undertaking their training.  When the Associates successfully takes the driving assessment at the end of their training, they will be invited to become a Full Member of the IAM.  An Observer is a Full Member who has had additional training to allow them to advise Associates.

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I can’t decide whether I want to sign up, can I try before I buy?

Yes, we offer 2 options.  A Free Taster Session will give you a 40 minute drive in your own car with an Observer. At the end of the run, you will have a debrief which will analyse all the major aspects of your driving.  A Demonstration Drive will give you a 20 minute run in an Observer’s car so you can see how the Observer approaches hazards.  Feel free to ask any question that you may have on driving techniques, or the ‘Skill for Life’ course.

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What if I have penalty points on my licence

No problem. Providing that you have not been banned from driving, then you will be able to buy a Skill for Life course and enjoy all the benefits of becoming an Advanced Driver.

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How do I join?

There are lots of ways of joining us.  You can give us a ring on 07020-934714, email us, or sign up online at https://iam.org.uk/shop/motorists-shop/product/2/20186

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How much does it cost?

The price of the ‘Skill for Life’ course is includes a place on the theory course, all the driving tuition you will need and the driving assessment at the end of the course; all this for just £149.    The only other expenditure we recommend is a copy of the latest Highway Code.

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What area do you cover?

We have members living from Bristol as far south as Bridgewater and from Weston super Mare as far east as Wells.  If you live outside of this area, you may be interested in our neighbouring groups: Bath, Bristol or Taunton.

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What happens once I’ve joined?

You will be allocated an Observer who will start your training as soon as is convenient.  You will then attend the next Theory Course as appropriate.

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How often are the Observed runs?

This is for you and your Observer to arrange mutually convenient times.  If, for any reason, this proves to be not possible, please contact our Associate’s Coordinator and we can allocate an alternative Observer to make life easier for you.

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How long does the training take?

This question is difficult to answer as it depends on your driving standard at the start of your training.  ON AVERAGE, training takes around 6 months with Observed runs once a fortnight.  Younger drivers who have recently passed their DSA driving test can complete their training quicker than this.

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I’ve heard someone talk about a F1rst, what is this?

At the end of your training, you will have a driving assessment and, if successful, you will be invited to become a Full Member of the IAM.  If your driving during the assessment is exceptional, your name will be entered onto the F1rst register, and your membership certificate will reflect your exceptional performance during the assessment.

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Click here to buy a ‘Skill for Life’ from the IAM website