Improving bike safety through advanced rider training is at the heart of what WYAMs exists for. It is our Observer team that delivers this and we put a lot of time and energy into ensuring we have the very best Observers that we can.
There are two types of Observer:
- Local Observers, trained and assessed by WYAMs and
- National Observers, trained by WYAMs and assessed by iAM nationally.
How to become a Local Observer (LO)
When we identify members who have above average riding skills combined with the people skills and correct attitude to represent the club, their names may be tabled at Committee for approval. Assessing potential Observers will never be based solely on riding ability as much of the Observer’s role is about teaching and applying all the competencies on a LOPs (see below) form.
Normally a candidate would be sponsored by the Chief Observer Bikes (COB) but a candidate could be sponsored by any Team Leader/Observer who has knowledge of the individual.
If necessary, the COB or a Local Observer Assessor (LOA) may take someone out for a check ride before submission to committee. If a candidate does not yet have all the attributes required, then some “Shadow” training may be offered and if successful, the process can continue.
Once committee approval is secured, then the Secretary will fill out an IMI Registration request via the IAM dashboard. IAM will confirm all is in order and will allocate the Observer a number. The LO’s training can then commence because from this point onwards, they are covered by IAM’s insurance. Normally the candidate will be placed on an Observer Training list and when their name reaches the top, they will be allocated an Associate and an LOA. Obviously, there may be some delay as flexibility is required to match up people geographically.
On completion of training the LOA signs off a minimum of three LOPs forms, which are submitted to IAM’s, IMI Admin as evidence that the trainee has reached the standard. An NO can coach a candidate initially but an LOA will need to sign off at least three LOPs forms.
Note: Failure to complete the programme and become an Observer, by pulling out say, will cost the club the registration fee. In such situations the candidate should consider making a contribution to Club funds.
How to become a National Observer (NO)
When an LO has developed a higher skill set, they may then be eligible for an NO assessment. The process to be followed will have to be slightly different because an external examiner will be involved, hence the COB (or his delegate) will observe the candidate on an Observed ride with an Associate. If the candidate is deemed appropriate then training can commence.
While an NO candidate may be coached by anyone, the COB (or a delegate) needs to have the final say: as the COB is responsible for the quality of candidates being put forward for external examination. Once the COB is content, then he will submit the name of the NO Applicant to committee for their approval. Once approved, the Secretary will fill out an IMI Registration request form via the IAM dashboard. Once the IMI form is accepted, IAM then notifies the RSDM internally and he contacts the applicant directly to agree a diary date for an assessment.
There is precedent in the UK for taking a candidate straight to NO (missing out the LO stage); but the RSDM’s examination of the candidate may be more rigorous because the candidate has no history of Associate training. In this situation Observer training will be more rigorous as the club’s reputation will be at stake.
How to become a Local Observer Assessor (LOA)
The process to become an LOA is basically one of having good teaching skills, identifying a need within the club and having sufficient personal time; an NO would normally discuss his suitability with the COB and if there is an identified need, then the applicant’s name will be submitted to committee by the COB for approval.
If the COB does not believe the applicant has the skill-base then further training may be suggested or the applicant may be rejected; however, following approval by committee, the Secretary will complete a form on the dashboard and the LOA can commence duties immediately.
Observer Guidance and Aids
To ensure Observers avoid skill fade, periodic quality checks are required to ensure competency is maintained, some of these checks will be done using internal resources, others will be carried out by the Regional Service Delivery Manager (or his delegates). This process is set out in our Observer Assessment Policy, which can be viewed below.
All Observers need to read, understand and implement WYAM’s Ride Risk Process & Assessment, these replace the examples produced by IAM; and are attached below.
Observers should go to the IAM web site () and after logging in click on ‘Observer Resources’ in the ‘Dashboard’; in this section there are a number of reference documents for their use, these include: The Observer Logbook; Details about Insurance Cover; Run Sheets; Group Training Rides; Advanced Rider Course Handout Sheets; Radio Procedure Document and the “Full Control” Document. Note that WYAMs have produced their own set of run rules for their Social Rides, where no training element is intended; this replaces IAM guidance, a copy is attached below.
The above has been augmented by a number of WYAMs Training Bulletins, these have been produced to help Observers and Members understand some procedural matters, technical aspects of their ride and statutory instruments; these can also be downloaded below.
Observers need only use the to instruct Associates and the current version of the ; these two documents contain all the information required to pass the IAM Advanced Test. The competencies to be demonstrated by Local Observers are set out in the LOPs Form; whereas the competencies to be demonstrated by a National Observer are set out in the NOPs Form. The competencies therein are coded and reference should be made to the Competency Documentation for further more detailed explanation.
Members wishing to raise their riding skills to National Observer or Masters Level should also refer to ‘Motorcycle Roadcraft’, The Police Riders Handbook (V. 2020). This can be obtained via , Amazon or an organisation like .
Ride Risk Assessment & Risk Assessment Process
Local Observer Progress Summary Form
National Observer Progress Summary Form
Observer Competency Documentation
Observer Assessment Policy
WYAMs Social Ride Outs
Bulletin No. 1 – Offsiding Rules
Bulletin No. 2 – Activating the Advanced Test
Bulletin No. 3 – Saccadic Masking, “SMIDSY”
Bulletin No. 4 – Centre Line Road Markings
Bulletin No. 5 – Pedestrian Crossings