Sqn issues

We all know that sqns face issues but what do people think are the biggest issues and how can these be supported…

[Censored] oh and not forgetting [Censored] and don’t bloomin get me started on [Censored]

I think that covers it for me…


Delivery of the classification training syllabus. It’s so hit and miss specifically toward Snr and MAC as the majority of people dont have a clue how to teach it!


Echoing @AlexCorbin
But adding in better Adult Recruitment process and Adult development.
The AVIP is a start however it needs to be developed further to training modules for different sqn roles etc, and actually delivered across the regions and wings.

You might be on to something there

But is part of this issue not down to the fact that cadets can sit the exams, without having to necessarily do any learning about the subjects, meaning that these cadets who pass using google, are our future staff/senior cadets who should be teaching these subjects but can’t. From what I’ve seen, the only people who know anywhere near enough to teach senior/master are people who have completed QAIC, which, when most squadrons are struggling with this, aren’t particularly plentiful, never mind wanting to be stretched to be used to help share knowledge with local squadrons.

Another issue is retention of staff and cadets, some squadrons can have a large staff team, but very few cadets, and other squadrons the other way around. And even then, some squadrons don’t have qualified staff to even help provide anywhere near the amount of activities we show off when recruiting. I know of a squadron where the youngest member of staff is in their mid 60s and they aren’t getting any support from their wing. Cadets and staff are obviously going to come and go, but we need to find out why people are leaving, which normally falls to the state of sqn/wing and generalised organisation. I’ve been in a position over the past year where I didn’t want to stay in the corps, but thanks to a lot of changes at squadron level, it’s definitely looking up.
I think as a corps, we need to look at the skills our staff members have, even if not necessarily specific qualifications, but skills they’ve learnt through work and education, a volunteer could be highly qualified in a lot of things relating to a topic of study, and aren’t allowed to teach it until they’ve done a course through the corps, which teaches them nothing new, but literally just allows them to teach and sign off cadets, and is, more than anything, a waste of a day.

Things on squadron fall to staff and strengths, we have a great OC, who is always on top of paperwork, introducing new ways of getting the staff team to make sure everything’s organised, and allowing our cadets to get the best out of the corps, but the other side of the coin is where sqn issues arise, if they haven’t been passed down from wing or above, which is where problems tend to lie.

1 Like

@Faerie_lines Unfortunately all of what you have said will fall on deaf ears.

There is no interest in why staff leave the organisation as many do as they are fed up with the ATC in so many different ways and HQAC aren’t interested in hearing that as they see it through rose tinted specs.

I lost 2 staff as my WSO at the time was on their case about going into uniform and doing courses and wouldn’t let it go. I said I had those conversations and they had told me they weren’t interested, so I never broached it again. But that wasn’t good enough and the WSO kept on and on, I gave him a brief appraisal of my thoughts about him and he said he was going to report me to the Wg Cdr, he never did. They didn’t “leave” although both returned keys and any sqn kit they had when I was holiday and they never darkened the squadron door. Before he got involved they were doing what I needed and got involved in things, so I lost staff and as far as he was concerned they weren’t doing what they should, but it explained why when he was a Sqn Cdr he lost several staff and was “moved” to Wing.

All exams are open book so this is permitted

But what is being said this doesn’t really give the information to go on and tell others. We ensure cadets do the classwork and do not sit the exams open book. I was at camp about 4/5 years ago and we did a section visit and the chap taking the visit asked the cadets some basic questions about aircraft controls, effect of controls and so on and all of my cadets answered the questions. He asked cadets from another squadron who couldn’t. He said I see you are a Senior cadet and you don’t know this, have you forgotten and the cadet said no, we don’t do lessons we just sit down with books at the computer or search for the answers. He was unimpressed. I’ve seen this with cadets when we do DofE as they are clueless about the basics of map reading and route planning.

1 Like

permitted yes, but the point being raised is there is little/no knowledge of the subject achieved in that process.

I don’t think anyone is expecting Cadets to be able to give a 20 minute lecture on a Classification subject, but it isn’t the correct approach to exams, learning or life if “Google has the answer” approach is adopted as accepted as “correct” - otherwise why bother with delivery of the lessons…might as well assign the time to googling the answers instead

1 Like

I’m not saying it should be allowed to do it this way. I’m saying that this is probably happening as a result of allowing open book exams

Exams are open book, they can go and search for the answer wherever they choose, and rather than sticking to our same mode of working, we as staff need to change to.

Perhaps cadets should pass a mini exam or quiz on the squadron in a group/pairs setting before they are registered for the exam, thus giving reassurance to the sqn training office that the cadets actually know the content.

Perhaps we need to have another training module alongside/before presentation skills which covers “learning skills” or “research skills”.

oh right, well i can confirm it IS happening, in every unit (4) i have been on since ultilearn.

Cadets will look at their limited notes and if no answer found, they turn to Google, Staff even encourage it in some cases.

there is nothing wrong with open book, but open book to the point the answer can be “googled” does limit the reason for the exam

does this imply exams in schools and universities need to change too?

do you mean like the revision questions at the end of the training material chapters?? is this not already done given the material is already available?

No, we’re talking about cadets here aren’t we. We aren’t talking about schools or universities, nor (i suspect) do any of us have the authority to change exams in those settings.

My point is that we as the adult volunteers should be doing 2 things:
a) challenging decisions from the CoC if we feel they are not to the benefit of the ATC. but we must provide a solid argument with evidence.

b) work with the current system while it stands (even if your challenging it with the CoC) and try to ensure the best result for the cadets.

Rather than just registering the cadets for the exam whilly nilly, we need to be checking their knowledge first; whether that is via the end of powerpoint questions, or your own material that is up to you, but we should be satisfied that they know the material before registering them.

It should be heres the PDF of the theory of the course. The answers are in their you just need to work out where they in the text. Crack on

1 Like

And this is why I think the BTEC is meaningless. I will help any of my cadets who want to get it, but if hiring someone I would give it no value whatsoever should I see it on a CV. It also makes me question the validity of any other BTEC if this is the rigorous standard applied - which is probably unfair to the majority of BTEC students.

The Level 3 in Training & Education does involve alot of research based assessments. But there is structured learning that needs to take place pre each assessment

now that is an idea i can get on board with.

a few lessons to introduce the subject, this is what is meant by the term X, or when discussing A it is important to consider that B will play a part.

highlight those items which are key and so the terms and phrases are known and understood so the questions are not simply the first time these elements are seen to the student and it is understood what is being asked, even if the answer is not known

Yeah wouldnt that be nice.
An actual single document covering each subject… almost like a book!

It would help