Accessing inaccessible SMS records on Bader


Is this at all possible? The loss of our entire back-catalogue of former Cadets (when it happened) caught me entirely by surprise. There may have been a warning order promulgated (if we do actually still ‘promulgate’ orders), but if so I missed any such warning.

Realistic Scenario One: a former Cadet requests a reference (some significant time after leaving) but the records retention/deletion policy prevents access to any of the Cadet’s service record (or Cadet CV option)

Potential Scenario Two: suppose an unsubstantiated allegation is made regarding a former Cadet by a currently-serving Cadet, regarding a theoretical incident during a visit. However, the former Cadet’s service record is no longer available to confirm/deny the basic circumstances.

So can we get regenerated information about former Cadets? For approved formal reasons? Or are they now deleted from within Bader for the rest of eternity?

Somebody here will have a definitive answer to this, surely (failing which I shall go and ask Wing…and presume that they’ll know)


For scenario 2 I seem to remember something coming out from HQ when GDPR/DPA2018 first came into force. They said they would not be deleting information even if requested in case of future allegations. I can’t remember the exact details but it seems like they would be able to access it if necessary. Whether scenario 1 would be sufficient, or whether you would need to get the ex-cadet to do a SAR and then share the info with you to write your reference from is another question.


There is an overriding policy of retention for all records in place currently due to the national investigation into historical child abuse. Once that investigation is concluded they will, I believe, be deleting historical records outwith the main, short retention period.

That eventual retention period may be longer that the 1-year-period for which ex-cadet records are currently available to squadron staff but I believe they can be accessed by HQ for the purposes of a cadet re-joining after that period, though there could be other legitimate reasons to access the details.

I don’t know if there are any other DPA hoops to jump through for us to process data for somebody no longer with the organisation, since membership of the organisation is our stated justification for holding the records in the first place.


It’s all done by social media