New ACO DofE supervision requirements

GMG: Whoever authored the new DofE supervision policy is clearly living on another planet.

First, I’m angry that after spending half my weekends last year getting BEL qualified, I’m being prevented from using it. Second, I’m angry that the policy has been released AFTER any good leader has already planned their 2016 programme. Third, I’m angry that the policy has been announced without a single course date attached.

Can you link me to said policy?

Our WATTO just emailed it out but it’s written like a Corps policy. PM me if you want a copy.

You mean ambiguously?

I just looked on share point and the policies for DofE have not changed. Either you WATTO is just catching up or their making empires…

Post what it is briefly and we can see if it’s corps or wing policy??

if this is in regard to changes to “remote supervision” then this IS new policy.

I have not had chance to take a look, but in short if you want to remote supervise you have to prove you are capable of doing so with a minimum number of days under a “trained eye”

In short, it’s

  1. All those supervising DofE expeditions must undertake expedition supervisory training.

  2. This supervision training is to be in the form of an official registered DofE ESTC course

  3. The following procedure will be mandatory from 1 April 2016:

a. Those currently undertaking a NGB qualification or have recently acquired a qualification but have not yet supervised a final practice or qualifying expedition, will be required to complete the ESTC prior to being authorised to conduct remote supervision. If an official registered ESTC course was incorporated into the NGB course then that’s acceptable.

b. Qualified AT staff who have remotely supervised at least 6 expeditions since April 2012, three of which must have been between April 2014 and November 2015, may continue without having to complete the ESTC until 1 April 2018, but this must be approved by the WATTO/RATTO in advance.

The thing that grips me most about it isn’t that we have to do it - it’s that we have to do an ACO version of the DofE ESTC. So, rather than booking on and rocking up at one of the 33 ESTCs being run across the UK (, we now have to got to an ACO specific one to ensure we get proper “mentoring” etc. If only they published a list of those with this document life would have been much, much easier for everybody within the organisation.

Sadly, the term “Facilitating success” seems only to apply to those undertaking DofE - not those fighting an uphill struggle and providing them!

(having said that, we’re blessed with a joined up Wg who’s WgDofE & WATTO have encompassed ESTC as part of the BEL course for the last 4 years. Additionally, they run ESTC’s at least once a year and in so doing have managed to keep ahead of the game… that said, it’s going to be an hard task for some to get 3 remotely supervised expeditions in 2 seasons for some members of staff who, to be fair, may only have had 1 or 2 groups go through the system in all that time!)

Wing run BEL course? What’s one of those? :rolleyes:

Yeah - I know. Like I said, switched on WATTO. Although, it’s generally undersubscribed from within the Wing so gets opened up to the Region… PM me, and we’ll see if we can get you on one! I won’t mention the Regional run LLA courses which are running… is that rubbing salt in the wound???

It’s the undersubscribed bit that grips me the most! From my experiences around the Wg I’ve met a number of cadets who are interested in the course… who don’t get to find out about the opportunities - or who’s OCs are not willing to release them from “bag packing”, “horse shows”, “some lame parade”, “[insert another feek and weeble excuse!]” for the benefit of:

  1. getting an AT qualified member of staff for a relatively low investment
  2. dare I say it - investing in cadets can help retain them as staff for the future
  3. extending it further - retaining them as a Qualified member of staff???

South & West Yorkshire Wing has an under subscribed BEL course currently about to kick off… If you’re anywhere near then it’s worth enquiring. All the dates are on the Wing calendar on Sharepoint.

Do you know I have done my Bel, DofE assessor awards and that’s the 2 I remember because of all the other crapoy courses I have done I can’t remember them all

You are still running BEL? How cute!

Do all your staff/cadets join with the necessary experience/confidence/training to progress straight on to LLA then? Ours don’t. So we run BEL courses alongside access to LLA for those who do have the prerequisites.

Our RATTO is pushing the LLA saying it’s easier to get and do than BEL but if I read it correctly it’s only easier for the instructors. The students can take a long while to get through it.

You only require 10 Lowland Walks to do your LLA Training followed by 10 more for assessment. Most cadets with a Silver DofE should have the required days to go and do training.

We have switched fully to LLA and there are support groups available for those interested. (WATTO organises a number of walks to give people guidance be they preparing for Training or Assessment, plus there is a Facegroup Group for those working towards so that people can find people to walk with etc).

BEL is just such a rigid system and costs a hell of a lot more so we have abandoned it. (Courses are always undersubscribed as the weekends are set in stone and unworkable). LLlA is just as much work for the students but it’s more flexible, you do the walks when you are free.

The big one for me is if staff/cadets are experienced (Gold DofE level etc) why aren’t they doing HML?

Also and back on topic I think it’s ridiculous that we are being made to do the ATC Expedition Supervisors when we could just do a DofE one! The Commandant whinged on Twitter last year that we have slipped behind the scouts on DofE and pointed out that making up our own rules didn’t help. (I used the ACO requirement to be an ML to be a Gold Assessor as an example) Glad to see that’s been ignored.

We have a similar setup with the support & FB groups etc - we’ve just chosen to ensure that we’re delivering both LLA & BEL alongside each other in a complementary manner. Cost wise, they are much of a muchness (as we run BEL in house). And time wise, if you include the 10 days pre/post training for LLA, it’s around the same timeframe as BEL as well.

I would definitely look to more people doing HML though long term, i’m midway through it and it’s definitely a good step up from BEL. Thoroughly enjoying it - and without the burden of travel to Mountains to be able to rack up my walking log.

Back to the DofE thing - ever tried running a Gold Canoeing expedition? It took a long time to convince a NOW WgCdr that I didn’t need an ML ticket to Assess a canoe expedition - even though it was in Wild Country.

I have real issues with the way we run DofE in this organisation. The obsession that we have to have our own in house courses rather than use the DofE’s really does grind my gears! Making everyone do Intro to DofE before they can be an assessor, even people who have been involved in the scheme for 20 years is ridiculous. Then adding requirements to Assessors such as needing an ML grrr! (Plus the already mentioned restriction to doing an ACO Remote Supervision Course, you can’t even use the courses that staff at Windermere run in their real lives!)

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But unless the Corps puts its own requirements on top of everything that others don’t have, how would it justify its existence?

People in the real world sling weapons and smmo similar to what we use and more besides in the boot of a car and go as far as they like, without 5 reams of paperwork and a veritable army of people, just in case.

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And that’s why the only shooting in the ACO I’m interested in is Clays where real world rules apply!