Volunteer Allowance Review

With our organisation making its way out of what will be one of the biggest loss of CFAVs in a long time, if ever, do you think it would be an oppurtune time to review the volunteer allowance?

At the moment the basis of allowance working on day rate of the rank claiming and ignoring completely the role that individual plays in the organisation and no offering at all for CIs seems a little at odds with how the organisation really works. How could we improve it?

For me, I think we should move to a retainer, complete your hours in a year and you get X amount of money whether those hours are parade nights or weekend activities. Then the daily rate for activities beyond 8 hours drops to a lower flat rate for all.

How would others make it work?

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With your approach here, we would be employees, no doubt about it.

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I hadn’t considered that dynamic of trying to keep it as a volunteer vs employed bias. How would you split it? Do you agree we are empoloyees in all buy name at the moment anyway?

simply in the way that HQAC have been rumoured to do so

get recognised for the effort put in - the difference between director and participant in SMS on activities hints at that

there being two daily rates, a “higher” (director) rate and “basic” (participant) rate

those who get the event off the ground, put it all together and doing the running around get recognised regardless of rank as “directors” - while those who simply attend/turn up, and by doing so aid the staff ratios are participants.

Edit to add: if that VA was extended to CIs that wouldn’t upset me, particularly for those who are CIs but would be classed as “directors” for events. Many events couldn’t happen without CIs taking the lead in numerous cases so why not recognise them in the same way?
regardless of rank/appointment the “participant” role may need to be “managed” in that those who attend aren’t simply planning on drinking tea all day and are there to contribute to “earn” their “basic” VA
(although recognise this is true of the current system, and particularly valid where cushy tasks like “driver” can be volunteered for, leaving the CFAV only contributing 1 hour of the day, but being on site for 10 hours is eligible for VA)

to a degree yes - we get VA which is taxed - so to me is a wage/salary
but in other ways no - we get no “benefits” of employment such as pension scheme.

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I would favour something along the lines of, e.g. for a range day:

RCO - X monies
Safety Supervisor - Y monies


I’ve always found it odd that you could have a weekend planned and run by say a Flt Lt but have Sqn Ldr or Wg Cdr along to just do training and earn more.

so the “director” and “participant” rates that are discussed…

For me simplify things by paying HMRC approved mileage rates and allowances.

It may mean less per day but maybe more days could attract allowance and there would be no need for receipts or admin associated with tax. Before people shoot it down consider how many days unpaid your doing with the current system.

I am a volunteer giving my time to an organization whose activities I happen to enjoy at the end of the day, not trying to create an additional source of income.

Jesus. Not this conversation again. :man_facepalming:


If CIs want VA.
Go into uniform.


Well said.

This is key. Bin of VA all together but lets have a proper reimbursement system. 45p/mile and all uniform paid for.


For me any VA I receive is a bonus, I am in the Corps to help develop young people to be the best they can be. If you’re worried about money, perhaps have a think about why you are in the RAFAC


Then I and an awful lot of instructors will simply cut out alot of stuff we do for free.

I do so much for the org as the rough stuff is worth it for the fact my hobbies are paid for.

I spend VA on kit. Nothing else.

Last Jan I bought x4 spotting scopes for Wing shoots with it.
In my shooting box.

No VA, nothing like that in future.

If CIs want VA. Go into uniform. It’s not rocket science


This is too granular, as you can’t run this activity without either and would be a complete and utter pain to admin, expect payment times to multiply.

We currently accept that we get nothing for Parade Nights, with the exception of HTD if we live far enough away, I think this is fine, as ultimately this is our hobby too.

I’d go with 2 pay rates…

Participant - Flat ÂŁ30 per day across all Uniformed CFAV Ranks
Director - Rank Ranged Pay as now.

A director, is any member of staff contributing to the delivery of the activity, using teh shooting example of @InterestedAdult this would be;

  • RCO
  • Firing Point Safety Supervisors
  • Medic
  • Ammunition Orderly
  • IC Console / Butts
  • Coaches
  • Driver / Escort for Arms/Ammo Moves

Participant would be anyone who is coming along as they have an interest in the activity and want to find out more, or the duty driver moving cadets to/from the activity but not involved in the primary activity delivery.

All CFAVs on a Regular Summer Camp would be Directors. D&C Camp, for example, may be different to some degree with only Instructors / Camp Exec as Directors and others as Participants (particularly those officers who just want to wave a sword around).

Ultimately this would be a cost saving, as the participant rate is lower than Sgt / Plt Off is currently, perhaps the participant rate should just match these entry ranks :man_shrugging:, I think I’d remove the limit on Director Days and put a limit on the number of Participant days that can be claimed.


What I’m suggesting is that you should be still get money back. If you’re buying 4 spotting scopes that should be claimable it’s self.

Appreciate this will be the same for 99% of the people in the org. Not questioning anyones motives for wanting to be in the org either just opening a discussion on something interesting.

I did a search and couldn’t see a subject on this from the last couple of years, some stuff from many many years ago but my search skills might just be lacking. Happy to be pointed to a previous discussion if there is one to look at?

Interesting thought, apart from the reduced mileage to minimum what else could we claim for? Central fund sent to wings to buy kit instead of paying people?

I’d say my two key points are:

  • No volunteer should be out of pocket for anything they do/need within the org
  • No volunteer should be making a profit while volunteering, especially if others doing the same role are making less/nothing.

This sounds like an epic idea. I definitely require that new carbon full-sus.


I like this idea.

I know in the past that it has been argued that VA helps motivate some staff to attend activities they otherwise wouldn’t… but all that does is enable undesirable activities. If someone put on a crap parade and it turns out no one wants to go, and there is no financial incentive, then maybe they’ll realise that no-one actually wants to do it when they can’t staff it.

Bin it off and replace it with something cadets and staff want to do.

I so far have used VA to pay for my green uniform, new rank slides etc. So no “profit” yet, but if I were to do a camp that would likely give me some pocket money.

But then I won’t do an activity that doesn’t interest me VA or no VA.

Likewise, I will partake in activities that do, VA or no VA.

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I think there does need to be an overhaul of volunteer allowance as in its current form it isn’t fit for purpose.
The organisation has evolved since its inception in that individuals of all ranks take on responsibilities that where historically done by officers or senior ranks. There is no need for pay based on rank, it should either be a flat rate or I also agree with some of you above that it could be similar to the bounty based system the reserves have. A level off attendance and competency needs to be maintained, so for them Weapons Handling Tests, fitness tests etc. For us that could be attendance, maintaining mandatory training, and qualifications like shooting, fieldcraft and AT etc. It would stop the coasting staff who just exist without adding any value, the people that just turn up from claiming pay days, and leaves more in the pot for the rest of us that take on responsibility and do the organising for events.