Group Rules for Associate’s

Your Responsibilities

You are legally responsible for ensuring that your vehicle is in a roadworthy state and complies with the Road Traffic laws.  You will be in control of the vehicle at all times and therefore have sole responsibility for all your actions during observed runs.

We expect your vehicle to be clean, with windscreen & windows free from stickers and other obstructions and the inside of the vehicle tidy, with no loose items.


Rule 1

To be eligible to join as an Associate, a driver/rider must hold a full UK driving license for the category of vehicle, which is to be used for observed drives.

Rule 2

The Associate subscription must be paid. The subscription is for administration and the benefit of Group funds. Guidance on observed drives is free of charge.

Rule 3

The maximum period of Associateship is twelve months beginning on the date on which the subscription is paid or the date on which the Associate is allocated an Observer, whichever is the later date. The Group will keep a record of the relevant dates. An Associate may resign as an Associate at any time by notifying the Membership Secretary in writing. No refund of subscription will be made.

Rule 4

The vehicle presented for use on an observed drive must be taxed, roadworthy and, if applicable, covered by an MOT test certificate. The Associate’s use of the vehicle must be covered by insurance.

Rule 5

It is a condition of the Associate Scheme that before any observed drives/rider can take place an Associate must sign a declaration that they meet the requirements in Rules 1 and 4 relating to driving license and insurance are met.

Rule 6

An Associate must co-operate with their allocated Observer by: –

  • Traveling to meet the Observer for the start and finish of each observed drive/ride.
  • Making a consistent effort to take full advantage of the guidance offered by carrying out study and practice of advanced driving techniques between observed drives in accordance with the Observer’s recommendations with a view to passing the IAM test within six months of the start of the period of Associateship.
  • Arriving punctually for observed drives.
  • Keeping in touch with the Observer and notifying him/her as soon as possible if an appointment cannot be kept. An Associate who does not contact his/her Observer for a period exceeding a calendar month may be deemed to have resigned from the scheme and all further benefits will be forfeited.
  • Taking observed drives/rides regularly, normally at least once per fortnight.
  • Letting the Observer know of any difficulties, such as problems at home or work or with the vehicle, which temporarily prevent regular study, practice or observed drives/rides – so that the Group may consider extending the period of Associateship if appropriate (see Rule 9).

Rule 7

While on observed drives an Associate should drive in accordance with all current motoring laws and regulations and in a manner consistent with the IAM.  During the drive the Associate, as a full While on observed drives/rides an Associate should drive/ride in accordance with all current motoring laws and regulations and in a manner consistent with the IAM.  During the drive/ride the Associate, as a full license-holder, remains fully responsible for the condition of the vehicle and its safe conduct on the road. The Observer’s status is simply that of a passenger. If at any time an Observer considers that an Associate’s driving/riding is dangerous, the Observer may terminate the session of guidance immediately and travel home by other means.

Rule 8

The Group may cease forthwith to give driving guidance to an Associate who fails to comply with any one or more of Rules 1 to 7.

Rule 9

An Associate’s progress will be monitored by the Chief Observer throughout the Associateship and if the IAM test has not been passed after six months the Group may consider whether the Associate has the potential to reach test standard within the remaining six months and whether any additional assistance can be given to expedite matters. Where an Associate does not pass the IAM test before the Associateship expires, the Associateship may be extended for a specified period if: –

  1. There was good reason for the test not being passed within the normal time and
  2. There appears to be a realistic prospect of the Associate passing the test within a reasonable extra time.

Rule 10

At the expiry of an Associateship, extended as above if appropriate, a fresh Associateship may be entered into upon payment of the current subscription provided that there appears to be a useful purpose to be served by accepting such an application, in particular that there is a realistic prospect of the applicant passing the IAM test within the period of the new Associateship. The application for a fresh Associateship should be made to the Membership Secretary and will then be considered by the Chief Observer.

Rule 11

After passing the IAM test and becoming a Member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists an Associate automatically becomes a Full Member of the North Staffordshire Group without payment of further subscription until the 1st day of January following the date of the test pass.

Rule 12

The interpretation and application of these rules is delegated by the Group Committee to an Associate Scheme Sub-Committee, comprising of the National Observers, who in reaching any decision may consult the Associate and Observer(s) concerned and obtain such information, as they consider necessary. Any decision of the Associate Scheme Sub-Committee shall be subject to an appeal to the full Committee sitting in camera whose decision shall be final.