An Open Letter to HQs about SMS activities


This is an open letter to Air Training Corps headquarters at all levels (Wing, Region and HQAC), though it also applies to squadrons and DFs.


Down here at the bottom of the food chain I have almost 2 pages of activities listed on SMS and more than half of those are in the past. The oldest is a shooting activity by another wing that is dated almost 5 years ago!

So please:

  • As you plan an activity, only invite units who need to take part. I don’t care how much hassle that is, do not invite every unit in the organisation to an aviation day in Lutterworth!

  • Actually get your activity approved. If you cannot get it approved (either in advance or retrospectively), cancel it!

Once the activity has concluded

  • Make sure the attendance list is accurate and do not just delete the activity. This is important for cadet records.

  • Fill in the “post-activity report” on the eponymous tab and tick the box, then go back to the “Overview” tab and mark the activity as "Completed”

In short, tidy up after yourselves.
Thank You.

Footnote: I do not know how much the revision of the activities section in SMS will help to keep things clean but I cannot imagine all of these problems will be going away.


^ What he said!


@james_elliott could your development team request thus through your project. Ensures that SMS is “clean” prior to roll out of Cadet Portal


Pffft, 2 pages? You’re lucky, I have to go to page 6 to get to the present.


Hear hear


Unlikely I would say - the responsibility post event processes sits with the organising units and they are managed by their own Chain of Command. It is up to those in positions of responsibility to enforce policy and post event processes rather than the developers building the tools…


Have you considered emailing each establishment that has a past activity to close and ask them too?

There In Progress tab must be horrific


Well since half my open ones are HQAC could you at lest slap someone up there round the face next time your in?


No! Have you raised this with the Chain of Command?


Repeatedly for 2 and a half years


Raising anything through my direct CoC is more painful and fruitless than asking an American to say Aluminium correctly.


CoC don’t care because they’re not the ones dealing with it on a daily basis.


Some of us as activity approvers do… I am met daily by scores of still-open activities at all levels (including units)


*quickly checking SMS to see if @redowling can be blamed for anything…


Lol, there’s only two open for my function at the moment and that’s cos the Activity IC is away for a month… the other only happened last weekend so I’ll give them a little longer!


Unless they are in a coma, that is little excuse :wink:


Shame they can’t set up A method where if an activity hasn’t had the report done and signed off 6 months after the event the person in charge can’t start another activity request… that would soon see lots disappear


The single biggest problem with closing activities is that the person “i/c” has to do it. When I look at the old Wing ones, there are 4 “i/c activity” who have been long gone, another who left before the activities happened and happen they did, and one who had “gone to Region” before it happened.
If the process was as simple as ticking a box that anyone could do, I doubt the problem would be as bad as it is. After more than 6 months who cares what the weather was like or what the outcome was. In fact who cares after it has happened anyway.


I just checked our invited list. 121 invited applications, dating from 2013 onwards.


Yes, probably a suggestion in there - if someone leaves, then their boss should become able to close their activities.