Associate Charter

This Charter sets out the basis of the relationship between Observers and Associates. It also describes the role of the Associate Coordinator.


Observers give their time freely to Associates.  They also invest considerable time, energy and personal expense into their own training – in advanced riding skills and coaching – so they can provide Associates with the best possible experience on the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course.


In exchange for their Observer’s time and commitment, a reciprocal commitment is required
from Associates:

  • Keeping in contact with their Observer at intervals, regularly enough to support their goals for the course, responding positively to opportunities to go on observed rides
  • Regularly practising between observed rides, continually developing the skills described in the Advanced Rider Course
  • Studying the Highway Code, the Advanced Rider Course material, and Know Your Traffic Signs and, as the course progresses, Motorcycle Roadcraft
  • Participating in Theory and Slow Riding training sessions
  • Contributing towards the Observer’s motorcycle running costs, as set down by the Group and varied from time to time. This is currently £10 for rides up to 40 miles and £15 for rides in excess of 40 miles

Associate Coordinator

The Associate Coordinator is independent of training delivery within the Group and liaises with Associates, Observers and the Chief Observer facilitating the continuing training of Associates when necessary.

The Associate Coordinator is available if an Associate has any issue related to their training or an administrative matter that they wish to discuss, away from their Observer.

However, while any correspondence with the Associate Coordinator can be expected to be focused on facilitating the Associate’s continued training, the commitment outlined above will always come from the Associate.

The Process

  1. After joining the Group, a new Associate’s details are forwarded to the Chief Observer. When a training space becomes available, the Chief Observer will allocate the new Associate to an Observer, usually within a week of them joining the Group.
  2. The Observer will contact the Associate to arrange the initial session, which may include the first observed ride. Subsequent observed rides will be arranged by mutual agreement, based on the Associate’s stated goals for the course.
  3. When an Observer feels that an Associate has progressed sufficiently, they will recommend a Check Ride with a National Observer to verify the Associate’s progress. The Check Ride will be arranged by the Observer through
  4. Associates who achieve a satisfactory standard in their Check Ride will be recommended to apply directly to IAM RoadSmart take the Advanced Rider Test.
  5. An IAM RoadSmart Examiner will contact the Associate directly to arrange a mutually convenient time for the test.


  1. We coach every rider as an individual; some riders achieve the necessary skills with six to eight observed rides, while others require more.
  2. Associates are normally expected to pass the IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Test within one year of joining, although extensions may be allowed depending on individual circumstances.
  3. Associates are encouraged to ride in all weather, as this is an essential advanced riding skill. Before cancelling an observed ride due to the weather, Associates are recommended to discuss any concerns with their Observer.

Not Making Progress

  1. If Associates do not demonstrate the required standard on the Check Ride they will be referred back to their Observer for continued training.
  2. Any Associate who wishes a second opinion on their progress is welcome to come along to a SolentSunday and request an observed ride with an Observer, other than their own.
  3. If, after 10 observed rides, the Observer or Associate feel they are unable to make further progress, the Associate may be referred to the Chief Observer for advice or reallocation to another Observer.
  4. If the Observer feels that the Associate is not making sufficient progress towards their agreed goals over a three month period, or the Associate is not responding to the Observer’s attempts to contact them, the Associate will be ‘pooled’ and await reallocation to another Observer.
  5. Associates who are placed in the pool will usually be contacted by the Associate Coordinator to discuss any issues that maybe affecting them achieving their goals. The Associate Coordinator will liaise with the Associate and the Chief Observer to facilitate their continued training, if possible.
  6. If an Associate feels that, for whatever reason (eg a clash of personality, difference in style etc) they are not making the progress with their Observer, they should first discuss this with their Observer and attempt to agree a revised plan to reach their goals. If this is not satisfactory the Associate may contact the Associate Coordinator, to request reallocation to another Observer, at the Chief Observer’s discretion.
  7. Associates who have been pooled but continue to subscribe to membership of IAM RoadSmart and IAM RoadSmart Solent after their first year, will be designated “Subscribers” and will only be reallocated to an Observer on their specific request.