When you join, you will become an Associate Member (an ‘Associate’) of the IAM and MBEAM. On joining, each Associate is paired-up with a specific ‘Observer’ (we do not refer to them as instructors). You are teamed-up with one Observer so this will allow you both to make special arrangements to fit your riding into your work and leisure schedule.
The Group does not run ‘calendar based courses’ – i.e. we do not say that Course A is (for example) from 24 March to 26 May and that your test will be in that final week. We do, however, follow a set programme which will be explained to you by your Observer. When you join, you will be given a Logbook in which your progress will be recorded for your retention together with some MBEAM handouts that will assist you with learning the theory. The IAM also produce a publication “How to be a better rider” which may assist you with the course. This can be purchased on the IAM web site.
Our programme is usually made up of six core sessions with a break of about a week or so between each session. Your observer may be in radio contact with you during these sessions but not always. These six sessions are meticulously planned so that an Associate will have been introduced to all he/she needs to know to qualify as an Advanced Rider. However, the sessions are not enough on their own to raise skill levels; the Observer can introduce the topics but it is up to the Associate to learn and apply the ideas. A potential Advanced Rider must be prepared to practice! practice! practice!
After the sixth session, your progress will be reviewed and you will decide, with your Observer, if you think you will be ready for your test. If you’re not quite ready, don’t worry, your observer and the MBEAM team will assist you with further rides to get you to the test pass standard. You will also agree with your Observer what type of things you may need to concentrate your practice on between then and your projected test date.
We recognise that once a person joins they usually like to get on with it and that suits us! You don’t have to wait for a course later in the year – we will get you going as soon as all the formalities have been completed.
We also recognise that it is important to have a break between sessions to allow time for practice but we equally know that unless the momentum is maintained then skill levels will not improve as they should. To meet our Associates’ expectations and to ensure they receive the best guidance, we expect Associates to have completed all the six Observed Sessions in six weeks (ten weeks maximum if there are special factors which interfere with attendance). We know this is a realistic expectation based on experience in our Group and elsewhere.
Throughout the programme you are introduced to the concepts which support the system of Advanced Riding and each ride you take with your Observer is assessed against a set of criteria (contained in your Logbook) drawn from the IAM’s publication ‘How to be a better rider’.
At the end of each ride, there will be a de-briefing session – this is a two-way communication session and your comments are as important as the Observer’s. At the end of each ride, the Observer will also complete the relevant Progress Sheet in your Logbook for your personal retention and reference. No copy is kept by your Observer or the Group.
We want you to enjoy the programme as well as learn from it so the emphasis is placed on you doing things at your own pace and in you participating in a dialogue with your Observer.
Interested parties are welcome to join us for a ‘no-strings-attached’ ride to see if it is for them.
We can offer multiple advanced rider training courses which build upon the basic Advanced course.
Local Observer, National Observer, Masters (The highest standard in civilian riding) and Local Observer Assessor but before you can progress to any of the above, you will need to pass the Advanced rider course.