Uniform scores

How difficult is it to get a perfect 10 on an inspection. I recently got it and l wondered what the chances are.

Properly never (dependant on the person inspecting) if we were to give out scores of 10 every time then uniform will get worse as there is nothing to work towards!

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As there is no “standard” system for scoring it is totally dependent on the person marking.

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Ive never given a 10…theres always room from inprovement

I can’t recall having ever given a 10 on inspection - however I do disagree with those who say “you can’t ever get a 10” - surely it’s not fair to have an unachievable target?


Ask cadet to take beret off.
Look inside.
If label damaged, faded or removed, that’s a maximum of 9.

Yes. I’m a bar steward.

But in all seriousness, there is no standardisation on uniform scoring, so just take it as a job well done and keep it up.

I’m also against the “I never give a 10 because that means it’s perfect - and nobody’s uniform is perfect” concept.
It’s quite arbitrary. Nowhere does it say that 10 = perfect.
If you never intend to award a 10 then it becomes totally superfluous and 9 becomes the maximum standard possible… and then following the logic - “nobody can achieve the maximum possible because nobody’s perfect”…

I’m also against the system using those person outline marking sheets - “start with a score of 10 - circle every error and deduct one point for each.” Nonsense if you ask me.
I’ve even known someone who went the other way and awards a score of 10 for doing all that’s required - leaving no room to recognise those who put in extra effort beyond the acceptable minimum.

I always mark according to my overall impression of the person.
I allocate 5 points to what in my mind is very much average or mediocre. If it’s a mixed group I’m expecting that NCOs should be achieving 8 or 9, brand new cadets might be 3 or 4.
If someone clearly hasn’t tried they’re going to be scoring 0,1,2; if they’re putting in effort then there’s no reason they can’t score a 10, but I find it’s rare.

I tailor my idea of “average” depending on the circumstance. Marking on a Cadet Drill Course for example, I’m expecting higher standards than I would marking a new recruit flight.
So long as the scores are comparable amongst the peer group and consistent between inspections it’s all fine.

I always explain my marking system to the cadets on a course because it tends to seem as though I mark quite harshly, especially compared to some others. Scoring a 6 with me might be the equivalent of a 8 on their Sqn - I don’t know… But with me a 6 is good - it’s above average - but it means there’s more headroom to really impress me. Those who are scoring higher are having their efforts recognised.

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It should be on an experience gradient

I.e. if they are a brand spanking new cadet in their blues for a first time and they have a fresh set of shoes and they’ve put a bit of effort into trying to create a shine I would probably give them around a 5 or 6 with detailed feedback.

If it was a SNCO I would have serious issue into why they haven’t put the required effort in. Because that is a choice and not a skill gap because they would of known the required standard they would probably get a lower score than 5

It might make me come across a bit harsh but its important especially when you have new cadets to almost praise any effort they put in as it will result in them putting more and more effort in.

I would disagree.

I would say that the fundamental problem with an “experience gradient” as you suggest is that there is no parity between individuals. Each person’s score is separate and distinct from everyone elses and based only upon your personal opinion of their level of effort - and not on tangible and measurable results.

Your disappointing SNCO scoring lower than a 5 may still have better uniform than the brand new cadet.

It is then more difficult for the individual cadet to understand their position within the field and to appreciate what’s required to improve.
The new cadet who is giving good effort but still has a way to go before being worthy of a 6 “in normal terms” is given an unrealistic expectation if you award them a 6 anyway.
It also appears to the more experienced cadets that the new ones are given special treatment.

The cadet of two years service has an equivalent standard of uniform as the cadet of two months, but he scores lower than the new cadet because you expect more of him.

Simply tell them “Well done. I can see you’re putting in a good effort… But here’s what you need to do to achieve the 6s and 7s that you can see other cadets achieving…”
They can then also look at those other cadets and physically see - that’s what a “7” looks like.

With your NCO… Instead of giving them a “3” because you don’t think they put in the effort you expect them to do you can say "Your uniform is worth a ‘5’ today… I really expect my NCOs to be achieving ‘7’ or ‘8’…

I fully agree with the concept of expecting more from NCOs - which is why I mark them harder on courses where it’s only NCOs. But where they are being marked alongside ordinary cadets I would consider it to be fairer and more logical that a 5 is a 5 is a 5.

I wouldn’t say that it makes you seem harsh, particularly not to the new cadet.
But it does make you come across as inconsistent.