Valuing volunteers


Most likely a policy somewhere >.<


Thinking a little more about trust - does having WHQ at the end of the approval process (in most cases) afford any protection to the volunteer as they are the employee and we are not (this would assume WEXO’s are responsible for authorisation rather than CFAV’s at WHQs).

WRT admin reduction and activity approval - does referral to WHQ really add add a huge amount to the admin burden? I suspect that this element will vary according to WHQ policy as some Wings may deny an application more often than others.

Which brings me to policy variation at various levels - I know we are encouraged to challenge it where it isn’t in line with Corps policy and I’ve observed additional work being generated as a direct result of it but why does it come about in the first place? I’d assume that the Admin reduction team’s purpose is/was to identify instances where this is occurring and then apply correction.

This leads me to communications in general - I am not entirely sure why this is an issue as through BADER we have a medium via which whole RAFAC messages can be promulgated and yet this seems to rarely occur. Perhaps monopoly on info distribution? Chain of Command causing blockages in dissemination? Politics affecting the message hitting home? Why doesn’t HQ fire out emails to the whole RAFAC where applicable rather than filtering down through Regions and then Wings? Pointing toward Sharepoint notifications (which I’ve experienced in the past) is nonsensical as individual’s technical ability will vary.

In short I feel an OC should have access to all info that could affect unit operations, I’ll probably swim against the stream by saying I don’t mind a deluge of emails as I’d rather be informed than not but I appreciate that isn’t a common opinion.

Having thought over the last couple of days I guess what VoV means to me is:

  1. Engage with the volunteer - surveys are all well and good but in the past these have appeared to be more a damage limitation exercise (decision already made) rather than actually wanting the opinion of the volunteer. Implement/adjust policy accordingly to enable the organisation to run better for the volunteer to facilitate more delivery for the cadet.

  2. Communication - keep the volunteer advised of all relevant information - some comms will be directed (MOD requirement etc) which I would assume would be challenged at HQ level by permanent staff if deemed too disruptive (by a volunteer working group perhaps?) to delivering the cadet experience, some comms will be consultative (cycles back to point 1).

  3. Acknowledgement of past mistakes with a review, recommendations and implementation of improvements. There are several areas that could be reviewed here Glider recovery / replacement CSBTR / CFC rollout / PTS rollout etc. Addressing these areas would go some way to assure that the top was in touch and willing to engage - words are fine, actions are better. In a way this is what I would expect any 2025 etc strategy to address - I don’t need corporate material, I’m already in the organisation, I need to know management is aware of the areas that require improvement and is as committed to improving them as the volunteer is to delivering the cadet experience.

Please excuse the somewhat rambling nature of these posts >.<


I’m going to suggest something I’ve suggested many times in the past - Corps Routine Orders. Someone actually putting all of the information coming out of HQAC into a sensible and readable digest, pointing the reader at the relevant place if more information is needed. Emails can then be saved for anything actually urgent.


They are still out there, updated on a monthly basis; problem is that there is no notification of when!


Repeats is all I see.

I found out about RIAT camp via Facebook…

The rage builds…


We used to get CROs in the post, but it was 99% retreads.
When Bader first started I signed up to several alerts, but ended up ditching them as 10% were of any value and 90% were some oik in HQAC changing the font, margin or something.
Now how about a real radical move … post things out and do proper amendment lists so there is something on a bit of paper, as the email/electronic updates seems to encourage laziness.


If these points gain the recognition and understanding from those in change that we do Air Cadets in our spare time, it is not a job, fine.

I don’t think they are really ready to engage with volunteers, the Q&A page on s/point demonstrates that IMO. Quite simple requests are met with a barrage of bluff and blunder.

The best way to get them to value volunteers is to make all but a handful of permanent staff at HQAC, volunteers in expenses only posts (no FTRS), they can keep their rank as that seems to be an important driver for their being part of the Air Cadets, and they HAVE to be on an Air Cadet squadron as CIs and participate as any member of squadron staff would.


I wonder if all our organisations permanent staff should simply be recruited from the volunteer pool? I could see it adding value, sort of an internal advertisement before going external if no suitable candidate applies.

I know, I know…


What no FTRS sinecures for the favoured few.


Interesting idea but could in all honesty see the RAF ceding control and losing the Air Cadets as a repository for those now that are too scared to leave the comfort of the RAF in a role where they don’t have to be accountable to their customer base. The old reserve officer and sunset positions, worked much better for the Air Cadets.
Take CAC could you see someone in that level of management role continuing for as long as they have in the real world, while skilfully overseeing the dramatic reduction of the USP of organisation they are running and doing nothing whatsoever to try and restore it? I couldn’t. In retail and FMCG anyone allowing what CAC allowed and still being in the job 5 years later, would be an extremely rare occurrence, mainly as there wouldn’t be anything to be in charge of. Oh what must it be like to be in a job commanding a salary of that level and not having to do anything and not have to account for such consummate failings.
All the while the poor sods at the coalface get platitudes and this year well dones for ensuring the parent service looked good in its centenary year.


To me, valuing the volunteer - like valuing anyone else - is integrity.

Beginning. Middle. End.

It’s telling the truth, it’s being candid, it’s doing things when you say you’re going to do them, it’s not making life harder for people without a good reason - and if you have a good reason, explaining it.

It’s trying to make it easier for other people to help deliver the common goal - if you can halve the number of questions on a form do so, if you can get rid of a form so, if you have a hoop for people to jump through that doesn’t really add anything, get rid of it.

Integrity. Telling the truth. Being candid.


Some find that ideal difficult if not impossible, if you are here or your acolytes are, you know who you are.