Single change for greatest effect


It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy:

not enough officers = unprepared officers thrust into command = fewer people want to become an officer = not enough officers…

There needs to be a contingency of alternative or temporary command arrangements to prevent forcing people into command who aren’t ready.

Put into place a minimum requirement of Fg Off with 2 years in rank on a squadron, with suitability to be assessed by WSC if the chair becomes vacant.

Before that point, improve leadership and management training and create a formal programme of learning about squadron management and peer mentoring (no reason this can’t apply to NCOs too). It doesn’t have to be anything intensive. Overhaul the SCC at Cranwell to create a higher-level course that complements and builds on the external training programme now created.

And I’m not talking simply about ILM content.

If WSC believes a FgOff is ready, they put in place a 12 month support plan created for that individual. If FgOff isn’t ready and a local, ready officer isn’t available or willing to travel, a development plan is created and a combination of WSC and local OC helicopter in on a minimum of 2 nights a month each.

Of course, the simple option is to remove the bureaucracy, the pressure, and the “we own you” attitude that come with the role…

If only.


Just means they’d get promoted to Fg Off faster, using the ‘or else the squadron would shut’ line.


Not a fix I know but in the ACF there is also an Officer shortage, many units are commanded by Staff Sgts and Sgt Majors, but, in the ACF any
CFAV (SNCO or Officer) can apply and undertake the ALM course at Frimley (Adult Leadership & Management) it’s a Monday to Friday course covering programme writing, instruction writing, inspections, accounts, all relevant paperwork, low level interviews etc etc, all persons who wish to command a unit require to hold the ALM qual or gain within a year of appointment… I believe the ACO have something similar but only open to officers?..just expand?..not trying to fix, not saying ACZ better, not even saying the course prepares you, but at least it’s in place and gives a good heads up…regards officers, an officer on commission in ACF will 99% of time go direct to command of unit as a 2lt, it’s the main role fir the rank and they will almost certainly previously commanded a unit as an NCO prior to commission…it would be extremely rare to have more than 1 officer at a unit


The Squadron Commanders Course is open to SNCO’s who are running units.


But not before so they can prepare?


No one goes before, you go after appointment.


Interesting, anyone can elect to go in ACF prior to appointment (usually because they have been warned off or have knowledge someone is moving etc) but if there is a place available then you can apply, in my last unit I was mentoring a your Sgt and she went on her ALM 9 months before I moved on, she was able to use the knowledge to watch me and fit to what she had been taught, she stepped in and honestly think she a better commander than me!!!


You can probably apply to do SCC early, but realistically getting a space is hard enough when your in post. (They only take about 16 per Course iirc).

To be quite honest I don’t rate the course that highly, I learned more on the job than I did at ATF. (Which quite frankly was in severe need of an overhaul, although that may have changed since I was last there).


ACF ALM course 10 course a year, 40 places on each


And open to all? That’s quite a statement on an ambition to develop staff - certainly compared to the development we have available.

Do the ACF offer ILM or other quals through their courses?

And does anyone know if we actually do - I read somewhere that we offer L4 at OIC and 5 at SCC? But I’ve never heard anyone actually talk about it…


Yes the courses are open to all and all are mapped against ILM, I recently helped develop the next course up from the ALM (fur those who will move into captain appointments as staff officers and training officers) and again it has been mapped to ILM (level 5), the new course has been in place not quite a year and the first ILM level 5s have been awarded, they do some self study at home after the course and submit


There’s a two year minimum period of service. So no, they won’t.

I take the point about a lack of officers now, but that problem only seems to be getting worse, sometimes you have to sacrifice short term gains for long term success.


Yeah ILMis there if you want it, the JI’s explain how to register and they go trough it on the course with those who are interested, I know a few who have done it. I think ACLC is now linked to ILM as well?


The major issue is staff motivation; we have had a CI waiting for wing to say the DBS is all sorted for months… It will be a miracle if she is still interested or hasn’t found something else to do by the time she gets the go ahead.

You speak about lack of officers; recently I have completed the first stages, but am waiting on the wing board, then I’ll have to wait for an OASC I’m available for, the OIC… The whole process from start to finish will end up taking over 12 months (unless they get a real move on).

The process knocks all the enthusiasm you have to fulfil the role straight out of you. And that’s before you’ve even started!


Have they chased it? Wing can track progress through DBS. We had 2 come back within 4 weeks and within 2 days of sending copies to Wing, both staff were on SMS.


The OC has been, it is just hopeless - when I joined from initial visit to the squadron to DBS being sorted was 6 months. With the admin orders saying you can’t attend squadron without a DBS we’re going to struggle to recruit new staff with that sort of waiting time; “Do you want me to help or not”…


DBS’s are coming back in about 4 weeks currently… remember they go direct to the applicant now, so nothing for WHQ to do other then submit the forms.

Applicants should take not of the Form ID so they can track it.


Yes and no - I think it might encourage other options (such as WSOs running units or even other locals double-hatting). In reality, there’s a good chance that the baby officer would be seen as the OC-in waiting and would hopefully be heavily involved - but at least with an experienced support structure there rather than sink-or-swim.


My single change would be for someone to take the entire PTS system and link it into our classifications. To a point remove classification exams (how many staff can teach half of it at senior+ anyway?)

Blue – First Class
Bronze – Leading
Silver – Senior
Gold – Instructor Cadet

Make it that you have to achieve a certain amount of the badges plus an exam at each level (that is simplified so that the majority of staff can teach).

Gold would be the most difficult due to the speciality, it may mean a rejig of the PTS system to achieve, but you could link it so that you only have to achieve 1 gold badge and possibly another or a couple more silver PTS badges to achieve instructor cadet (alongside MOI).


But you still need to train staff and or give them adequate resources.

Linking to the mandatory training thread, I find it ironic that for staff the mandatory training does not include the bog standard parade night subject training which is far more important in terms of squadron delivery than poxy climatic injury and first aid. I would imagine HQAC saying all of our staff are ‘trained’ to deliver classification training isn’t as ‘glossy’ as irrelevance like climate injury and first aid. The focus should be on getting cadets through syllabus training and having staff equipped to do this first and foremost and not glossy headline rubbish.