Is ACC good or bad from RAFAC's management's POV?

Here is a question, does the Commandant and HQRAFAC as a whole view as a force for good or does it view it as a force for questioning their acts and omissions and a criticism of their management or lack of and even dissent to the RAFAC?

Does ACC allow members provided they are careful to not reveal who they are to raise issues that doing so through the CoC would bring some form of retribution?

To quote RC North:

I monitor as for every 100 or so pointless wingers, there is a good point/idea, but it’s hard work

That’s the only thing I’ve seen written down from SLT about ACC. Certainly heard of people saying that the forum is just full of people who have nothing better to do but winge.

I think what people seem to miss/forget though, is the people who spend too much time on here are probably some of the keenest staff about. So much so that we not only volunteer our free time for cadets, but spend other free time on here talking about it…

I personally see it as a great space to share ideas, discuss issues and answer questions. Having a space where people can vent either anonymously (or not) is good. Especially if it allows SLT to peer in. A good way to see how things are on the ground, if you like.


Also, if you Google almost any RAFAC related question, chances are the top result will be a thread on here answering your question… (that’s a force for good!)


Maybe their idea of what they call ‘whinging’ is people who are ‘outside’ of their protected environment in the real world having an opinion different to theirs. I know one RC who thought I was less than deferential to them because I spoke in straightforward terms to them without any frills etc as Dear Group Captain rather than sir. One of his staff officers didn’t help either by disclosing what I presumed as medically confidential information. FoI is very interesting.



The RAFAC astra project office briefed us they activley look at social media to discover what the end of the food chains flavour of the week is and build into their plans.

Even had some memes in the deck!


I discovered early in my NHS career that information reaching middle level frequently stops there as people worry about telling ‘truth to power’ and their place on the greasy pole.


I know a lot look, some see it as a background nuisance place full of old moaners, others as a good sounding board. All depends on how they see their info Ops being managed and used.

Personally I see it as another place for input and to hear some of the interesting rumours out there and hopefully put some to bed.


So for the other group of volunteers I work with there is a forum where they collate opinions & can vent off.

Honestly the main reaction from the the paid staff in the office is mainly in difference. It’s helpful to know as it give more response data than from a survey but in general it matters neither hear nor there & as it allows the volunteers to vent.

& yes agree with RC North of a lot of whinging but a good idea in every 100 or so (at least for the forum that my volunteers use).

Having said that ACC is more developed & is less “paid staff bashing” & there does seem to be a shift to a more positive(or at least more neutral) position towards paid staff with the full venom & ire being directed to those volunteers who forget that their volunteers.

If ACC does continue more in this direction, it’s likly to gain greater traction with the paid staff & probably more valued.


Compared to another platform where i wear a different volunteer hat i find ACC useful
1- its good comms (still the fastest route to sharing/seeing information outside of the Wing bubble/filter)
2- that information instantly indicates if my reaction is proportional - am i alone in my opinions to the new policy etc (often reassured others shared my view)
3- there can be quick solutions or answers offered as someone on the forum knows someone, who knows someone who actually wss in the room the decisions were made

But is this place good for the RAFAC?
No more or less so ARRSE forum is for the Army.

It has its moments such as answering a cadet/parent/even grandparent’s questions but i feel does a lot of good for those CFAVs who use it.
Its a sounding board and “safe space” which filters those emotions from hitting the wrong inbox…or if nothing else delays the message bring sent until sufficient suggestions and shared opinions are gathered that its a better more rounded outgoing message


Does it contain whining? Yes.

Are all those whines out of place or unwarranted? No (though I’ll grant you, a lot are).

This forum does a great job of highlighting the lack of consideration for volunteers on the change journey through our notably poor comms process.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that 99% of complaints from this site wouldn’t exist if we did a better job of explaining the why behind changes, and communicating efficiently from the top down.

Is that easy? Of course not. It takes work. I’ve spent a number of years working on that very thing in my day job, communicating to 60,000+ people across 4,000 locations. Sound familiar…?

Get that right, and this site instantly becomes a happier place.


Any suggestions on developments to the overall management? Or anything additional that think is needed?

Not really - I think it’s the general direction of travel for the culture & way of working.

There’s a general maturing of culture & appreciation for both sides so in that sense ACC is good neutral territory for both paid & non-paid to debate & put over view without compromising their public persona & as such reach consensus.

There definitely has been a change of view on here of HQAC from being “the enemy” to one where they are often viewed as doing “the wrong thing but for the right reasons”.


Outside of it’s use for staff, it’s usually a force for good for cadets that use it as they’re able to ask questions they might not want to ask their staff (especially if it’s an issue with staff), or that their staff might not know the answer to - usually they get a comprehensive answer to their questions or get given an idea of what actions they could take without judgement.


‘Whingers’ is the correct spelling to describe people like me: ‘Wingers’ either play in team sports, which I never have, or ‘Wing it,’ rather than prepare their lessons properly…maybe more accurate after all…:roll_eyes:

one man’s whinger is another man’s expert.
There is a bit of whinging on here - but there’s a damn lot of experience and good advise as well.
Think someone alluded to the point - if things are right first time then the whinging goes down - simples…
It’s when people get frustrated - they can sometime ‘whinge’ but some of it’s well justified.


I can certainly confirm RC North reads ACC, and indeed telephones some people to discuss postings…

But then I’ve never hidden who I am!


(update - and he has just emailed me to say ‘Yes, indeed I do’… :slight_smile: )


I agree that a lot of whinging and whining takes place on here and god knows, I do my fair share. However, could it be that a lot of the whinging is because the paid help often don’t have a clue how the organisation works at grass-roots level because the vast majority have never been on an Air Cadet Sqn as staff?

Is it, do you think, time for the volunteers to play a more major part in the running of the organisation?

By that I mean appointing RAFAC officers as RC’s in a full-time paid capacity and - ultimately - having a full-time paid RAFAC officer as Commandant? Replace the FTRS personnel with FTCS (full-time cadet service) staff who have served at the coal-face and are fully aware of the impact of decisions that are made; and use that knowledge to influence the subsequent edicts that come out of handbrake house.

Just a couple of loose thoughts from the top of my head…


Absolutely not. This style of running is often referred to as “volunteers managing volunteers”. Whilst some element of this is needed to attempt to go the whole hog doesn’t work.

However the difference in mindset required is very different. It would lead to stagnation & a decline as the volunteers won’t be able to adapt quickly to what are paid staff responsibilities.

Volunteers like to keep doing what they find fun. This means they don’t like change & so things slowly decay.

This isn’t necessary a bad thing but it means the paid staff focus (or should do) on being enablers to what Sqns need. They know that they aren’t at Sqn level do they listen to the volunteers.

The issue comes in when they are advised by senior volunteers who haven’t been at the Sqn level recently & this is where you get the issues of volunteer officers & captain mainwaring types.

Volunteer knowledge in paid staff is great, but the roles need to be very much separate & we need the non ATC types to provide that new blood & new ideas.

i do feel this carries a lot of weight.
if the CoC and the decisions they made worked then there would be little to complain about. Yes you would always get the odd bods who just like to complain but this community is not “odd bods” but successful CFAVs - numerous OCs or well established and respects Sqn Officers or SNCOs, there are some at Wing level to and a WWO in the shape of Alex…

if that level of calibre of staff have reason to whinge, then someone needs to pay attention imo

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