Did the course last year with the East London branch (ELAM). Really enjoyed it, got a lot out of it. I learnt a lot and made some good friends. For us is was a mix of riding around North East London suburbs and out into Essex. 

I’m sure you could specify a particular group if preferred, rather than which is most local. If I recall, they asked this preference on the sign up form.

I recommend doing it.  I wish I’d done it soon after getting my full bike though, instead of waiting 26 years.  I learnt a lot from it, and enjoyed it too, so much, that I also did the car course too.  You can get discounted insurance when you pass, but only if you are a current member of the IAM, which at present cost £35 a year.  I’m also a member of ELAM (, and think that I recommended Arfa into ELAM (but correct me if I’m wrong Arfa).  ELAM are a sociable bunch too, with regular rides about half the weekend in the the summer months.  

Find your local group on

Another happy one here, well worth it on many levels.

I’m also based in SW London, and LAM (London Advanced Motorcyclists) has meets in Banstead and Tatsfield each month along with a bunch of social rides too.

Rides are generally south of the M25 in the Surrey hills but vary a bit depending on who’s riding, what the occasion is, etc.

Anyway, as it happens I’m a mentor for new joiners there, so I’d be happy to have a chat if you’d like more info about that particular group or what to expect in general.

+1 Really enjoyed it and still a member. I am with LAM ->

Their meet up points are in Banstead and Tasfield. Very nice, long rides on the countryside. Learning a lot.

Also got really good deal on insurance through IAM Suretyas a Full Member. Well worth it.

I am a remote member of LAM  … as above  … highly recommended … got my green badge in 2004 ish … but only after fracturing and dislocating my elbow in 2002  …Wish I had done it the other way round !!

Am on their forum and really rate the service …and the observers are a great bunch  … its not pipe and slippers  … .and prepare to learn and ride progressively !!

I admit tho I spend my me time doing dirt bike stuff now to do the IAM rideouts anymore …but use the IAM stuff daily on the commute

Did ROSPA … and in north Essex … so absolutely no reference to your question … !! LOL

Can definitely recommend Huw and Mark at LAM as people who will improve your riding!

Has anyone done IAM with the Middlesex group, as they are closer than the Herts & Beds group?

Has anyone done IAM with the Middlesex group, as they are closer than the Herts & Beds group? Kevsta

I did my training with MAM (Middlesex Advanced Motorcyclists).  I had different Observers, but managed to get about three or four rides with an excellent Observer, Jon Bliss.  I would always pay for my Observer’s lunch & teas/coffees, as they are all volunteers, and don’t really make much out of it financially.  At the time, the trainees were asked to contribute £10 to the Observers each ride to cover petrol, and we’d usually only do about 50 miles.  So buying them lunch, I felt, was a practical way of showing apprecaition.  When I passed, I bought my Observer Jon, a large bottle of Jack Daniels as a thank you for his time to me.  I went on two weekend trips with MAM, one to Wales and one to France.  I left when a member of their leadership team threw a personal insult to me, a keyboard hero.

HBAM I have a negative experience of, which cost me a few ligaments, and my motorbike.

ELAM are a good bunch of guys, quite sociable with rideouts about half the weekends in the summer.  Been with them for about eight years now.

I’ve been thinking about this too … Did a bike safe after returning to riding after a 19year break and I’ve done the 5day rospa driving course … Have asked different people what to go for … The bike safe team said go iam …I was gonna post a thread for recommendations …AL…

The IAM is a qualification for life.  The RoSPA certificate only last for three years.

Sounds like Alf has some skill in surviving so far in dodging bullet thread.

It certainly seems like RoSPA’s more a professional certificate and IAM’s more a club with safer riding/driving as its main purpose.

Why do you say they are “more professional”? Nearly every IAM examiner is or was a Police Class 1 motorcyclist.

I didn’t mean to say the individuals were more professional, I meant that the qualification seems to tend to be one that’s required for particular jobs, and one that’s attained for particular jobs, whereas IAM seems to be more often done in people’s spare time for the sake of their riding. I didn’t mean to say that either’s necessarily better or more stringent or anything than the other, just that there doesn’t seem to be a particularly social aspect to the RoSPA one generally, whereas the social side seems an important bit of IAM.

This is, of course, from someone who’s never done either.

The IAM motorcycle groups are run by volunteers. 

Yea but with Rospa YOU HAVE to retest not just pay your money and claim your skillset is still as good as your test day …
How many have taken iam twenty years ago and still use that as a basis they are advanced riders ?

So are ROSPA groups

rospa smart is volunteer and so is thames valley

Yea but with Rospa YOU HAVE to retest not just pay your money and claim your skillset is still as good as your test day …
How many have taken iam twenty years ago and still use that as a basis they are advanced riders ?


The re-test with RoSPA is only a requirement if you wish to retain your membership.

The IAM also have a re-test requirement now, although as you say, many are still displaying the badge despite now having zero skills.

All groups (both RoSPA and IAM) are voluntary and people give up their time, but the IAM does have more of a reputation for being more sociable.

As an examiner (35 years as a RoSPA examiner, 10 years of whch were as chief motorcycle examiner) I have to admit to being a little biased (although I did my time as an IAM examiner as well), but in all honestly, these days it matters not which test you take as the IAM have revamped their test and brought it more into line with RoSPA.

Examiners for both organisations hold a minimum of a Police class 1, although this may change in the future as there are less class 1 quaifications being handed out due to fewer courses, and in RoSPA the suggestion is that Diploma holders may ultimately become examiners (I wrote the original diploma course for advanced instructors) because they have proven knowledge and ability.  I imagine the IAM may go down a similar route in the future as well.

In respect of groups, well it is all subjective.  I have worked with some very impressive RoSPA and IAM groups over the years, and many now offer a standard unified training package to a standard so that candidiates in theory should be able to pass either test with relative ease, so it comes down to choice of group and then hope you get a decent observer.

Most of the southern based groups are pretty good these days.  EAMG, LAM, ELAM, TVAM, RoSPA Smart, Thames Valley RoSPA, Wye valley, they are all very good (apologies to anyone I missed) it really comes down to who is perhaps the nearest and suits your requirements…

It is not about which badge you wear, but about the standard you are trained to.