Recognising that the majority of accidents are caused by driver error, IAM RoadSmart NZ Advanced Test was introduced in 1956 in the UK with the specific objective of significantly improving driving standards using the principles of Advanced Driving pioneered and applied with great success by the UK Metropolitan Police.
The Advanced Test Process was introduced in New Zealand shortly afterwards by a founding member of IAM NZ who was a top graduate from the Hendon Police College.
As in the UK, the IAM RoadSmart NZ Advanced Test takes about 90 minutes and will usually cover between 50 and 80 kilometres along all types of roads.
The Advanced Test is a thorough test of driving ability, allowing the Associate to alter their drive according to the conditions and environment of the road. The types of road vary from quiet country roads, state highways, and motorways to busy town centres. In each case there are hazards and situations that need to be avoided and taken care of using the methods and techniques given by advanced driving. The Examiner will require a short commentary on each type of road.
There may be situations where the Associate can show flair and panache on an open country road where progress can be gained at maximum safety, using optimum road positioning and excellent observation.
All this combines to give a brisk smooth drive, at the legal limit on the open road. In other situations, the Associate will need to show restraint and composure to deal with tricky hazards that may become apparent throughout the drive such as in a town centre situation, where observation is used to pick out hazards in situations that are constantly changing.
The main objective is that the Associate has to perform well in all situations rather than excel in one.
After taking the Advanced Test, many people comment about how much they enjoyed the drive. On the Advanced Test the Associate gets to show the new skills that they have been learning during their mentoring with an Observer. The Advanced Test is not easy but is within the reach of all vehicle users given the right guidance.
What Does The Examiner Look For?
The Examiner is looking at the whole drive. IAM RoadSmart Examiners do not search for faults alone; they are trained to search for positive aspects as well.
The Examiner will be honest and forthright regarding overall ability and look for the confident application and competence in all aspects of the drive. If all the criteria are met, the drive should exhibit the qualities of a safe, systematic, smooth, progressive, and balanced drive. The driver ensures that the vehicle is always in the right place on the road, travelling at the right speed, in the right gear for the speed, and can always stop the vehicle safely in the distance that can be seen to be clear.
Unlike being examined for your driver’s licence, being examined for the Advanced Test is more rigorous. However, it is unlikely that an Observer will put a driver forward for the Advanced Test until sufficient observed drives have been undertaken with the benefit of advice and mentoring by an Observer,
Before undertaking the Advanced Test, however, all Associates will be asked to take a theory test comprising 10 questions on the Road Code and 10 questions on Roadcraft. The pass mark is 80% correct answers. No Associate will be put forward for the Advanced Test until this level of knowledge is achieved.
Safe, Systematic, Smoothness, Progress and Restraint