One rule for me, but another for thee - SMS approvals

I noted in another thread about the RIAT camp going ahead despite not being approved on SMS so I had a look at my system…

Since July 2019;
Corps; 6 activities that took place, all still in draft
Region; 4 activities that took place, all still in draft
Wing; 22 activities that took place, all still in draft

32 events took place with either staff, or cadets, or both and have no approval work flow. They have no sign off. They have never been audited.

How is this legal?


Report it to the Senior CFAV at HQ

Where is the equivalent data for Sqn activities?

& to the TSA / Corps H&S officer - make sure there is a non-volunteer in the chain

technically not insured. Pretty sure ACP 300 says for an activity to be properly indemnified it must be on SMS and approved. Or maybe that’s ACTO 10, can’t remember.

I don’t know of any squadron activities taking place still in draft, but that’s because I’m not in a wing role so can only see my units/1 other unit. I know of squadrons forgetting to do an application all together, ie transport to AEF, that I have pointed out to them is required. But that’s about it. But at all levels above I regularly see events going on that are in draft. And not just in draft, but with no paperwork on there at all. Or terrible paperwork. I’ve seen wing sports events where the admin order that was uploaded says 2017 all over it, and has loads of mistakes from where it’s been copied over. And also a ‘safe persons’ grid that just has TBC in all the boxes.

At least with RIAT, it may be in draft but the actual paperwork that has been uploaded for the event is of a very high quality, and has been seriously thought about.

Also can I add on to this, not only having events in draft whilst they’re going ahead, but also not closing events that have finished!! There are currently 183 past events that have not been completed showing on my events page. Some of these events date back to 2019… The vast majority are wing/region/HQ events.

Also you can’t close an event that hasn’t been approved, only cancel. So they end up not going on the cadets record!


And how many VAs and F1771s were paid out for these events!!


Won’t happen soon as it’s all electronic

Is there a rule which says they can only pay out for events that are marked as completed (which I’m pretty sure can only happen if they were approved)?

They were saying this would be the case 10 years ago, never seen it happen though.

(I assume if you approve something afterwards you could then complete it).

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Not currently, but when VA starts being electronic I would think it would be related to an SMS app - no approved and closed app, no VA. Not 100% on that - but it would make sense.

Yes, well, that’s often where we start having problems, isn’t it?


So people will be held back from receiving VA due to badmin from one individual…

That’s what ATF said 10 years ago, I suppose the logic would be that staff would put pressure on organisers to sort it out!


Yes - but at least the volunteer will have a view of that process I would imagine. Currently you hand in a sheet of paper to Adjutant / WHQ and you have no idea where it is sitting. The days of “oh yes, it’s been submitted” when in actual fact its still on someones desk at squadron or in a briefcase at home etc will be gone. And yes, I would expect the volunteers to put pressure on the Activity IC to DO THEIR JOB.

Only the once, maybe twice. Then you’ll get volunteers who will look at the Bader event, see who the activity IC is and go no thanks this time, I’ll do something else.

Job? You’re having a laugh, right?


Activity IC to do the role they volunteered for?

I’m carrying on this conversation over here, rather than the climatic thread.

Just because it isn’t unusual for it not to be approved, doesn’t make it right. It really is getting more and more annoying seeing wing/region/HQ events going ahead without approval. Here’s some policy for those doing this as a gentle reminder:

ACTO 10:

1- It is mandatory to use the Bader Squadron Management System (SMS) to record and authorise all events involving RAF Air Cadets (RAFAC) cadets and Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) which take place away from unit premises.

2- This Policy applies to events organised by, or on behalf of, Wing HQs, Region HQs and RAFAC HQ, as well as Squadrons and Detached Flights. The policy applies to Wing Staff Officers, Regional Staff Officers and RAFAC HQ Staff Officers.

16- All events are to be authorised on SMS prior to them taking place.

ACP 300:

PI 306 1. a. Cover is only effective during periods of participation in, travelling to, and travelling from pre-authorised ATC activities as detailed at annex C.

  1. MoD will indemnify all members of the MoD Sponsored Cadet Forces (The Sea Cadet Corps, The Volunteer Cadet Corps, The Combined Cadet Force and The Air Training Corps) while engaged in authorised activities. All Cadet Force activities must be conducted in accordance with procedures set out in the relevant MoD and RAF Air Cadet publications.

Do I need go on? The policy makes pretty damn clear all events, even if organised at a higher level, need to be properly pre-approved. Yet time and time again we’re seeing wing/region/HQ events carrying on whilst not approved. Or occasionally ‘self-approved’ with not a single file attached to the event…


And with RIAT there’s even less excuse because there is someone with a highly ranked post with this as their sole role