VA Changes Announced

The news is out, please discuss it here.

Remember, the powers that be do monitor this site, so don’t say anything too outrageous, but don’t be afraid about voicing your opinions.

Main changes: Cap remains at 28 days, for this financial year
Pay is capped at Substantive Rank, not Acting Rank. (Acting rank available in some instances)
You can now add together multiple four hour activities to make a day up

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I can understand the path they’ve taken. It will mean there is going to be a big drop off in support especially for those self employed for anything more than a couple of days.

Also as Officers are pegged at Fg Off I can’t see many people taking ranks above that and more responsibiliy.

No Pain for the NCOs only commissioned officers. Is there any point in taking responsibility?

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It’s a sensible change & to me one plus point is that by capping at substantive rank it reaffirms that the VA is an allowance & not pay bringing it back in line with volunteer expectations.

Also cleverly it means that the majority of uniformed volunteers aren’t affected.

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Personally, I think the idea of being able to add together short days is a good one. This is a positive change and should be applauded.

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I also broadly agree with capping at substantive rank, with some exceptions. Rather than the current system which apportions pay regardless of where the responsibility actually falls. You could have a WO running an activity and taking the responsibility, and the Sqn Ldr rock up and get paid more for less. Similarly, JL is headed by a Sqn Ldr, who is running a very risky activity, and QAIC is paying for a Wing Commander.

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All of it is irrelevant because they’ve said that it’s down to regional commandants to decide how it’s spent, which means if you’re in the south west you’ll get naff all anyway regardless of rank or hours.

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I’m not sure about that. For most people there’s no real change. For Flt Lt+ there’s still VA around but a reduced amount dependant on rank - it’s still in the order of £70 or whatever a day.

My main issues with the changes is putting RHQ’s in control over what can/can’t be claimed for.

This means we will have 6 different takes on something that should be nationally directed

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Overall this actually looks quite good and sensible. The ability to combine 4 hour days is a great idea.

The move to substantive rank only, up to Fg Off sort of makes sense. But when the SNCOs still have a scale, this feels a bit off. A single rate for SNCOS with a separate Officer rate might have been better? But not sure.

The RAFAC HQ Activity Efficiencies Matrix will detail which activities may attract VA, Transport and Subsistence.

It’s not 100% clear who will have what powers here to say yes or no imo. That’s ‘to be seen’. Is the matrix the law, or is it the minimum (if that makes sense?) If the matrix says you can claim VA for climbing, can the RC decide you can’t? If the matrix says you can’t claim for .22 shooting, can the RC say you can?

Money needs to be saved, and this could have been a lot more ‘brutal’ in terms of cuts.

It’s only a scale one rung taller than the Officer one though, and the pay scales for acting ranks are still there for stuff that requires it.

The Region tax is going to be the real issue.

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Will be interesting to see if this is the only way of saving money from the CFAV. Nothing about T&S (F1771), except for the CACE matrix, and nothing on HTD.

Whereas VA affects those in uniform, F1771 and HTD affects everyone!!

I understand that WO promotions are effectively paused as each one needs a business case now so I suspect we could see a move to WO being acting rank for SNCOs at some point in the next three to five years.

You should also look at the VA rates Fg Off is slightly more than WO. The officer cadre will be able to move to that rate in around the quarter of the time that it takes the SNCO cadre to move to the WO rate, assuming there is a WO post to be filled by them when they become eligible.

VA may now be claimed at the discretion of HQ RAFAC COSs, RCs and Comdt 2 FTS who will apportion VA against HQ directed priorities for activity.

To me that says RC’s, COS etc will have the say on approving the claim or not. So even the matrix says it’s eligible for VA they can still decide not to approve it.

Which depending on your region can see nothing get approved or very limited numbers based on what they decide is sufficient.

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In the video interview TK indicates he is responsible for 1200 buildings. I can only imagine that number is reached by including 900+ Squadron buildings…but I thought it was RFCA’s responsibility to manage these?
Or are they the “contractor” to HQAC who determine what money RFCA can spend where?

agreed. and is inline (almost) with what was suggested 8 years ago when i first heard of changes with “participant” and “director” being added to SMS.
there being a two tier pay scale depending on which option was appointed for an activity.

It does it in a different way, but for ease would make sense to use the drop down options we already have

That isn’t what is said though:

RCs and Comdt 2 FTS who will apportion VA against HQ directed priorities for activity.

as i read that - HQ have a list of activities which attract VA, it is up to RCs to cross reference a claim against that list. It isn’t a budget that RCs control and decide who does and doesn’t get pay based on a budget, it is a list which RCs are responsible for checking against a claim.
in effect what we have today anyway and will be detailed in the Single Activities Matrix

agreed. it does feel the NCOs are getting a better deal out of this

if this does happen it makes the changes pointless and might as well say “you’ve got VA if the RC says you do” offering 6 difference approaches

these are out of pocket expenses though and generally “universally” paid to the volunteer regardless of the organisation. Many/most(/all?) volunteer organisations will cover travel expenses. to make a change to this would be a big step change about how HQAC sees the volunteer versus how the rest of the country values its volunteers.

So no additional VA for a Sqn OC taking on extra responsibilities then.
An OCW paid the same as a Sqn Officer with nowhere near the level of responsibility. Sounds good !

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It’s been said that Acting WO can’t be a thing, as they are Warranted it would be innappropriate to reduce their rank :slight_smile:

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Already we have differing interpretations over the wording.
I read it as read region will be given an allocation of VA the management of which is delegated.

Comdt RAFAC will determine the overall regional resource allocation from which VA may be claimed and delegate its management.

Then it’s up to the delegated group to approve the claims or not