MSA Licence Upgrade Examination

All Schools registered with AHSS provide the opportunity to gain one of the required signatures necessary for the up-grading of your present Non-Race National ‘B’ Competition Licence to a Speed National Grade ‘A’ Competition Licence.

It might help if we first explained how the MSA and AHASS operate, and then supply you with more information about hillclimbing and sprinting in general.

About the MSA

You should be aware that the MSA operates as the Governing body for Motor Sport in the UK under the authorisation of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile). It is responsible for the general control of motorsport interests and this includes the issuing of appropriate licences to competitors to allow them to compete at venues licensed by the MSA for competitions. The MSA provides to Registered Motor Clubs insurance to cover their public liabilities and those of competitors. Competitors are charged a ‘per capita’ fee for their share of this cover. Additional personal accident cover is available to Competition Licence holders as detailed in the MSA ‘Blue’ Book. The MSA requires that a Clerk of the Course be appointed to have overall responsibility for the general conduct and control of an event in accordance with Regulations.


The Association of Hillclimb and Sprint Schools operates with the approval of the MSA, sharing interests in the provision of proper training of existing and prospective competitors and encouraging the provision of all reasonable safety measures. The safety of all persons taking part in motorsport is the primary aim of all those concerned. As well as operating introductory courses for prospective Hillclimb and Sprint competitors, the AHASS also provides a scheme to allow drivers holding Non-Race National ‘B’ Competition Licences to up-grade those licences to Speed National Grade ‘A’. This is done by the applicant attending a normal Instruction Course at an AHASS registered School, receiving instruction from Registered Instructors followed by a short written examination. One such attendance by an experienced driver qualifies for one of the necessary total of four signatures for the licence up-grade. Remaining signatures can be obtained from the Clerk of the Course at any MSA registered Hillclimb or Sprint event. All the signatures must be recorded on the licence to be up-graded.

About Hillclimbing and Sprinting in General

The annually issued 'MSA Competitors Handbook'’' (the ‘Blue’ Book) provides complete information on all current Regulations and this should be studied by all competitors. AHASS publishes 'Notes for Novice Hillclimb and Sprint Competitors' which gives useful information on a range of related subjects and this should be digested carefully by candidates. Additionally, if any candidate is in any doubt about procedure and behaviour at meetings, the assistance of those in control of the meeting should always be sought.

At Hillclimb and Sprint Events all general procedures aimed at maximising safety apply just the same as at Race Meetings, but the fact that cars are on the track singly, helps to simplify matters. There is, for instance, only one flag signal – Red for Stop. Overtaking does not apply, nor do Pit Lane or Starting Grid disciplines. Common sense does, nevertheless, remain an essential ingredient of overall safety.

At every meeting there will be Marshals on duty on the track, operating under the control of the Clerk of the Course. Marshals will immediately show a Red Flag if any situation arises to compromise safety considerations and it is the duty of all drivers to stop at once on being shown a red flag, Complying with the instructions of a Marshal is mandatory in such cases.

Disputes are rare, but, if necessary, all competitors have access to the MSA Clerk of the Course and to the Secretary of the Meeting. You should study section ‘C’ of the MSA's Blue Book for detailed information.

Generally, competitors have a duty to be aware of track conditions and to drive appropriately. If any defect in their car or its equipment becomes apparent it must, in everyone’s interest, be attended to at once. If the defect occurs while the car is competing on the track, the car must be brought to a halt immediately. If a car is brought to a halt on the track for any reason of mechanical defect or accident, the driver must wait for specific instructions from a Marshal or other official before attempting to move the car other than to park it in a position to allow best access for emergency vehicles. The approval of a Scrutineer must be given before a damaged car can continue to be used.

The AHASS paper 'Notes for Novice Hillclimb and Sprint Competitors'’' forms part of this Syllabus and must therefore be read in conjunction with the above. A copy is found on this website.

Always remember – whether at an AHASS School or at a Competitive Event – if you are not sure about something, ASK. It is in the interest of Safety that you are in possession of correct information.

The Examination

If you have read the 'Notes' and other papers supplied before attending the School, and listened carefully to the safety lectures at the beginning of the day, you should be well equipped to sit and pass the licence upgrade examination. The fee for sitting the examination is currently £50.00, and successful candidates will receive an upgrade signature on their Competition Licence from the Chief Instructor or School Principal.

The exam is in the form of about twenty questions, each of which have several possible answers listed. Some of the questions relate to general safety; you need to answer all of these correctly. The remaining questions are of a more general nature; it is necessary to answer at least 80% of these correctly.