SNCO Boards - Should virtual become the normal?

So now that Teams is embedded and we have confirmation that this will be available to all until May 21 and then reviewed further, but looks like it will long term be available that certain accounts within each Wing will be able to organise 1:Many Meetings.

Should we cease completing face to face SNCO Boards, which involves travel time for those who have applied and can make a 30-45 min board take over 3 hours, particularly in geographically challenged Wings.

This could give us as an organisation to further standardise the SNCO application process, by regionalising the boards, going from 34 ways of doing something to 6. In this scenario I would expect the board president to be from the applicants Wing.

I think it would be wise to offer both, after all we are a face-to-face organization and that’s not going to change post-covid.

Otherwise, yeah there would be significant time savings from running them virtually.

agree - both is the best option.

is it worth dragging someone 90minutes across the wing for 30 minutes worth of board?
but likewise if someone is 10 minutes away would be an opportunity missed to not have them attend.

of course it opens up the door to the interviewers also calling in. I know at one point although our wing HQ is relatively central all the WSOs lived/worked at the edges of the Wing (or even outside of it), and if caught in traffic made for a hectic journey to meet someone who has only 10 minutes drive…
if video boards were an option could allow all to have a commute which suits them!

I think there will be an increase in virtual options moving forwards - not just boards, but conferences, meetings, theory based training.

Hopefully this will be a positive move for the organisation and be taken on board as such!

As I understand it the MS Teams licence expires in mid 2021. It is currently provided free / much reduced cost by Microsoft as a short term benefit during COVID-19. I imagine if it were to become a perm fixture then there would be significant cost involved.

Perhaps @james_elliott could clarify ?

There are plenty of free alternatives

Which are ACTO014 compliant?

Also. Huge ability to run the boards much more frequently.

If a region ran an SNCO board once per month for 8 hours.
That’s 8 candidates. From a standardised interview matrix.
96 per year assessed.

My wing currently assesses 6 to 8… per year… and not through lack of suitable candidates.

96 divided by 6 Wings = 16 candidates per wing a year.
A doubling on what we currently have.
If more capacity is needed, simply add in more regional boards.

A pool people from across region could be created to conduct these virtual boards.

Pretty much, overnight massive cost saving and increase in board availability.

Just think in 2 years every Sqn in a wing could potentially have an extra SNCO. What a difference that would make.


I doubt any of them are free at enterprise scale, or accreditable by the MOD

Latest update on the E1 M365 Licences we currently have is here

Their could be future scope for E1 to be available to all OC.1234 accounts as well as a selection of wing accounts, which reduces the overall impact but allows the functionality to be retained.

Both as an option. I occasionally sit on SNCO Boards and it’s nice to have that face to face element.

Thank you, so free until September then charged until May 21. After that unless funded further MS Teams will not be available

MS Teams will always be available.

The E1 licence allows for 1:Many calls which the previous (cheaper) licence did not allow. Use of Teams and Channels for collaborative working are here to stay, as is the ability for 1:1 calls.

I meant in the context of Boards (which we are discussing here), these are, typically not 1:1

If the ability to use the MS office suite ends (at least, to use it as we’ve been advised to do so), I’d argue ACTO14 becomes irrelevant.

They are not, but the indication is that some accounts will retain the ability to organise 1:Many calls.

The question really though, is should we look to do boards virtually, or face to face in the first instance?

No online just face to face.
Online meetings lose the body language and then as we’ve experienced dodgy internet and Dalek voices. It might be cheaper, but this doesn’t necessarily mean same or better. Then there are other interferences that seem to be commonplace for people sitting at home having meetings.

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I would suggest a system where you can choose a face-to-face or virtual board however if you fail a virtual board i’d suggest you have to sit a face-to-face board the second time round (if you want to try again).

As @Teflon has said, so many intricacies that can be missed on a virtual call.

Part of me feels that, whilst virtual boards are easier, you don’t get a feel for the person in the same way you do in person.

Also, no potential of technical glitches with face to face contact. I’d hate to wait a long time for a board, just for the internet to go down and then wait weeks again.

Some things are better kept old school.

I would say that both should be an option at the choice of WHQ.

As many have said you lose a lot in a virtual interview especially where you don’t know the person previously.

However in some locations a Virtual Board is far easier to organise promptly and cheaply.