Fieldcraft policy update - Dec 2018


Why when there is a review why do things have to effectively stop? If you look at (“review”) what you do on the squadron, do you stop doing things?

The problem here seems to be, those reviewing what’s done aren’t volunteers with limited time to fulfil whatever comes out and if it requires “trainers” to " retrain" and the new ‘courses’ aren’t immediately available, it just extends the time to get the activity up and running, again. I’m not sure if you remember what happened with AT, but when the news initially broke it didn’t go down well, but we were given time to get qualified/convert. If that had happened like FMS has it would have had a much more devastating effect at the time on the ATC, given it would have affected DofE expeditions. Imagine no DofE expeds due to stiff system, there would be much consternation as to how management could allow it.

What I have said is allow those already qualified under the old new FMS system to carry on as happened with AT in the early 00s with a time limit to meet the new requirements. The irony is what caused the FMS problems could happen anywhere, anytime and no amount of training and processes can prevent it.

What is needed is pragmatism not dogmatism. People however seem to be happy with dogmatism.


Where have I suggested that? My point is that this could carry on now under the old new guidelines, with a time limit say 3 years to allow people to catch up with the new new guidelines. If those “qualified” to do FMS under the old new guidelines, don’t feel “safe” to do it until they have !“qualified” under the new new guidelines, who has instilled in them that they won’t be safe

The people who need to learn from previous learnings are those coming up with new ways of doing things, but this group (mainly senior management) being itinerants weren’t there, so can’t / don’t learn

All the while those squadrons that do FMS as a regular thing will lose it until such time as their staff have ticked the new boxes, which if the course to tick the new boxes doesn’t exist, has to be explained to teenagers.


Of course. If a look again at an on-squadron practice shows it to be dangerous then I’m hardly going to carry on with it, am I?

I’d change the way we do things - clearly on squadron, at the small scale we work at, any pause is often fairly short-lived.

For example - command task equipment. I was hit in the head with a plank at one point whilst undertaking a command task (away from the ATC), and the fact that I was wearing a helmet prevented my being injured. I realised that the same accident could easily happen on squadron, so we briefly ‘paused’ planks-and-poles-type command tasks until we acquired some helmets.


The inquest result is detailed in this below link

His death had nothing to do with the activity he was undertaking or the qualification level of the staff present and could not have been prevented. The lack of staff and their location based away from the cadets was criticised, but was not a causation factor.

Interestingly some of the recommendations have not been implemented, such as the carrying of defibs on any cadet venture!!


Having something criticised by a coroner I would say is probably fair reason to act. That is also the coroners findings and not the findings of any internal RAF or LAIT investigation.

All Wing HQs should now have one that can be booked out?


Keep in mind after several issues on construction sites and after several coroner recommendations current HSE recommendations are that anywhere that has more than 10 people engaged in strenuous activity should have a Defib but even they recognise the cost and training is prohibitive.

If you think how many Sqn’s in your wing are out any weekend, then how many Defibs are needed?
Then add in a DofE hike how many Defibs should be carried? I think you could justify multiple Defibs.

It maybe a good idea and worth while but how many would we require in the corps and can they be easily supplied?


My view on the result was always that the organisation got lucky. Lucky that there was no causative factor in a situation where everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Lucky because, there were plenty of other situations where what the staff did could easily have caused harm in those circumstances.

Training had to stop while the matter was investigated in order to establish whether or not there was a causative link, and the results of that review, were on the whole positive and productive.

The review should be essential reading, regardless of the causative factor, as the supervision provided for that activity was not fit for purpose, in fact, it didn’t even comply with the previous guidelines!


First the death of any young perosn is tragic.

Second, these are recommendations i.e. the defib thing.
Problem is, our organisation tries to enact EVERY reccomendation, there by crippling us with admin and beauracacy.

Life has risks, “Venture Adventure” has a few more!
Wish H-CACK would get that through their skulls.


Look at the cost between £700 to £2000+ per unit.

The headline price you see doesn’t include VAT, and spare pads for smaller cadets that the standard adult size may not fit unless you use an anterior posterior pad placement. Then there is the weight componant as well in carrying it around plus weather protection.

So who would fund such an expense, the ACO if they are demanding it for activities or the CWCs?


Not saying we shouldn’t act, but keeping all the learning and further qualifications just to the FT world is a bit blinkered!!

No one has told us that! One is no use whatsoever. Where is most important? Because if you used statistics it should be residing where all the middle aged overweight people are, not with a group of teenagers!

The British Heart Foundation is keen to get defibs out to more locations!


I fully agree with all your points. The Air Cadets and the staff were very lucky with the verdict!

There should be a mandatory course explaining the failures in this case and the prevention requirements to stop it happening again for all staff responsible for cadets overnight.

Instead we have to be told to keep warm when it’s cold and cool down and drink water when it’s hot!!


British Heart Foundation is keen to get them into fixed locations such a shops and public venues auch as theatres schools cinemas etc. I don’t see then funding defibs for the ACO anytime this century. I suspect BHF would say Air Force/ACO problem as they would not want to be supplying a publically funded organisation.

The Ambulance service are the same, they want them into remote rural locations plus community first responders as well. Defibs using drones have been tried out already.


The climatic injuries isn’t about our mistakes, it’s about the SAS Killing 3 lads on selection and is Forces wide.

The learning points from the London Wing incident are built into the Fat policy that’s why it covers such things as staff in the same location as the Cadets and the need to test comma in advance.


How many members of the ACO of all ages are actually walking around with cardiac anomaly’s that they don’t know about, and then their is all the other causes of cardiac arrest that a defib can help to deal with. In some forms of cardiac arrest such as drowning defibs are usually ineffective due to the nature of the heart rhythm the heart goes into.


The BHF fund defibs in many public organisations such as the City of London and Metropolitan Police.

I agree, but my concern was that my Wing has a defib which has never been seen/advertised!

I have attempted CPR (with and without defib) 8 times for real. Only one survived! I agree that defib do not solve everything!


That is actually quite a good survival rate, brilliantly done mate. I to have done CPR many times and survival does depend on what the cause is and arrest to first shock time where appropriate. Survival drops to less than 10% after 8 minutes of non resuscitated cardiac arrest.

No defibs don’t solve everything but by doing nothing you guarantee that the person will not survive but remember you can’t harm a person who is dead so doing something is better than nothing.

One thing that is never talked about is the feelings of the people,providing the aid in particular when the person does not survive, those peopl also need care and debriefing.


Good morning Folks, I wonder if anyone has a PDF of the new RAFAC fieldcraft Syllabus ie the lessons that will be expected to be delivered

I have a meeting with a regional wing commander and just wanted to be full informed so to speak



They are in Cadet Training Fieldcraft and Tactics – Army Code 71966 which is on sharepoint


SharePoint > RAFAC Key Documents > ACFTIs > Cadet Training - Fieldcraft & Tactics

Should be read alongside the ACFTIs which detail which lessons can be taught by who.


Ok so same doc as we use in ACF, just wanted to ensure no minor differences, as ACF I don’t have access to your share point but I have lots of copies of the manual…but not the doc you say it should be read alongside…can I be privy to this?, just to get overview, I can teach every fieldcraft lesson so to get an insight into who can teach what would help…I’m of on holiday tomorrow so some light reading by the pool :wink: