The RoSPA advanced driving test is regarded as the most comprehensive and challenging available to the public. It is monitored and approved by the Driving Standards Agency.
The test lasts around 90 minutes, and is taken with a RoSPA Examiner, all of whom are serving or retired Police Officers.
The RoSPA Advanced Driving Test is unique as it is graded Bronze, Silver or Gold. A RoSPA gold is the highest civilian driving standard available and the holder will be a master of his or her art.
It is a safe, thoughtful and methodical way of driving. Advanced drivers are more observant and better at anticipating changes in the surrounding conditions. Because of this they are able to plan their driving to deal with any circumstances.
Advanced Driving is based upon the 'System of car control' as detailed in Roadcraft – The Police Driver Handbook. It is unlikely that anyone will gain a high grade without a good knowledge of the current editions of The Highway Code and Roadcraft.
"Advanced driving is the ability to control the position and speed of the vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to progress unobtrusively with skill and responsibility. This skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving competence based on concentration, effective all round observation, anticipation, and planning. This must be co-ordinated with good handling skills. The vehicle will always be at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and can always be stopped safely on its own side of the road in the distance that can be seen to be clear."
- DSA, RoADAR, IAM, 1997
Recognising that the majority of accidents are caused by driver error, the IAM introduced the Advanced Driving Test in 1956 with the specific objective of significantly improving driving standards.
By 1976 the number of motorcyclists in the UK had risen dramatically, so the IAM launched the Advanced Motorcycling Test to cater for those road users too.
The tests use the principles of advanced driving, pioneered and applied with great success by the Metropolitan Police, and are accredited by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). All tests are taken by IAM Examiners who hold a Police Advanced Driving Certificate and have extensive experience working with Police Services throughout the UK.
The tests are not exclusively about safety, but to encourage the driver or rider to feel more confident on the road and to get greater enjoyment from the experience.
How is the advanced test conducted?
The advanced driving/riding test lasts for about 90 minutes and usually covers between 30/40 miles along a variety of road types - including city and country driving, dual carriageways and motorways (if available).
During the test the Examiner will thoroughly assess your driving ability according to the different road conditions. While on the test you will negotiate hazards and situations, utilising the skills and techniques that have been developed while undergoing the advanced course. Your Examiner will be looking for confident, safe ability, using optimum road positioning and excellent observation, to safely deal with unpredictable roads.
The main criteria for passing the test is to display a consistent, solid driving/riding performance in all road situations, rather than excelling in one specific situation.
The advanced driving/riding test is not easy but is within the reach of all drivers and riders given the right guidance - with many applicants commenting on how much they enjoyed the drive or ride.