An Open Letter to HQs about SMS activities


I would say that in slight mitigation, the way in which SMS activities are precisely defined isn’t something that I recall having seen written. It should probably get its own ACTO to make such points in black and white.


And I’d add to that a formal policy for what happens if the I/C is not present for part of the activity for some reason (certainly possible for camps, etc), or is unable to continue (illness, etc)


Multiple “directors” now


Not quite the same thing - that is just to differentiate between important staff you need to run the activity, and spares/participants-who-happen-to-be-adults.


Yes but surely 1 director can replace another…

Besides this is all speculation as this director/participant business hasn’t been explained or put in black and white. As far as i know.


Not really - I was in the room when we asked for it :smiley:
You are right in that it hasn’t been properly documented, but neither has the detail of activity approvals been written into policy. We may see improvements with the next version of SMS.

Originally we wanted it to be “Directing Staff” or “Participant”. An issue arises if you have a course for staff, or for a mix of staff and cadets. You could update the list of cadet participants once an activity is approved but you could not do the same for staff, as the concept at the time was that the approval was granted based on the staff in attendance and you needed to kick the activity back to “unapproved” to make that change. This was clearly down to short-sightedness and a desire for micromanagement from certain areas of management.

Now we can select a member of staff as DS (with required qualifications) who we need to run the activity, while having other staff there as participants or assistants who can be swapped in and out as desired without needing to mess about with the approval status. It is still not a perfect situation as it struggles to correctly list a cadet with a qualification who is running the activity


As far as I can tell, you also can’t set cadets as DS (at least I can’t).

The field exists, but I can’t change it.


Being able to change things without any faff would bring the activity process into the real world which is dynamic and not set in stone. This has been a right PITA when doing DofE expeds, as people can or can’t go almost up to the day.

I would love to know who proposed the change from the micromanaged set up and how well it went down.