Lose the book and you lose something intrinsic and tangible a PDF who knows. in 20 years time it could have been superceded and unusable.
Our kids school reports were rubbish compared to ours, they were littered with cut and paste generic phrases and apparently now, so our neighbours have said, are just a list of grades printed off the school’s system. I’ve looked at mine which I found recently and lots of different handwriting and teacher’s names. There is lots of could do better, shouldn’t be so argumentative, should concentrate more and so on.
You can print a PDF and turn it into something intrinsic and tangible, though. Plus, it won’t be creased and bent like most of my cadets’ 3822s!
Off Topic The school reports could be a result of increasing demands on time and workload for teachers, or even just the different culture of the school. Technology can be used to improve your understanding of what goes on at school, though - My Daughters primary school uses an on-line system to put photos and observations from throughout the school day, and we can enter pictures and work for homework purposes on-line too. When it comes to Parents evening, we’ve got a reasonable idea of what they’ve done each week at school, plus we can show the teachers what we’ve done at home as well Back On Topic
Of course all this talk of ID or membership cards is all very well, if there is the funding and staff to back it up. We’ve already seen how poor the project management of HQAC can be - god only knows what would happen if the same sort of issues we’ve had with introducing the PTS badges, happened with cadet membership cards… How many cadets would just leave if the lack of card prevented them from attending an activity…?
The fact the 3822 gets bent, creased etc adds to its ‘charm’, if you like. A pristine looking 3822 after a year’s service let alone longer would be a sad thing to behold. A PDF list of what you have done wouldn’t have that same quality as something taken out and used with the signature that someone puts to indicate you have done that thing.
I think that there is value to a “record of service” book, but we definitely need to divorce it from the ID document and qualifications record aspects of the current 3822.
A RoS book can be just that - a keepsake for the the cadet to complete with various details but which is of no actual value to the organisation.
When it comes to proof of qualifications and currency we do need to push strongly for those qualifications to be entered directly into SMS by the awarding staff as part of the after-activity admin. Providing physical proof of that in an accessible and readable format is a more difficult problem that we need to address.
I see the ID aspect becoming an A4 generated report to be folded and inserted into a reasonably-sized holder - this can be refreshed whenever a squadron requires it. That bit of paper can contain an extract of qualifications and dates but I would not want to reprint the ID sheet every time a cadet passed a WHT. Perhaps the sheet could contain space for relevant info, having current info (held on SMS) printed automatically but with space for staff to add subsequent qualifications until the next printing.
There needs to be a mechanism to allow any qualified staff to add a relevant entry to any cadet’s records, but without them having view and edit access to that record. SMS would have modules that generate a WHT record, a flying record or some other record that actually requires a “signature” to give it credibility, and be able to attach that to a cadet’s record indirectly.
The 3822 book does it all in one concise booklet; ID, details check, RoS and logging place for qualifications etc. Of course SMS replicates all of this, but as yet I’ve never been asked for a password to open a 3822 and check things.
Put too much faith is an electronic system and at some point you are going to come a cropper. Not happened to me, but some people have apparently been having to re-upload details of qualifications on SMS, as in one of the updates, things have been deleted. So now if a cadet has recently done say a WHT and wants to go shooting, in your brave new world with no 3822, if this was deleted, cadet doesn’t go shooting, whereas it’s in their 3822 and the fact it’s not on SMS, could be purely down to the fact that whoever did the test, has better things to do, but knows it’s signed off in the 3822.
I was asked to update some details on SMS the other night and since I last did anything meaningful, the lay out had changed, for no apparent reason.
Boring perhaps, but I have an address book and keep a note of phone numbers and email addresses. In the last month I have been asked by 5 people for my phone number as they have changed or done something with their phones and lost numbers. This happens quite a lot.
This 3822 thing for all the world looks like suggesting / wanting to change for the sake of it. Which seems to becoming a bit of mantra in the Air Training Corps.
As an ID document, it doesn’t really work, though. The photo can be easily removed and swapped for a new one (if one has been attached at all). If you had a blank 3822, you could put any details you want in it, sign the OC bit with your left hand, and voila - a “genuine” RAF ID. A complete waste of time.
Details wise - what is the need for details such as home address, or school? Those details are on the SMS, TG forms and 3822a. As we move towards GDPR we need to be cutting down on the places we hold personal information, not duplicating it for the sake of it.
Record of service and quals could be put in a 7257 style booklet, but why bother if we hold the details electronically?
I’m not saying it’s perfect for us, but the E DofE model would work as a record of service and qualification record, and remove the need for a book like the DofE removed the need for their log books.
eDofE is purely and simply about saving money and nothing else (yet the cost of doing it has gone up and now you get less) and the folly that youngsters are in love with online everything. At the squadron and at school it requires forcing kids to sit down in front of a computer and do things on eDofE. Say do it at home and it doesn’t happen. Schools offer all manner of online learning packages such as mygcse and 90% of the time it gets used in school and teachers do find the irony of this.
This is what the online model for everything is built around, it’s not for the customer it’s all about cost cutting.
GDPR is all about individual control of what information an organisation holds and how the individual allows them to use it, so if say a 3822A was filled out and a box to say I do not want this information held electronically, makes SMS defunct and equally if information used for 3822s was ‘restricted’. From what we have been told at RBL meetings, county handbooks could become much thinner.
Not a fan of controlling what information people hold about you then?
But it can also be requested by any member of staff, on an ad hoc basis, with no clear policy in place as to how the data will be used.
Let’s say you’re at the range. You will need to access some information in the course of your duties, but will invariably have access to personal information you don’t need. What if the cadet doesn’t consent to you having access to their address, but is happy for you to access their shooting record?
99.99% of the time this is a DoB check, yes it could be changed, but so could the record on SMS, unless we’re going to upload birth certs, we go with what is on the 3822A.
There has been mention of pulling a list of participants prior to the event. Fine. Except when there is a last minute replacement, that doesn’t get put on the pipe. If we work too much to electronic systems we will lose the flexibility that is key in a voluntary environment.
So more admin for squadrons to mess around with and another raft of pointless policy documents for HQAC to generate. I love the notion “refreshed whenever a squadron requires it”, this should be every other week as cadets have lost the bit of paper, regardless if how well it is folded, . Yes I know 3822s get washed, but any squadron worth their salt should have a supply. Also the one night you need to print these out, is when SMS is down, internet playing up etc and I’d be blowed if I’m printing them at home, as that would mean accessing SMS at home, which should be a no, no in all of our books.
I can access things for work at home, but don’t as it’s not part of my contract unless I work from home.
Anything that means I can just hit “print” and not have to hand-write personal details umpteen times into a physical document gets my vote. I am sure my OC will also be happy not to have to sign all over the thing.
I accept your comment about SMS availability, but that is just a flaw with the entire concept and I don’t see us getting round that any time soon. Find somebody else to do it for you, or wait.
I mean the entire concept of SMS. By printing out a summary as ID we actually manage to alleviate some of the deficiencies of an online system, must as we do with the present 3822!
Any sort of “live” solution that relies entirely on accessing SMS records at the time is totally out of the question. We have neither the reliability in the underlying system, nor the guarantee of connectivity, that it would require - let alone the physical devices necessary to make it work.