Classification training - why do we still bother?



That would be fun. I’m going to email you some other stuff.


I’d be interested please, Matt.


“To provide training which will be useful in both the services and civilian life.”


What sort of modules would people propose in place of the STEM ones?


See my answer above - I’d base classification on the PTS (and add the existing academic syllabus to that as an additional topic), so anything that’s on the PTS - comms, shooting, leadership, music, et al.


God knows how I and many before and after have managed in life given we didn’t do any of that when we were cadets.


By that logic all youth organisations should close down, since others manage without.

Just because you didn’t have it doesn’t make it a bad idea.


I still think the classifications have value - or would do if they were less than 20 years out of date and a little more accurate and not so vague in places. Does put in place some progression so as to keep the cadets thinking they are moving forward - even if they have realised that they can just spend 3 or 4 weeks hitting random buttons or using Google until they score enough points to pass.

But the problem is what we do after - we are not a drill unit as we don’t have a DI or square, We have a 2 lane air rifle range that takes 3 staff to run for maybe 6 to 8 cadets a night and a flight sim which might get through 4 a night

PTS was almost a start in the right direction - for newbies they doe 1st class and then blue badges and fills 1st 12 months and fills brassard so they look like they have done a lot. Then to move on everything is a trip to the Magic Kingdom of Wing to join in with the Guardians of the Bronze and Silver embroidery…

…… and me with 2 nights a week to fill with activities that will keep them interested and attending with limited staff and resources, within the ACTO and SMS approval structures

Even with ‘Authorised’ Instructors and Assessors (makes me :laughing: seeing the progression from blue to bronze to silver in leadership) the activities have to take place in a >1Sqn activity


I want a train the trainer for fieldcraft in the corps (not eco)…but back to classifications and the corps should run these for the senior/mac subjects as a minimum(like they use to?)


I get the feeling that it was a different world back then…


It was.
The ATC was something we did a couple of nights a week and a once in blue moon weekend activity. We did classifications, went on camps, went flying and gliding, did shooting, sports, but we didn’t have umpteen courses for this and that and it wasn’t detrimental to what we did and the only courses staff did were AT and shooting. The over-riding thing was 99% of what we did happened at the squadron and involved only the squadron.

Now it seems to be something that has to fill up weekends ad nauseum, with people going in all directions. If cadets don’t do these things they get slated and staff get told they aren’t doing enough, all under this banner of “faux development”. There was a message last year that we do too much, but rather than take that notion forward and stop, it just carries on. I have senior cadet NCOs who haven’t been on an NCO, drill or other course, as they have more important things to do and I am constantly moaned at as I don’t effectively tell them they have to. However I don’t see the benefit/difference in those that I know who have been on them, except they are a bit too full of themselves.

But with respect to the classification training it has been diluted to be worthless, but in can all happen on the squadron which is where things should be centred and grounded, whereas PTS can’t which is the biggest flaw in its design. If classification training continue they need to have rigour reintroduced and PTS need to just done at squadrons, so we reduce the weekend commitment all round.


That’s all well and good, but how many times has there been remarks on here about lack of staff? There aren’t enough staff on units to offer everything.

Blue PTS is designed so that it can be delivered by anyone, the higher levels are more complex and so more specialist staff deliver those which enables other staff to focus on their specialist areas on (and yes, off) Squadron.

The call of “we do too much” was aimed at the myriad of activities that squadrons indulged in that weren’t as relevant or necessary to deliver “the cadet experience”.

It was also a different world in the real world. Employers are looking for - or would certainly prefer - more than what schools are producing. Childhood is fundamentally different and there’s a host of qualities and experiences that I’m sure you gained as a child that simply aren’t developed naturally (for many) anymore.

Progression through the PTS is optional for cadets - there’s something in there for most so that if they wish they can dedicated themselves to their areas of interest. Many choose a bit of everything and some nutters choose all of everything. The same is true of what the PTS offers to staff. It also simply formalises and recognises lot of what we were already doing with a couple of additions.

I agree that the classification system could do with an overhaul. The transition to Ultilearn was bodged and half-arsd and the system has since been neglected. There was no innovation, no progressive approach, and no critical assessment of the subjects, the approach, or the requirements.

I think it’s positive that we have the ability to deliver so much. I also believe that we would struggle even more with cadet retention if we didn’t.

The world has changed and so have our cadets… And so must we.


The biggest single problem with classification training is ULTIFAIL.
We need a much better system.
Can’t count the number of times a simple password reset or crashed ulti account has led to cadets being unable to sit an exam.

Total garbage and unfit for purpose.

Next after ultifail it is the quality of classification training material.


Im using moodle with my L3 in training & education. Not sure why we dont use that and have a full online learning experience


You aren’t going to get one any time soon.

I’d almost state that this was the bigger issue, since Ultifail does seem to have started behaving itself a lot better in my experience.

The system hasn’t been forgotten about but there are higher priorities for the small team.


If cadet portal can have every cadet manage their own logins ultifail should be able to!
I know it’s different software btw!

This would save me hours of resetting passwords and having to involve service desk for resets due to ultifail crashes.

Both projects could be concurrent!


@james_elliott is this on your roadmap or out of scope?


Ultilearn is my biggest pet peeve as a training officer. The NHS systems work better and that’s saying something! :joy:


He/she who fixes ultifail can as far as I’m concerned be made MRAF without delay!


What’s wrong with UltiLearn? - Can we limit to your top 5 issues :slight_smile: