IAM Masters v RoSPA

Discussion on Advanced and Defensive Driving. IAM, RoSPA/RoADA, High Performance Course. All associated training. Car training.

Postby wagstaf » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:25 pm


Good evening.
I think the subject of the IAM Masters has been discussed here from time to time but I would be very interested to learn anybody's view of the Masters v RoSPA.

The Masters is £249 compared to the £48 for RoSPA training but is it better and if so, how? In your opinion, is it £201 better? Are the two comparable or suited for different levels of driving?

Is it available through each local group yet?

Many thanks

W.
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Postby dombooth » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:40 am


RoSPA is equivelent to the IAM's normal test, or am I mistaken? :s

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Postby MrToad » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:32 am


My understanding is that you'd need to be at the level of a good RoSPA pass to even be accepted onto the Masters - they're not really comparable.

It's still a new product, so there aren't many reports about it yet.
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Postby waremark » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:28 am


And no, it is not available throughout all local groups. If you are a member of the IAM presumably you have followed the exceptionally long thread about this on the IAM forum?

Are you looking to improve your driving or to get a new qualification? If it's the former you might also consider spending your money with one of the top professional driving coaches (I am biased but I would recommend one of the HPC 'gatekeepers'). Typically they might charge £200 for a half day session. You would get longer for the money from a Master's mentor as well as the test but the quality of input would probably not be as high.
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Postby michael769 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:57 am


Masters coaching is arranged via HQ rather than through the local group, with a coach being either an examiner, or a National Observer. It is officially nationwide but in some parts of the country limited availability of coaches might require a bit of travelling to meet up. I suspect that the quality of caching will depend a lot on the background of the allocated coach (though I have no doubt that all coaches will reach the required test standard - I suspect that some of the police trained examiners may be well placed to push the coaching envelope further)

From what little I can work out Masters is begin positioned above a RoSPA gold. I agree that private tuition with a qualified coach is a good alternative route to similar standards
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Postby jcochrane » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:15 am


waremark wrote:And no, it is not available throughout all local groups. If you are a member of the IAM presumably you have followed the exceptionally long thread about this on the IAM forum?

Are you looking to improve your driving or to get a new qualification? If it's the former you might also consider spending your money with one of the top professional driving coaches (I am biased but I would recommend one of the HPC 'gatekeepers'). Typically they might charge £200 for a half day session. You would get longer for the money from a Master's mentor as well as the test but the quality of input would probably not be as high.


I would agree completely with Mark. Spend the money with a top proffessionl coach you wont regret it. I'm also biased and like several on here, a couple of times each year, I will take coaching from one of the HPC Gatekeepers. They are in my view quite exceptional and you will learn so much from them and thoroughly enjoy yourself even if you feel exhausted at the end of the day. If you have a like minded friend and can share a car you could double up with them and it would only cost a little more than half as much. Even when sitting in the back you will still be learning whilst having the pressure of driving taken off you.
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Postby ScoobyChris » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:07 pm


MrToad wrote:My understanding is that you'd need to be at the level of a good RoSPA pass to even be accepted onto the Masters - they're not really comparable.

It's still a new product, so there aren't many reports about it yet.


Do you know if there is a syllabus or more detail on how it differs from the regular IAM course? I'm guessing it is similar to the previous Special Assessment (which was equally mysterious), although hopefully less stylised ;)

The only differences I could pick out from the blurb on the website was "Delivering a fluent, relevant and continuous commentary" and that they would give you a copy of Roadcraft (rather than HTBABD).

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Postby trashbat » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:59 pm


From what I gather, the IAM equivalent of RoSPA Gold is IAM F1RST - this may not be an objective claim, since I was told by my IAM examiner that I would gain little from proceeding to RoSPA.

I don't use the IAM forum, so haven't seen the thread on there. I had a bit of discussion on the subject over on PH, where some more information arose: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topi ... AM+Masters
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Postby MrToad » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:02 pm


ScoobyChris wrote:Do you know if there is a syllabus or more detail on how it differs from the regular IAM course? I'm guessing it is similar to the previous Special Assessment (which was equally mysterious), although hopefully less stylised ;)


I believe there are more details that are given to applicants, and I've seen the guidance for mentors about what's acceptable.

Essentially they're looking for an IAM drive, but more so. No opportunity for progress passed up, no overtake missed if it was definitely on, very high levels of smoothness and so on.

I had the feeling with the Special Assessment that it was an interesting experience, but that the criteria it was assessing me on weren't necessarily those that I prioritised for my own driving.

The way The Masters has been designed has missed the opportunity to widen the scope of what they're looking for in Advanced Driving, possibly because of the background of those involved. I believe that there were discussions with representatives of another organisation that could have resulted in some useful cross-fertilisation, but it doesn't appear to have come to anything.

As a result I'm not currently pursuing the opportunity to become a mentor, but never say never.
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Postby Mr Cholmondeley-Warner » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:12 pm


MrToad wrote:As a result I'm not currently pursuing the opportunity to become a mentor, but never say never.

To be a mentor wouldn't you have to have taken the test, and, indeed, proved a level of capability over and above that required for a pass?

(yes, I know coaching is not about displaying all the skills yourself, but it seems likely they'd want some evidence that you could walk the walk as well as talking the talk...)
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Postby Stephen » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:47 pm


To become a Mentor you have to get over 80% in the drive which measn that you will get a distinction,then you are legible to become a Mentor but first you have to be asked by either HQ or local SE.

I recently assisted two Senior Observers to get through the what should have been the last of the SA anyhow they were given Masters Certificates with distinctions. The standard that I worked on with them was to what I hade been trained to at Class 1 level without the speed.

Both had to be trained differently as one was automatic and the other manual,so,gearbox differences for all the different roads etc. I would say the standard will be miles apart between a current serving Examiner and a National Observer,as Examiners who are serving are doing Advanced driving daily (to the required standard hopefully) N.O. will be pottering around to standard,no disrespect.
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Postby waremark » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:01 pm


Stephen wrote:I would say the standard will be miles apart between a current serving Examiner and a National Observer,as Examiners who are serving are doing Advanced driving daily (to the required standard hopefully) N.O. will be pottering around to standard,no disrespect.

I did not think they were talking about appointing as mentors the sort of NO who would be pottering around to standard.

I expect that appropriate NO's are practising driving to a high standard more often than many of the now-retired from the service examiners. And some of them have had as much formal training from similarly or identically qualified instructors. Mind you, I have no specific knowledge of anyone who has been appointed.
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Postby jont » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:10 pm


Holy thread resurrection....

I had my RoSPA retest today. I'm pleased that I maintained my gold standard, but at the end of test during the debrief the examiner (who also tests for IAM) mentioned that I should consider doing IAM Masters "as he'd like to see how I drove for that". Not sure what I should read into that other than it appears to be a somewhat longer test than RoSPA allowing more roads to be explored (I think my test route today was only about 35 miles, very little of which was NSL (ignoring motorway/dc), and probably less than a couple of miles where traffic didn't limit my ability to make progress up to the limit. 50 miles or so for Masters was mentioned).

Stephen wrote:The standard that I worked on with them was to what I had been trained to at Class 1 level without the speed.

The first sentence was pretty much what my examiner today described, although I struggle to reconcile that with what I've seen of class 1 driving against the feedback for today - for example I would be surprised if they're expecting you to demonstrate firm braking into every lower speed limit which is what I'd expect a Class 1 to do - rather than the RoSPA/IAM approach of acceleration sense as far as possible. Having been out with other coaches who can spot most issues within about 5 minutes :lol: I'm not sure what extra he'd see in having more miles to play with, and even an extra 15-20 miles doesn't open up much around here - compared to getting over the bridge into Wales.

So is it worth it for £160 (non-member, not mentored)? I can think of much better uses of the funds - like towards another day of proper coaching. Does it gain you permanent IAM membership if you pass? This is about the only benefit I can really see as it's a more demanding test for not a lot more than SfL costs.
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Postby michael769 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:09 pm


As far as I know it does not offer you any extra "rights" other than bragging ones.

My view of it is that it is aimed at offering a "next level" for members to progress to. Obviously the prospect of getting mentoring to a higher level especially by a class 1 (where available) will appeal to some as a development route especially those who do not fancy observing.

Personally I have decided to go down the tutoring route with the local RoADAR group as my development route - that should keep me plenty busy for the next wee while.
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Postby jont » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:47 pm


michael769 wrote:As far as I know it does not offer you any extra "rights" other than bragging ones.

Indeed, but does anyone know if it gains you indefinite membership of the IAM (assuming you pay subs) in the way of normal SfL? In which case the main benefit is probably future insurance discounts :lol:
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