MoD funding 'black hole'


A very simplistic idea, but as I said if this has come from HQAC, could we expect any less?
On an annual camp or say DofE exped there is a lot of cooperation and people just doing things that in reality are, the in the model suggested, the remit of the “organiser”.
Now in the model suggested, qualifications notwithstanding, if something needed doing that someone felt wasn’t within the remit of the their involvement they would be quite within their right to say no sorry not getting paid for that. Which of many I know in the Air Cadets who take umbrage and chuck teddies.
When I started work the place was very unionised and it was effectively one man one job and if someone else was asked to do it they got the rate for the job.

If you take the AT example we have quite an effective little team who all do bits of the organising, which are fed back, due to the inefficiencies of the SMS applications system, for one person to collate and submit. However if they are not the Sqn Cdr they have to get the sqn cdr (who isn’t involved) to “tick” for Wing or higher to approve.

As I say it’s far too simplistic and there still is no mention of CIs getting “paid”.


how is the current system more complex???

ALL CFAVs gets VA regardless of effort or time put in, simply for attendance.

the system I have heard is more complex as it requires a distinction and labelling if you will of effort put in.

does that not already happen? remove the phrase “not getting paid for that” for “thats above my rank/I am not an officer” as you have the same situation.

both of which i haven’t seen.
the CFAVs i work with and delegate to when necessary are the ones who pitch in regardless, CI to Flt Lt so if someone is that selfish that they are only in it for the VA then i know where they loyalty lies for the next time they ask for my time.

this is true for many of us I am sure - but i am not sure what point you are making


Why not just make it an annual bounty instead?
Do your 12 hours a month, get the bounty.

1 low level for CIs say £500.00
1 mid level for all uniform volunteers except OCs and WSOs say £1000.00
1 top level for OCs and WSOs. Say £1500.

? Surely easier then.

Or make it a 6.month bounty at half those rates in case someone is good as gold but is ill for a few months.


I think a bounty has been considered for those who have done X amount of hours and have kept up with their mandatory training and then a lower flat rate VA.


I know plenty of people that attend every parade night and do literally nothing, i can include a good number of OC’s in that that i have met over the years.

VA was never linked into our parade evenings (and i would fight hard to keep it that way)and has always been for doing things like camps or activities outside of the normal squadron activities.

Why should an OC get top dollar? I can guarantee you my team do more “work” than i do on an parade evening whilst im in the background doing OC stuff (eating biscuits and deciding which type of haribo is best for canteen obviously!).

We volunteer our time for free on a squadron evening. Paying every staff member from CI up to OC on every squadron £500 a year if they do 12 hours a month would bankrupt the corps immediately never mind increasing that for each person depending on the role.


For reference HQAC…



I think if there is a position where “the buck stops” (OCs, Camp Comms, exercise directors…), then there is a fair argument for their to be a “buck” bonus there too.


"Where the buck stops, the bucks start!"

That’s a tagline I can get behind.


If VA is linked to 12hours/month then this will discourage going over and above that – or at the very least see Staff availability drop off at the end of each month.

Consider the 28 days – how many people every year without fail reach their quota??

Very few as it takes some doing.

12hours/month is an easy target to reach if including parade nights.
ie it is easily achieved and doesn’t seem a chore.

If looking at only weekend events that is only two full days activity

the 28 days is a target very few actually reach but it isn’t a target to aim for, simply high enough to mean the majority of staff never reach it and thus can continue to claim throughout the year

Although we don’t (shouldn’t) be doing it for the money, it does offer a sweetner that a day on the range, or a day walk, perhaps something warmer like classroom based Cadet development like first aid or radio, offers some pocket money for the time put in– some of which people will put towards the family in compensation for not being around.

I know some CFAVs use their VA to go towards paying for the family holiday, or for Christmas, or for “date night” with their significant other, little incentive to do events falling at the end of the month if the 12hours have been clocked up early on and still get the same sweetner for the family or to go towards another hobby.

If all Staff had to do was turn up for 12hours/month for the same “reward” I am sure it would discourage some from coming out and playing on the weekend.

Bang on! And I have done the numbers to show it

if we assume there are ~10k volunteer Staff in the organisation (Taken from wikipedia* and 2017 MOD Stats), now consider for ease everyone of those 10,000 Staff gets the same “basic rate” £500 (ie the CI rate) = 10,000 x £500 = £5,million > this is the best case as it doesn’t take into account the increased rate for SNCOs or Officers at the suggested higher rates.

On the assumption that of those 10k Staff we have ~4000 in uniform Staff and for ease split it 50/50 between SNCOs and Officers

6000x CI @ £500 = £3million

2000x SNCOs @ £1000 = £2million

2000x Officers @ £1500 = £3million

= £7million total

Let us now consider the system we already have in place where we claim VA against each eligible day and it is split on rank (this discounts any CI population now)

Sticking with 40% are in uniform (for arguments sake)

Taking a wild stab in the dark at the distribution of those 4000 uniform Staff as follows

400x Sgts @ £60/day

800x FSs @ £65/day

900x WOs and Plt Offs @£75/day

750x Fg Offs @£77/day

1000x Flt Lts (on the assumption there is a Flt Lt at each unit) @£99/day

200x Sqn Ldrs (on the assumption each Wing has 6x Sqn Ldr WSOs) @£125/day

33x Wg Cdr (for each Wing) @ £175/day

(this equates to 5 uniformed Staff on Squadron, with a split of 3x SNCOs/2x Officers or 2x SNCOs/3x Officers which we all know is not close to the “average” Squadron – knowing full well the average unit does not have 5x Uniform Staff)

If everyone of those 4000 Staff claimed

7 days every year = £2.3 million
14 days every year = 4.6million
28 days every year = £9.2million

Based on these numbers if every uniformed staff member claimed half of what they are entitled to (14days) this would be ~a third annual bounty (65%)

14 days could be split out as a week’s camp(7), a weekend(2/3) away and a few days(4/5) elsewhere – not unrealistic for the average Staff member

(for those interested based on my numbers above it would require all 4000 Staff to claim 21 days (three weeks) VA to equal the annual bounty at the figures suggested.)

Now I have made some bold assumptions, namely that we have 4k Staff eligible to claim VA, the distribution of those Staff across the ranks, and that everyone claims the same number of eligible days, but even using these optimistic numbers, and simplified for easy maths a monthly allocation doesn’t add up.

Has anyone ever been bold enough to submit a FOI request for the VA bill across the RAFAC and ACF? With breakdowns between ATC and CCF and distribution between ranks?

Disclaimer – numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number or nearest 100 where appropriate

*interestingly the Wikipedia page is showing ATC and VRT ranks still……


The numbers like that fully suggest why a flat rate would potentially be cheaper and benefit more people and CIs who have never been entitled to ‘pay’ could be included. People whinge about it, but the long and the short of it is it might actually encourage more people to give up their time to do things. VA shouldn’t be a salary replacement, just a cost covering and a bit, which is why something like £25 or £30 a day would be adequate.


Feel slightly less guilty about telling one of my WSOs I can’t assist in running a course now I know he gets £125/day and I get absolutely nothing.


if you think each wing is allowed to appoint 36 Sqn Ldr’s then;

36 x 33 x £125 = OUCH or £148,500


Untill of course you deduct the tax and net ins we pay then of course the min of £6 pounds a day for pay as you Dine


Guys ‘n’ gals

This isn’t an income stream … or even a compensation stream.

All this maths amounts to impressive figures … but


I agree but two many of us do cadet work at home in the evenings and put in more hours and travel that we could claim for I’m sure. I mean my local council get 65p a mile, what do we get to travel to cadets get 25p, less the free miles we do. then we attend Sqn nights free, attend camps and other training and we pay tax and national Ion our VA, in most if not all cases we pay for our own meals no matter were we eat I think we do enought while Twitter queen slaves away at for £120.000 plus never mind others in RAF FTRS Posts


I do what I do for the cadets (I’m just a CI btw) in between jobs at the minute which means I do an hour or 3 during the week to do some things on Sqn I don’t get time to do on a parade night. I don’t think I should get paid or have any monetary incentives. I do know of a couple of uniformed staff who often say how much they are getting for a week here or a weekend there and that will pay for such and such.

Are we volunteers or part time staff? I remember when I first became a CI I was asked to put my bank details down cos I may be able to claim money. I never came back because I thought I could make any money :expressionless:


Practically everyone I know (including me) who volunteers in the community does it in the evenings and weekends without even the slightest glimmer of any financial recompense.
When I’m chatting to my compatriots I’d never say anything like if was doing this with the cadets I’d be getting £x/day, as I know what some would say.
Rather than seeing it as a right, take it that we are very lucky in the volunteering world.


I think this is an unfounded assumption that very few reach the limit; personally, I have never failed to use all of my 28 days and often bid for more.



i attend 11x RBL Branch meetings a year, as a county Committee member i also attend a further 6x meetings.
I organise 2x parades each year, coordinating with other veterans groups, associations, local Parish and County councils, Mayors, youth groups (inc Cadet forces) and or community groups and societies, not to mention the various local businesses who get involved.

I claim no mileage for all the travel I do, and get no pay, VA or other contribution.

VA from the Cadet Forces is a welcome and fortunate pocket money i am very grateful to claim.

you can claim the remaining 20p if you wish

link with for information

I know of one CFAV (a CI) who did so and ended up with a wad suitable to pay for a good lads night out (he travelled to the lake District several times in the year, completing courses, taking Cadets/supervising expeditions etc)
research the subject hard enough and those who get more than 45p for the first 10k miles they claim will be taxed on that reimbursement.
45p/mile is a standard set by HMRC - anything less paid by an employer or charity, fill in the forms and the gov. can reinburse the rest up to 45p
paid more than 45/mile and i understand the amount over (so 20p in the 65p/mile case) that then forms part of what is taxable pay…

happy to be corrected but that is how i have understood it for sometime and know of at least one person who has claimed RAFAC mileage to get the remaining 20p/mile


and i congratulate you in having that commitment

certainly in my early years i considered myself “very active” and only managed to top out twice, once I got an extension for more.

i know of maybe a handful of staff who are in the same boat as you, but it is typically those who are single, or have kids grown up and dont have the same family ties/commitments.
in my experience it is those Staff who can throw everything they have into the organisation that do…unfortunately in the last 2-5 years that desire (read moral) has not been there to do it for many.

i confess i don’t know what everyone is doing nor how much they are claiming, but based on what i see people doing just on the Squadrons I have attended, i know of only 2-3 who could reach their 28 days with ease