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.