Associate and Observer Guidelines

CCAM Associates:             Frequently Asked Questions

Q How do Observed Rides work?

A We will assign you an Observer who will go out with you for a series of 1-2-1 Observed Rides. Your Observer will cover everything you need to complete the Advanced Riding Course (ARC), offering you feedback on your own ride and giving demonstrations where helpful.

Q How often will I have Observed Rides and how long will it take to complete the ARC?

A That depends on your individual circumstances and your Observer will decide with you what’s right for you. On average, the time between rides is 1-3 weeks and the time taken to become test ready is 6-10 rides. You should plan to have Observed Rides regularly and it’s important to get out and practise between them. If you find that you can’t commit to regular Observed Rides or the practice needed between them we may place you back in the Associate Pool until you’re able to go out more regularly.

Q What should I wear for Observed Rides?

A We’d like you to wear appropriate bike kit that’s suitable for the weather. There’s no requirement to wear high-vis. Your Observer can give you more tailored advice if you want it.

Q What if I need to postpone my Observed Ride?

A Your Observer will appreciate as much notice as possible so we recommend letting them know at least 24 hours in advance unless that’s really not possible. Your Observer will do the same in return.
Q Am I expected to go out for Observed Rides during winter or bad weather?
A If you plan to put your bike away over winter, then let us know upfront and we’ll work around that. Our Observers won’t usually postpone a ride unless the weather is very bad – that includes ice, snow, fog, high winds and heavy rain. That’s in line with expectations for the IAM test and we’ll normally carry out Observed Rides in all other weather conditions. We’d like you to feel comfortable during a ride, however, and your Observer will discuss with you how to make sure you’re confident in the conditions.

Q How much should I offer my Observer for their petrol costs?

A IAM Roadsmart allows groups to ask for a contribution towards Observer fuel costs of £5-£20 per ride. All our Observers are volunteers and we’d therefore like you to offer your Observer a contribution towards their expenses. In CCAM this is an individual arrangement between you and your Observer: some appreciate a monetary contribution and others might be happy with just a cuppa and some cake.

Q What happens when I complete the ARC?

A After a maximum of 6 rides we’ll offer you a Progress Check or Pre-Test Check, depending upon how close you are to test standard. Both simulate test conditions and are carried out by one of our check ride team. You’ll either have some more Observed Rides or be submitted for test after your check ride.

Q Will I have one Observer for the whole ARC?

A Yes, usually. A different Observer will carry out your Progress or Pre-Test Check Ride but there are some circumstances in which you might be allocated another Observer for your regular Observed Rides: (1) Availability of you or your Observer. (2) After a Progress Check Ride. (3) Rarely we find that an Associate and their Observer aren’t well-matched. We’ll do our best in this case to assign you a new Observer without any disruption to your ARC.

Q What do I do if I have any other questions or concerns?

A Your first point of contact is your Observer. If you would rather speak with someone else in the group then please get in touch with our Associate Coordinator ( who will be happy to help with any queries or feedback.

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 Coordinator.