Access to Sqn building

This is what we were told would happen if we accessed squadron premises without getting permission first!

A massive, out of proportion, Israeli-style response…

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More is often achieved by rule breaking in this organisation than isn’t in my experience.



I’m surprised nobody’s already suggested the now ubiquitous “testing your eyesight” cliche


In several organisations I’ve worked in, we do have to sign in after / out of hours so that security know who is on site and can plan patrols based on where they know people are

“for your own safety”. Hmmm

Aye, but signing in and out is different.
With my Sqn security officer hat on as well as my adjutant’s hat I ask staff to sign in and out of the occurrence log whenever we come and go. Not least of all it will allow us to work out a timeline should one of us arrive to find the building unlocked / broken into / burned down / &c…

With my H&S officer’s hat on I don’t need anyone to telephone or email me to say “I’m just going into the hut…” and then “Okay. I’ve just left the hut”.

A great comment, especially to those who look up to staff to set an example, and those within the CoC.

Accurate though! :wink:


Sorry, I meant it from a H&S PoV - security don’t go and patrol areas where people are for security, but rather to make sure everyone is safe. If I have a heart attack at work during normal office hours, people will notice. If I’m there out of hours it’ll be down to security to find me - and so it’s better they patrol the areas people are.

Similarly, if you have a Sqn register of some description (for example, I know some who do it via a staff WhatsApp group) then if somebody doesn’t “sign out” people can go and investigate.

Yes, I know there are plenty of other places where people might be on their own (not least, home), but this is about minimising risk.

The quote from command board meeting was:

“With immediate effect, Staff and CFAV are not to enter RAFAC facilities to access equipment, check buildings or do any work; such visits are not essential and go against Govt direction to minimise non-essential travel.”

Do there seems to be a mixture of excuses as to why we can’t go into any buildings, but that quote (from SharePoint) says staff and CFAV, so not sure who can go and check anything!

I would say that you are correct, but for a different reason.

HQAC issue a perfectly reasonable order, as quoted by @JoeBloggs - no entry into buildings because such a journey isn’t defined as essential. Fair enough. That message is then taken on by 6 regions, and 36 wings, and suddenly the entry ban is to “keep CFAV safe” or “for H&S reasons”. Then RFCA decide to get in on the act, and declare that all buildings must be inspected (for what, I do not know. And why they are suddenly now the only people who can inspect a building, when they normally palm off such things on the CFAV, I don’t know…). And to compound that, we have people adding threats about what will happen if these rules are broken.

Now, we have an organisation who are trained to carry out risk assessments. Every activity we do has a RA, mostly created by CFAV on squadrons. Are you surprised when a CFAV carries out a personal RA based on incorrect and misleading info received, and the outcome of said RA is that, actually, the risks that have been over stated beforehand, are actually quite small?

The problem with our organisation is that various levels of command have misquoted and expanded on what was a relatively common sense and simple order, and created a different rule that, on first sight, is ludicrously over prohibitive - hence the temptation to “just nip in - no-one will know”.


The CoC are often the worst offenders. Look at how things are announced in this organisation!

I’ve been saying it for years. More policy changes in this organisation are achieved by stupid rules being ignored. That’s why we can wear MTP Barrack shirts, GPJs and cadets can wear salon dress. That’s just the uniform examples.


I read it and thought (probably like most) written by a govt lackey with no idea about the real world.
I went to the squadron the day after this came out to put the canteen stock into the fridge, just in case we got some hot weather and the chocolate melted. Which I think proved to be a good move. I’ve been down every week or so, you can’t see all round the building, unless you go inside the fence.
A bloke in the village works at a council activity centre. He’s been going in twice a week to run hot taps checking the temp as part of their legionella routine, flush toilets and a walk round of the buildings. When I asked why he’s doing it and not council bods, he laughed and it’s the sort of laugh I’d give at the thought of RFCA doing anything meaningful before we’re allowed back, purely and simply as I have several years of RFCA’s attempts at maintenance. We’ve had our cleaners at work do “deep cleans” at the weekend. I’ve left things laying around, spilt drinks and lo and behold they are still there when I’ve been in next. I couldn’t see RFCA being any better. Given if they are like our cleaners if it’s on a desk or the ceiling it doesn’t get touched. What they should do is come down, clear the hut, clean it and put it all back, anything less is a waste of time.
The better thing would have been for a member of staff from each squadron to volunteer to go to their hut once a week, to make sure it’s still OK. This could be initiated now that the initial excitement has passed. I remember my cadet squadron got a mice invasion when we had our 2 week summer shutdown once, which turned it into a 5 week shutdown while TAVRA got their act together. After that we had traps set around the hut. We still had the shutdown each year but staff went in when we closed down in the summer and at Christmas.
What exactly will they do if they find you in the hut?

Also worth noting that the original instruction explicitly have the reason - to restrict unnecessary travel - well the unnecessary travel restrictions have, in England, been removed. It’s now entirely legal, and politically acceptable, to get in your car in Dover, drive to the Morrisons in Berwick-upon-Tweed and buy a pizza,and then drive back to Dover. It will, in a week’s time, be legal to drive 400 miles to buy some bunting - therefore the reason for the original instruction has gone, so the instruction should follow it.

If we had a restriction/instruction that was explicitly given in order to assist the RAF in its strategic bombing campaign over Germany, we’d be unlikely to still be following it long after that bombing campaign over Germany has ended…

My view is that cadet activities should remain suspended, but that ‘admin’ like this kind of stuff can go ahead - if social distancing and proper hygiene in adhered to, and there is no restriction on travel, then it’s within the government’s legal framework and guidance, and that it’s not then for HQAC to then go passed that for no good reason - and there isn’t one…


Also, if the advise was to stop CFAV during the non-essential travel part of lock down; now things are easing up why has new advise not been released - giving sqn staff the remit to go and check in or grab anything they might need?

We can now travel “non essentially” and even meet in groups of 6 - so as the govt. advise has changed, so should HQAC’s.

I sympathise with lone working phone calls etc. If you travel to the squadron, even out of hours, and something were to happen then the RAF Air Cadets would have some level of responsibility for your welfare - when you’re at home you are responsible for yourself… You can just bet some numpty will stub their toe and threaten to sue once left unsupervised for 1 minute!


@angus you beat me to it by seconds!


The idea of a new directive based on changed circumstances, would require some sort of dynamic, adaptive thinking, somewhere in the far recesses of bowels of the MOD admin clunkery. As HQAC as sure as hell won’t make a decision on their own.

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“Risk” is a concept with which the RAFAC has an historic issue of misunderstanding (outside of specialist activities). It’s not surprising of course… Our previous CESO lived in a world of make-believe; with flowers and bells and leprechauns, and magic frogs with funny little hats…
The dross that he would routinely turn out has built a culture within which often doesn’t understand what constitutes actual risk and which approaches it with a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’.

There are almost an infinite number of potential “hazards” which are so minor or unlikely that they would never need to appear on a risk assessment. Those which do carry a worthy risk don’t always require specific control; and so, whilst they might appear on the hazard survey they wouldn’t necessarily appear on the RA.

If a risk is already so minimal as to be perfectly acceptable then it really doesn’t require further controls in an attempt to minimise it any further.
Often those sort of unnecessary, additional controls are put in place because people don’t understand the point; or because they think that policy requires them to. Sometimes the policy even does, stupidly, require it.
Unnecessary controls are a risk in themselves - They lead to complacency. People become so used to seeing a load of old nonsense which they routinely ignore that they risk ignoring something genuinely important.
It’s this principal which Donald catastrophically failed to grasp during his tenure.

Entering a building to carry out potentially dangerous work alone should have controls in place. Working alone in a remote building for a long period of time might warrant controls.
Entering a building for 5 minutes to pick something up really doesn’t.