Disciplinary Process CI's


Even if not they should have seen how it works and what needs to happen.
But then again with some of the wet behind the ears 22-25 year olds with minimal experience, may not have witnessed it and as you suggest think that what’s written on s/point is how it happens. If they got into a management role and tried it that way, they would enter a world of smelly nastiness and find their approach modified by personnel.


Agreed, the methodology doesn’t make sense - if it’s a ‘little’ thing (say, for example, a member of staff being a bit sweary with some of the older cadets during an exercise weekend) then you’d have an informal chat, which you might note the occurrence of, and assuming you get a ‘sorry, won’t happen again…’, it’s forgotten unless it occurs again.

If it’s big and important, like telling a wing commander that you’ve slept with his wife, then go down the formal route - but you’d do it properly, with someone to take minutes, and you’d inform the other member of staff of the process and their rights.

This is neither fish nor fowl. That’s the problem.


This would result in a “you’re welcome to her mate” or a bit of fisty cuffs, you wouldn’t have a formal interview unless the latter involved PC Plod.
You would probably leave the ATC anyway.
Mind you I have heard of plenty of bed-hopping in the ATC so it might just be carry on.


I’m not sure why everyone is jumping on the outrage bus. It just sounds like a hats on no coffee interview. A perfectly acceptable way to deal with a minor issue although it the OC doesn’t seem to have explained this very well to you.

If you don’t agree with the record then speak to the OC and let them know what you disagree with. If you can’t come to a resolution then it’s time to involve the sector officer or WCO.


It does still look to be OTT, but then that’s the ACO for you, volunteers, not employees, but with employment practices and tactics to deal with people.
Someone needs to get a grip of the processes pushed by HQAC, disciplinaries, formal interviews all utter tosh. We are civilians with some who dress up like RAF wallahs, we are not RAF wallahs (as mentioned our lords and ladies only have experience of RAF procedures which are inappropriate wrt us), and if what someone has done is that bad it needs a formal process, with recorded interviews and so on, put it into the civil authorities hands and let them deal with it. Most of the things people get over excited about just need a “fatherly chat”.
A scan of s/point forms will show a lot of stuff that could be deleted and forgotten about.


Because its a total over reaction and not to say a very wrong way to manage people and if the people at the top are condoning this way of working they need to be stopped before things go very badly wrong.No one is saying there shouldnt be checks and balances in any organisation but someone somewhere has decided to fill these peoples heads with very bad practice indeed. Thats either 1-A deliberate move or 2-Badly advised.It matters not it will result in people like this CI thinking "stuff this " and leaving.Its hard enough to get people through the door without HQAC training out a bunch of zealots /useful idiots


But we don’t know what they did. It may be over the top to have a recorded interview but then again it might not be. As (quite rightly on a public forum) we don’t know specifics it’s impossible to judge.


The process is straight out of ACP20, and must only be used for a minor infraction.

I think ACP20 is very badly written, but also that some COs don’t understand that there are general daily leadership/management stages before you get there. I would look to guide and develop staff before going down the routes laid out in ACP20 unless it was something serious and then it wouldn’t start as an “Informal” Interview.

If there is proper leadership in the staff team, nobody should get to this stage unaware of the problem.


Regardless of circumstances, it is a crass way to conduct matters. Recording an “informal interview” with no witness rings alarm bells. It’s either formal (as per laid down requirements) or it’s not. Recording the conversation, then issuing a “minutes” would point to me as being a way of deflecting someone else’s seemingly inadequate performance.

To hit someone with a “sit down, lister to this - I’m recording it” one-way point of view is absurd. If there were no prior stages of intervention or guidance (informal or formal), then the OC needs kick up the backside. In fact, if she can’t handle what should have been a straightforward process, then it might have to be more than that - downwards position move to another sqn (as adjt etc), with remedial trg.

Ignoring any aspects of the RAFAC, would anyone have gone straight for the throat (& in such a strange manner) like this in a commercial organisation - or even with a “civil” issue with neighbours? I doubt it very much.

I’ve assisted (“pro bono”) with a few people facing disciplinary processes in a large national company (not mine) - due to inadequacies in their administrative processes, conduct of interviews, pre-judgement of facts, etc, I’ve had a whale of a time. There were successful grievances filed against regional level managers & movement of a manager to another location. Follow the book; do it properly & it’s hard to wriggle out. Sounds like the OC wrote her own book, a very dangerous thing to do.

Had anyone done this to me, there would have been a very frosty “explain yourself” letter on their desk within 24 hrs, with a few caveats concerning timescale for response, required content & apology for inappropriate action.


Reading the open source ACP 20, it only deals with specifically cadets not staff uniformed or otherwise.


But doesn’t the organisation like to try and treat staff like cadets?

Even the measures for cadets are out of place, as those writing them forget this is only a youth organisation, and has no legal / statutory remit, like a school has.


In what way, exactly?


I recall a system that was published a few years ago which implied a progressive system; talks, reports, for ridiculous things like cadets not coming. It looked for all the world like it was lifted from an employers handbook and totally inappropriate in any circumstance for a volunteer organisation, adult or child.

Even for adults the excitement about non-attendance is over played. If you are getting paid for just attending parade nights, then non-attendance would be a problem, as with work, but then we would be contracted and employed, which they have gone to great pains to tell uniformed staff they are not. As a CI it was interesting to see the pointless nonsense coming out of HQAC and being talked about with total disdain and disbelief at how many times and ways they had to reiterate it.


The present ACP 20 as you say looks as if it’s been lifted from an employers handbook, but as you say in regard to staff those who are not renumerated then how it applies is a mystery to me and do you really want to take cadets down such a convoluted route.

HQAC is still behind the fence as I have stated before and QRs and MAFLs apply all the way down to a probationer cadet.


If you did take a cadet down that route I could well imagine parents being slightly annoyed, as the ATC is a hobby for their children and up to them whether they attend or not.

I’ve had to work with parents on reintegration programmes, when their little darling(s) have played silly sods at school and been excluded for attendance and or behavioural problems. BUT schools are have a statutory remit (which the ATC doesn’t) around attendance and behaviour as the latter adversely affects others. Parents are annoyed in the school context as they are being called to account for their children’s behaviour and maybe not being as ‘strong’ with them.

Staff faced with this BS will tell you to rotate and then rotate themselves out of the door, to find their lives again, as if they are allowed to play again, it won’t be the same.


I recall on my course back in the mists of antiquity the ACTC (as it was then) staff kept banging on about discipline and dealing with people who didnt toe the line.They werent best pleased when I pointed out that what was I to do?. These people arent in the real air force and cadets werent and arent subject to QRs so as a Warrant Officer I could hardly put them on a fizzer. Plus if I did get all Mr Nasty they would just play the trump card and leave.
The look on their faces was a picture I got the impression they didnt like to be told any of what I was saying.I got a similar response when I asked why they were giving cadets a weapon(l98a1) that was never designed to do what they wanted it to do.


If staff or cadets keep failing to show up without the courtesy of telling me then I reserve the right to be unimpressed.


Pretty much how I was as a CO and now when people don’t turn without saying something, purely as it can mess up what I’m supposed to be doing.

However invoking some over the top admin process is not going to make any friends, in fact the polar opposite. Plus how many sqn cdrs have the time to do it? If we can’t exist on a heartstring tugging chat for staff and plea for parents to contact us, then we are missing something.

Why we need internal disciplinary and performance processes other than just speaking to people is mystifying? Although a cliché this still is a hobby for all but a few in HQ jobs. Unless our CO hasn’t passed on the memo that this is now a job.


This in any other place would constitute bullying. I would suggest the OP complains of such and see what happens and then leave.

You do get to feel that the whole organisation from the top down exists on a culture of corporate bullying, by virtue of inappropriate processes, although there is a real sense that some in the Corps 'get off on it", as it makes their small lives seem bigger.

The suggestion of closing squadrons is classic example of corporate bullying. The failure of a business or organisation rests wholly with the senior management, not the ‘production units’. If for instance you work in a business that is based on selling, if the things are made and not sold then that is a failure of the senior management to understand the market and or secure sales, if you are part of an organisation that exists to deliver an experience and advertises particular activities which it then doesn’t deliver it is not the fault of the ‘offices’ or ‘sites’ if things aren’t going well.


The reason we have a process for cadets is quite simple, if you want to throw cadets out you need to show that you have gone through a process.

Once you have a process for serious issues then that naturally gets extended for less serious issues.

For staff it should be a different matter, but at the same time we only have 1 side of this story, their might be a very real reason that the OC has chosen to go down this path rather than a quiet word in someone’s ear.