IAM Herefordshire is a local charity affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Registered Charity No: 1049679Email safer-drivers@iam-herefordshire.org.uk Website www.iam-herefordshire.org.uk

The Masters’ Standard

The following is partly taken from the description by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) of what the Masters’ standard is all about, plus some personal experience of having taken it myself (twice!) The IAM Masters’ programme provides an opportunity to attain the highest level of civilian driving standard in the country. It embraces the full scope of the 4 hierarchical levels of the European GDE (Goals for Driver Education) matrix as defined in Roadcraft. These are: Level 1. The function and control of your vehicle. Level 2.  The requirements of the situation developing around you. Level 3. The timing and motives for a particular journey. Level 4. Your attitude, values, beliefs and goals. A Master Driver is someone who can apply emotional intelligence to all of their driving decisions. This means being aware of the possible motivations of those around you as well as your own. It means proactively making allowances for the mistakes of others as well as your own. The Master Driver understands the demands of an increasingly complex roadscape, and is aware of and sympathetic to the necessity to respect the diverse agendas of other road users. Whilst all the skills and attributes required to achieve advanced test standard will be expected to be at the highest level, you will also need to enhance and develop your ability to: - Deliver a fluent, relevant and continuous commentary. Demonstrate continuous self-assessment regarding driver behaviour. Develop and demonstrate self-critical thinking in relation to the context of driving. Demonstrate awareness and anticipation of the possible actions of other road users and respond safely, timely and positively. You will see from this that it is difficult to provide a precise specification of the Masters’ standard. Much depends on the excellence of response to the prevailing circumstances on the day of the test, as assessed by the examiner (who will be one of the IAM’s Regional Quality Managers, former police officers, class 1 response drivers/instructors).
It is the delivery of a safe, legal and consistent drive, adapting your style and technique to the prevailing road conditions and the vehicle you are driving. It is providing a systematic, smooth, polished and courteous drive, delivered with quiet efficiency, demonstrating exemplary safe progress within the law. It is driving with ‘sparkle’; being ‘on the ball’ ‘lively and spirited’; supremely confident and assured, but definitely not arrogant; rather, a calm and controlled, planned and awake approach to all that is happening around you.  Master drivers are their own severest critics; they are brutally honest with themselves and continually reassess their decisions. They recognise the importance of our attitude, values and beliefs are, and the effect they may have on our driving, together with the behavioural adjustments that may be required to address them. As Bruce Foster and anyone else who has undertaken the Master Driver programme will tell you, whilst it is not to be entered into lightly, or without careful, honest self- assessment, it will lift your whole approach and skill to an entirely new level. One well worth attaining. I am happy to discuss and advise any Member who wants to consider it. Please ring me on 01981 580382 or email me David Williams, Chief Observer   p.s. for those of you not aware, David holds a Master Driver Distinction at a level to qualify him as a mentor to those wishing to undertake it themselves.