Civ Com recruitment

Would anyone have a presentation for recruiting civ com members? Something short, to the point that isn’t going to bore them / scare them off ideally.

My civ com is in dire need of a boost but in typical cc fashion, 9 months later and we’re still waiting, so there is nothing for it, I’ll have to do something myself! Letters to parents have been written, current civ com informed that we’re holding a cc recruitment evening, to which the reply was, what happens on one of those then so the chances of them saying / doing something to inspire new members is slim.

It depends on how your committee operate.
Our committee does a few events during the year and the chairman comes down at the end of the evening to chat to parents and rope them into help. This seems to work quite well for our committee.

“Public” AGM held at an Open Day/AFI to which cadets parents, do gooders and busy bodies are invited seems to work quite well.

Alternatively, target a handful of ex- cadets?

I’ve got interested bodies in joining but I need something to show the potential new members, talking points, something that explains what a civ com is supposed to do etc Hoping someone already has something rather than reinventing the wheel.

The last time we did it, the Wing Chair came down and did a presentation but it took over an hour and even I was bored. I need enthused bodies, not ones scared by the quoting of various ACP’s, rules and regulations, not on their first night.

Ahh! Sorry. Errr. Don’t have anything like that - we just hope that the existing civcom aren’t too off putting that they can do the sales pitch themselves!

The mistake there was getting the Wing Chairman involved. Getting anyone like that involved is a recipe for disaster. I’d imagine they’d mention the civ comm/staff hybrid we have now, which adds another level of scary. It’d be like asking wing staff to speak to potential staff and start mentioning all the things they have to do, going for uniform … oh wait a minute.

Maybe run a sqn social and ask parents along to help and just chat over drinks and nibbles. If their kids are there, there is every possibility they’ll hang around.
Our CO invites the chairman and other civ com members to intakes, the chairman does a couple of minutes about the work of the civ comm, ie fund raising, socials etc and then they speak to the parents present and all parents are invited to the AGM, which has drinks and nibbles.

Our Chairman quit earlier in the year. We currently have a Treasurer who keeps the money side of thing flowing and a Secretary who is quite poorly so will probably stand-down before too long is sense prevails as he comes out if hospital,over-does it, and ends up back in there.

Neither the Treasurer or Secretary is willing to stand up and try and recruit new members :frowning:

As an ex chairman my advice would be to avoid this method of recruitment. From previous experience the last thing you want is to show slides :-).

Rather than a blanket grab everyone approach I would recommend targeting specific jobs to get people started and involved. Parents are terrified of joining a “committee” as it implies long meetings and a life of fund raising.

A simpler approach is better and once on-board the individual will start expanding what they do without realising it. Here is an extreme example:

Parent is called John in this example…

John, could you give up an hour each month to come down to the Sqn to pick up leaves and litter. I would need you seconded onto the Sqn committee to do this but it would be a real help. After 3 months of John doing this invite him to committee meeting and he will be away.

The above example is extreme but hopefully you get my point. Target specific jobs that need doing rather than blanket blast the whole role of the committee and your group will grow.


One of the comments sums up a few things. It is not sufficient just to have a Treasurer keeping the money side ticking over, because that means there is no-one to ensure financial propriety. The role of Civcom has been in being for years, and it is a Committee ie it consists of more than one person. These might be parents but not necessarily so, which can add a new dimension to the level of contacts and importantly the scope for fundraising and thereby enhance cadet activities. It is the Civcom who has to issue cash handling certificates, without which staff are not empowered to handle non -public funds * (which includes subscriptions), because these monies form part of the Charitable funds. These Charitable have to be managed independently and by Law, the people managing those funds are accountable to the Charity Commission.

Individuals on the Civcom, are therefore also likely to be Trustees, which has legal responsibility, but then the consist of the Civcom is also governed by a constitution.

Without going into specifics, ACP11 is quite clear about what a Civcom should be doing, and it also stipulates the minimum content for correct compliance with Charity Law, and as such if there is an issue, or that the Civcom is failing or is not performing, then the Wing Committee should get involved, if only to ensure the continuing compliance for running a Charity.

The job is obviously then important, and it is my belief that to have a successful Squadron, you need the support of an effective Civcom. I have now seen two thriving Squadrons, offering wide ranging activities, having staff plundered by Wing, with the knock effect of being unable to provide staff support for fundraising. In each case the Committees secured £10k Awards for all Lottery Grants, and the equipment purchased now sitting idle. In this time the standard of Civcom has declined to a simple mediocre level, because I think they are no longer seeing positive outcome from the work of their predecessors. There is also a strong element of external interference, which is tailored to the ideals beyond Squadron activities, for the glory of others.

What can you expect to feel when once your band always led Remembrance parade, but now has no members.

What I am saying is that it is important to have your Civcom up and running. If the Wing Chair is an ass, then get a neighbouring Sqn Chair to step in, someone who has a feel for the job and could work to encourage people to step up the line.

It is not an easy job, because the ACO has shown all too often that it does not respect individuals, and anyone who is likely to challenge the ACO’s rather loose application of the Law is on a loser.

The Sea Cadet Corps actually advertise for external Trustees to come forward, but that would terrify the ACO because of the fear of losing control.

But the very fact that this subject has come up, vies against the assurances from within HQAC that everything is monitored and there is no cause for concern.


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We are entering an interesting phase for Civ Comms and I’m fairly certain changes will float down from on high over the coming years.

I agree with Aries, having an effective Civ Comm is as important as having staff. Unfortunately Civ Comm are treated like second class citizens by the uniform branch and it takes a very determined bunch of trusties to stay committed. On the flip side some Civ Comms treat the Squadron staff very badly so it works both ways.

There are a lot of very blurred lines around what the Civ Comm can do, yes, ACP11 is very clear but then the organisation goes on to say that members can be registered at Wing to help out with activities (as long as they have an ACO DBS). This is fine but what about safeguarding? Squadron staff members do this as part of their training but you have to fight to get a Civ Comm member on these courses.

Some Wings will do everything they can to stop a Civ Comm member being registered. I guess this is because, in their mind, a Civ Comm member who does activities should be a member of staff. Its a can of worms that has yet to unfold properly.

Speaking from experience, the days of traditional fund raising are pretty much over. The Squadron where I was Chair got most of its funds from bag packing at Christmas however, by the far the most effective way to grab cash is via the many grants out there. In one year we managed to secure around £3,500 in grants and we just had to run the paperwork. From my perspective, grants are best as you have to spend the money on what you have applied for.

How many Squadron’s do that traditional fund raising and then the money just goes into the bank without the cadets seeing something for their efforts.

Hopefully the organisation can move to a position where staff (especially at Wing level) and Civ Comm treat each other as colleagues rather than just being tolerated because the organisation requires it.

Apologies, my comments are detracting from the original thread :-).

@Ex-Everything not at all, your comments and those of @Aries are very pertinent to the recruitment of Civ Com. I’ve been involved in the charity sector for over 20 years and know how hard it can be to recruit volunteers, but crucially retain them. If people are giving up their time for the benefit of others, there’s only so long they will keep doing it, if they dont feel appreciated for their efforts. And I dont mean the hail and hearty clap on the back, but more the quiet thanks that we probably all need/deserve from time to time.

The best way I have seen for people to come onto a committee is speak to them and try and get them involved in things. You can only target roles once you have an idea about their interests and desire to do things. I’m on committees for things outside the Corps and it’s very much a softly, softly catchy monkey for the best results. Doing a if we don’t get anyone we’re going to fold, will not necessarily get anything long term. In the last 10 years we’ve had 7 chairman, 4 secretaries and 5 treasurers on our Legion branch, I get asked every year to be Chairman or Secretary and decline, as like the ATC committees any ‘fun’ seems to be being strangled out of it. The other committees I’m on we basically govern ourselves and have a very clear and defined aim as we all know why we are there. Unlike the ATC and RBL which has gone very much down the mission and vision statement line.

We had a chap on the CWC 14 years ago basically corralled into the treasurer role and he struggled and if it wasn’t for me making the F60 a spreadsheet and similarly for the accounts, it would have been a disaster. However he was much better suited to being chairman, just because of his character, but that annoyed other committee members. So trying to decide who might do what beforehand is a bit iffy.

Our committee still does the traditional fund raising as they enjoy doing it, plus it gets the cadets involved and understanding how difficult it is to raise the funds needed for the things they want to do. Also doing the traditional things has brought in committee members and more money as people stop and talk and it’s surprising who is wandering around. I would suggest just filling out forms for grants and doing little / nothing else, would make being a civ comm member as dull as it sounds. I’ve always liked CWC to come to the sqn on parade nights, so that they know the cadets and the cadets know them. Annoys the staff sometimes, but as I point out it benefits everyone.

The registered Civ Comm idea just blurs and confuses things. I wonder if this irony has escaped others; a registered Civ Comm can vote on spend and excecs etc, but ordinary staff can’t, even as a sqn cdr I can only ask and or wait for the outcome. IMO if staff can’t get involved in committee decisions then why should registered Civ Comm, when they to all intents staff? I know squadrons where the CO has had to rely more and more on the 2 reg civ comm (one of whom is the chairman) as the staff have taken umbrage.

Ive just got three Reg/Civ Comm members on my sqn. They are all parents of current cadets and have had to go through all the checks that any other member of staff has to go through.They fit in nicely and are invaluable as a resource.I look on them as extra CIs tbh. However im already hearing noises that reg civ comm shouldnt do this shouldnt do that from local sources.Way I look at it is theyve done the checks and also have to do AVIP and MOI .So what are they if not extra staff?Once again it appears that (shock) someone somewhere hasnt thought a change through properly and as previously stated a can of worms is about to be opened. As to issues well none im happy to have them on board and other staff have no issues either.

In what world do registered civcom need to do MOI?

They are not instructors. The position was designed to allow more people who will be able to assist in supervising activities, transporting cadets, running the canteen and generally being additional cover for struggling units. The closer interaction with the cadets requires vetting and AVIP to cover the safeguarding points.

They are not there for direct delivery of the syllabus - if they want to do that, they need to be CIs or uniformed CFAV.

In an ideal world we would have enough staff to ensure that the civcom can stay just civcom, but that is not the case at all units. Better to build in a little flexibility (with the necessary assurances) than to have cadets losing out due to lack of staff.

I’ve used CWC for years to oversee activities where they have the expertise.
When you’ve got qualified electricians, plumbers, mechanics and the like sitting on a CivComm why not get them to pass some skills onto cadets was my thinking and still is. I’ve had mum’s come in and do basic sewing / repair classes. A few pricked fingers, cuts and general minor things that happen doing these, but oddly the cadets survive.

It was inevitable that reg CWC would do more than originally proposed. Not many staff on the sqn, “would you mind, doing” and so it starts.

What we need is a more streamlined and efficient staff paperwork process and a better thought out recruitment rather than pushing the ATC Career rubbish, we all have jobs/careers already, why would we want another one, especially one we don’t get paid for? I always had at least one parent as staff, whose motivation was seeing their child/children get on and when they left they would, but in their time they were invaluable as they had a motivation to get involved. None of them ever went into uniform and that was fine.
I’ve had two in recent years leave long before their children essentially because of this …
initial sit down with a WSO and it’s “when do you want to go into uniform” , “I don’t” , confused look from WSO. Next time WSO sees them “have you thought about uniform” , “no, I don’t want to go into uniform” , confused look from WSO and so it goes on. Then I get comments about not pushing them down the uniform route, but I’ve never done that with ex-cadets, other than a cursory enquiry. AFAIC people doing a hobby will do things when they want to.

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Ah but they ve already done all those checks and paperwork so knowing the powers that be they d probably have to do them again or maybe not or oh I give up…

Softly softly catchy monkey does work, but in the situations some of the above CCs are in then they need external help PDQ. I am a former chair and have been parachuted into squadrons with exactly those issues twice, have rebuilt CCs, put fundraising into place and the moved on.

The first time I went softly softly, it took 5 years, the second time I stood up at the annual awards night, spent a couple of minutes highlighting the cadets achievements, the excellent staff, the facilitates, and most of all the opportunities open to the cadets. Then hit them between the eyes. Explain that the squadron is a charity and as such is not allowed under charity law to operate without Trustees whose role it is to manage the funds. At present we have no/not enough trustees so the squadron will have to close unless we get at least 4 volunteers tonight. I got 5 and another the following cadet night as a result. In a third squadron the wing chair , myself and the new squadron chair got 6 new people at an awards night. This was a squadron with an adequate CC numbers wise that was in need of new blood to drive it forward, so it was a more general speech outlining the work of the CC and the need to recruit, then we split up and hit the assembled parents at the post ceremony BBQ. That keeps them hanging around.

Not been here for quite a while, I feel that better chairs should be able to take on an overseeing role for new/less able chairs and train them. I am feeling that sectorisation could help with this. Will start a new thread on this for feedback.


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An unmotivated or poor Chair, and/or a stagnant CC, can be a dire situation regardless of how “healthy” a squadron is for staff and cadets.

@emz how are you getting on with your efforts?



We had our awards evening recently and even with the Wing Chairman there, not one of the parents could be persuaded to join, even though they are all members of the “association”.

I wonder if it isn’t time to allow CIs as committee members, given they are already part of it and it would be in effect little different to registered CWC, who have a feet in both camps.