Combined Initial Course (CIC)

I’m not sure I agree.

A weekend I could agree with (edit: or a 2 day course on Mon-Tues, or Thurs-Fri). But a whole week? We need to be more flexible for the modern volunteer who definitely doesn’t have a week to spare.

Edit: plus, I’ve done the course. Shortening it would be a marked improvement.


I think we also need to change the thinking on VA. It’s an allowance, it isn’t pay.

There’s mileage in that consideration. Legally it cannot be pay as it then becomes employment.
It is there to allow you to purchase & off set additional item such as extra shirts for the week.

They biggest advantage I have found from the courses is the networking with others across the country - this sort of thing is what helps volunteers organisations bond together & what improves the interconnections.

The courses cannot (& shouldn’t) be run by volunteers or by regions. The difference in qualities across SATT team is an inkling of what would develop. The paid staff are at least independent from any of the volunteer managers or cliche & have in their vested interest of training & retain volunteers.

Once the volunteers are out on Sqns & regions then that’s a different matter & different agendas (& more relevantly different egos) apply


I use ACC to network :wink:


Have they released the course content yet? Haven’t seen that come out yet, but it would be interesting to see whether they’re putting the time to good use.

This one keeps coming around… But regardless of whatever they call it this month, HMRC still treat it as pay from an employment.


Yes I noticed that & I’m not sure the tax reasoning on why VA is taxed as a second income. The only think of can think of is that it’s a carry over from reserve forces & they are applying the exact policies they do to the bounty rather than querying it. Any tax lawyers or accountants able to shed light on this would be helpful.

For all we know it’s how HQ gets to smuggle VA through accounts & the treasury using a bit of legal fiction to enable us to get something.

I’m going to feel really stupid if I could have claimed a rebate for the tax if I have used VA uniform & equipment etc.

It’s simply because it is a second income.
We get taxed (or we’re supposed to) on our total income; not just that of our main employment. All income other than reimbursement or other which is exceptionally tax-free should be included in one’s tax calculation.
Therefore, because most people already receive their full tax free allowance per year as a result of paying tax through PAYE on their main employment, all additional income is automatically taxed at Basic Rate (or higher if you’ve already pushed into higher brackets).

Whether one can claim the cost of purchased items of uniform as a deductible expense seems to be a grey area, with people having been told different things at different times.
I’ve never tried. I’m also no tax expert.

I appreciate though, that this is a rather large thread drift. Sorry.

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Please please please please please please please please please please please please don’t turn this into another “is it pay” thread.


To bring it back around to the original point then…

Indeed, we are being paid to attend initial courses (regardless of what that income is called by the RAFAC) and our travel costs are (at least in part, if not in full) reimbursed.

Sure, it might be nice to make it more convenient for the volunteer; but I also don’t think it unfair to expect staff to travel to a centralised location to receive the mandatory training that we agreed to when we volunteered for the role.

Just like in business, when one takes on a new role, one may find oneself expected to attend the relevant training courses away from the place of business.

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You’re taxed on income. HMRC might use the word “employment” but they don’t use it in the same way that employment law does. Tax law doesn’t really care if you’re employed, a worker, self employed, or otherwise.

I do wonder whether we might one day scrape into the “worker” category as the courts do seem to be expanding the scope of that recently, although last August the ET found an ACF CFAV was not a worker. If we do get there I feel it will only be on certain activities and not all the time.


Perhaps this should be a module they teach on the CIC so the volunteers can understand the finance & system flows :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I jest but that also raises an interesting debate about the CIC. What should the course actually include?

You have a course that runs 0830 - 1630 for five days. The aims of the course are
-to instil a military ethos & discipline,
-ensure students meet a minimum standard of drill, uniform & behaviour
-provide an insight into instruction & leading.

What would the timetable look like if you got to to be OC CandLes & could write the program for the course. What do people feel the timetable should look like & what should be covered.

Logically to me, it should be an insight into regulations governing cadet forces, risk assessors course, how to write admin orders / joining instructions, introduction into instructional techniques, drill and dress and then informational session on what courses and qualifications are on offer to CFAVs.

One would also need to consider that the course is not the first thing which uniformed staff will do…
It’s no good focussing on some of the most very basic and necessary content on CIC, because it could be a year or more before staff attend.

We need to strip out the basics for delivery at Wings (by that primary role staff training team I suggested elsewhere). CIC could include some consolidation and a check of standards of some of those basics (such as drill) but the things which a CFAV needs to get started in their unit and Wing cannot be delayed until they get to CLS.


Wings also need to get stuck in and deliver those basics to new staff, especially drill.

The argument that ‘you can join in with cadets’ assumes there is time in the programme, the cadets and are at a standard where staff and cadets won’t mess up each other’s practice and the unit has staff able to teach it (a
lot rely on Cadet NCOs, rightly or wrongly, and should they be teaching staff?)

It is also potentially quite embarrassing for adults to do basic drill in front of cadets and does nothing for their authority.

Like many others here I’m an ex cadet and knew enough to get by, but for those who are not, drill and to a lesser extent Uniform prep are a cause of stress and put people off applying for SNCO or CFC.

If we could sort that out at local level it would allow some more time at Cranwell for other bits. Why is it that officers receive no training in teaching a lesson for example? Really they should.


What about a weekend that looks at drill, dress and basic instructional techniques with an overview of the syllabus delivered through the Wing Training Officer and Wing Warrant Officer at Wing HQs or form a Wing Training Team who can visit Squadrons?


More or less what the potential uniformed staff courses were doing but they had other stuff (such as interview prep) that wouldn’t be so relevant.

Something really starting with the basics post Wing board - let the ex cadets skip a bit if their sector WO is happy with their drill and dress perhaps.

A session on Units, Learn and maybe EFA could round out the package.


Essentially an extended AVIP


Effectively yes - we’ve got the grounding of courses and training already, it should be a case of re-engineering to be more relevant in line with any CIC programme.

Although, that highlights the danger… Those local courses have to be delivered well.
I’m afraid to say that some of the pathways courses were far from well-delivered. In some cases I know that, because of their poor delivery and ridiculous content, some prospective good people were needlessly frightened away from going into uniform.
We cannot permit that sort of thing to happen.

It’s for the reasons above that I think the approach should be reversed. Not to create or tweak local course content to work in line with the new CIC; but that the CIC should be created after knowing exactly what Wings / Regions are going to be expected to deliver locally (and, crucially, to what standard).