Squadron Commanders Course- Thoughts?

Morning ladies and gents,
I have my squadron commander’s course coming up next year, spoke to a few bods who have been on the course and have been overwhelmingly positive with their experiences.

So the question I pose to all you lovely people is how did you find your’s?


I did mine many many moons ago but found it very interesting and informative.

Although it does go through policy it doesn’t actually advise you on how to run a Squadron (or it didn’t at the time)

There was periods of continuity drill and inspections but apart from that it was quite a relaxed course.

Not worth putting my comments down as it was 18 years ago, but saying that, my daughter attended recently. She said worth while but didn’t learn too much new stuff, mainly refreshing what she already knew.

Personally, I would encourage ALL staff to attend when their extension is due. There was an old boy Sqn Ldr on my course who went on it as he’d been out of the loop for some time due to illness, and he hadn’t got a clue about what was going on!

I did mine in 1998 and told nothing new.
I found the HQAC staff unable to answer any questions that people asked.
Thankfully it was only 4 and a bit days.

Speaking to some who have been recently they found it be equally useless. I was astounded

I think the problem is being a sqn cdr, which is what it is supposed to be preparing you for, is far more vague and the only thing that can prepare you properly is a course called … life. No life experience and you can begin to struggle.
You have to deal with real things, that no course where you get a couple of hours exposed to the supposed experts, unless it’s for just form filling could ever do.

Yes, but you already know everything about everything.


I really enjoyed my course. I found it most helpful meeting other people in similar situations to me, and it was helpful to get answers from the horse’s mouth (so to speak)

Probably erroneously on my part I expected to find out something important.
By that time I had been running a unit for nearly 3 years as a AWO then Officer.

Meeting people and sharing experiences is the best part of anything you do like this, but this is no different from many courses I’ve been on with work over the years.

But even then it was quite scary how many younger OCs were there and you got a very real sense of rabbits in headlights in the bar, talking about some of the things you were dealing with, not regularly, but were part of your experience. They would ask questions and got no answers from the experts running the course.

Agree, but I’m one that always wants to attend but can’t find the time due to work. I don’t think that every time you extend, but I do think it should be compulsory on second extension renewal; and same for SNCOs, how many never go back after their SSIC.

Amusing, because I find my self questioning the purpose and value of both the initial ATF courses these days, especially since attendance requires being signed off as already competent on the stuff I covered on the AWO course and with regular AVIP refreshers now part of our world.

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Not all us young ones look like rabbits in headlights :relaxed:

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Showing your age there old boy! :beers:

Was worthwhile (although in my day was the Officer’s Senior Course).

Learned more from the networking and drinks in the mess than the actual course, but that’s not a bad thing.

Oh yes :kissing: but at least as not as long in the tooth and cynical as some …

Given that extensions/renewals have ceased to exist, you may have to come up with a new time frame.

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Just waiting for the first “my granddaughter has just come back from that course…” for it to mean anything.

Although judging from the VR(T) / RAFAC genepool it won’t be long…

I’d struggle to know what they could tell you that was new, given the “basic” refresher, if you went back. Unless you’ve not been around the Corps for a while.

The only thing they could attempt is an Ipcress File type brainwashing, to get you back on message. But using Twits and FB drivel on a loop.

Squadron commanders Course was much more useful than OIC which was a week of my life I’ll never get back. (My view might be tainted by having a Course Leader who was so up themselves the lump in their throats was their own nose!)

As previously stated I think you get more out of the networking than you do out of the formal part of the course.

I personally think that the style at ATF needs to move away from military teaching and more towards peer to peer learning. Especially at SCC level where there is generally quite a lot of experience of one sort or another in the room.


waste of time . heads of departments out of touch with ground floor…and they don’t like the volunteer, the place would be better without the volunteer

I found that whilst the week was enjoyable in terms of meeting new people, the new style of course meant there was very little time to socialise because of the amount of evening work. This was so we could disseminate some HQAC policies (the irony) which bore no value to our actual role as a Squadron commander, to then make a presentation at the end of the week.
The course also felt as though it was for people who were considering becoming a squadron commander- way off the mark because everyone who goes is already one!
Add into that dull teaching, by staff who have absolutely no experience of an ATC or CCF unit, trying to tell you random aspects of what to expect (the course really doesn’t because it’s too late- we’re already in the role) and how to deal with things, it all smacks as another thing HQAC just allow to happen despite the lack of value. Squadron commanders course would be far better if they were taught by people who had actually done the role with the cadets. It’s completely different to the RAF. Which is why OASC is also just another ridiculous hoop to jump through. It bears no real semblance to cadets.
The final cherry on the cake is when you have someone come in to talk about safeguarding, someone brings up an issue they have with a transgender cadet and his response is… ‘I have no idea what you’d do in that situation.’ They’re supposed to create the policies and be able to answer questions.
Finally, when he says, after some scaremongering, ‘I’d never put myself in your position as a squadron commander,’ because of the high risk of being accused of something, you do actually wonder what planet he is from!

Now, I’ll admit that this was one of the first courses after the rehash and as a course we did criticise it greatly in the aspects mentioned, so they might have changed it, but it is not like the course of old, where it was highly social and you were treated like adults.

HQAC really needs to get a grip of ATF personally, and see that making people go through these courses needs to be worthwhile. For me, it’s a lot of repition with all the courses at a Wing level now, to become a uniformed member of staff.