Training Officers, year ahead?


Are there ny other units near you as their T/Os are probably having the same thoughts at the moment about the sylabus and resources both staff and equipment. Maybe a chat to their T/Os about sharing resources in regard to staff qualified to deliver subjects.


Not a bad idea. Could be worth opening some discussion doors.


That’s one I’m trying to get in this year, having failed to get anything sorted in the later parts of last year. We didn’t participate in the wing competition day last year, and I’m hoping getting competition on the squadron will get us to a more prepared state for the coming year.

Something I’m desperately trying to do - we don’t have enough staff available most nights to run simultaneous training for all classifications (nor experienced enough cadets to deliver training regularly yet), so teaming up seems like the way forward. Coordination is likely to be a problem though - all of us have cadets with different gaps in the syllabus.

Somewhat related to that, my aim is to get things planned out earlier (although that’s off to a bad start - I haven’t managed to get January’s training programme agreed on yet…).

Out of interest, how far in advance do people tend to publish training programmes? We publish ours on a monthly basis, and they usually end up going out a couple of days before the first parade night (and then changing at least once most months). I’d feel like getting them published mid previous month at the latest would be more appropriate.

I sat down with our OC and Adj in November to put together a general plan, which seemed like a very useful exercise. The challenge now is to fit it all in with the limited staff availability we have.


How do you guys do your inter flight stuff? Monthly activities with an overall winner at the end of the year? What sort of activities do you include in it?


Be brave. You can - and you will get results.

Yes, you may lose one or two. But combined with a solid induction, engaging training and supportive NCOs and staff, you’ll probably find yourself in a much better place long term.

You’ll probably only lose the same number as you do now - having done the hard work of getting them through the door, I’d imagine that you still lose a few because they then lose interest, find themselves repeating stuff, or not progressing.

You will find as TO that intakes will take some load off you as well. You can plan a set programme of activities over 3 months or so without having to constantly do a gap analysis to see who’s missing what area of training or whatever. Repeat it a few times and it becomes closer to an off the shelf package than anything else!

Whilst you may not get 100% turn out every night, you will find it a whole lot easier to manage them. Even simple things like ordering uniforms, sorting direct debit forms or doing the first class booklet!

The group make a solid team who build relationships and will progress through the RAFAC mill at roughly the same speed. You’ll be surprised at how it also helps build retention long term, purely through building a cohesive team from the outset.

It can also help you later on in first class and leading, senior and master as they intakes will all sit roughly in the same training groups as well.


Delegate it!!! Give it to the flight commanders to sort out.

Have discussions with them to keep it on track, but let them run with it. And dont try and micromanage it. As TO you’ve got better things to do than count up uniform scores or attendance scores or whatever!!

I would set it around uniform scores, attendance (parade nights), attendance (weekend events), and a series of competitions over the year.

Competitions wise it could be anything thats measurable - or that can be run as a competition. Drill is a classic - but doesn’t need doing every month!! Maybe a drill comp once every six months. But first class quizzes, navigation exercises, leadership tasks, interflight sport, stem activities etc.

Dont do it yourself. Delegate it to you senior cadet and flight ICs to sort. Senior cadet can manage attendance and uniform scores. Flight ICs arrange competitions, taking it in turns month by month. Month 1 is A flights flight IC to sort, month 2 is B flights, then A flight then B flight yadda yadda. If your flight ICs cant organise 6 small competitions/parade night activities per year, then there’s no hope!!


That’s the plan.

Basically, there is a cadet of the month calculated on uniform, attendance and general behaviour, etc.

Those points go towards cadet of the year, where they’re combined with academics and physical.

The COTY scores are then combined together in a flight, and events run roughly monthly added to those - such as sports, drill competition, shooting contest, etc.


Sometimes, with all my staff on shifts, and my job screwing me over for time at the last minute, it would be nice to be able to plan more than a week ahead!


Thank you very much, I think I will take that plan into the new year! Hopefully, I can sell it to the CO.


I’d wondered about giving up on monthly programmes and just publishing things weekly. Is that what you do?

(sorry - thread creep)


Yeah, my system is:

Broad plan for the year (which changes little from year to year)
Plan parts of the programme 2-6 weeks in advance
Finalise the programme one week prior to the week beginning (eg on Sat 1st/Sun 2nd of a month for WB 8th) and put that out to the unit as part of our weekly orders, which also includes a list of upcoming events (handily automatically produced from the training programme creator software!)


What is this software you speak of? :astonished: @MattB



Thank you!


NP, just sorting out an email now


I and I’m sure others will second this - our Sqn operates one intake per year in October (with a two week intake period to allow for friends becoming interested) and engage recruits with a 3 month programme leading to enrollment before the Sqn breaks for Christmas - our new second class cadets then start the New Year being able to fully participate.

Over some 5 years I’ve seen the Sqn grow and a greater proportion of cadets stay as a result on the intake system so I can highly recommend. Our waiting list hasn’t had less than 30 cadets on it it each time we come to recruit for a number of years so, in our quarter at least, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of potential recruits being put off.


Thank you for your input @Typhoon and @Batfink with regards to intakes. I’m Definitely going to try and sell this to the CO.


Agreed - we’re currently on two intakes, but I’d like to try and pare it down to one (just need to get the recruitment on point)


I’ve been recommending an intake system for a decade - very encouraging to hear it’s been entirely successful elsewhere. I shall be speaking to the CO again immediately!


We tried it for a year and it failed…
Nobody came back for the intakes they had found something else to do.

So it doesn’t alway work.