Volunteer Development Team - New Cadet Portal


#121

When we were first exposed to ewow I asked about dummy accounts like we have at work for people to learn how to use software, but was told it couldn’t happen and you couldn’t delete things with a squadron account. Totally shambolic situation. I wonder if this is why people shy away from it. Lord knows I made mistakes in the early days of bader setting up staff accounts and had to get them deleted, because I couldn’t.

I wouldn’t want someone at work ‘going live’ until they have the basics.


#122

I refer to my answer above, it is more the financial aspect at the moment.

My advice would be, when the time comes, to use a serving Cadets account to login and demonstrate the tool (as long as they are happy with that) which will fix the perceived issue (which I am pretty certain doesn’t exist - which I am hoping to prove with the show and tell video I am working on at the moment).


#123

It was financial in the 00s when it was all launched.

I’m a bit of a if you ain’t got the money or can’t afford it don’t do it, as it tends to be lacking. As per the old saying don’t spoil the ship for h’aporth of tar.


#124

Thank you for your feedback.


#125

Unfortunately HQAC do things on the cheap and I sincerely hope your efforts don’t get ruined as the money isn’t there.


#126

Could this not just be a mirror (in a sense) of SMS - cadet goes to relevant section of their profile, clicks on “add qualification” or “update rank”, confirms and then a notification goes to OC+ADJ+TO/nominated Squadron members(s) either to enact or directly authorise an automated SMS update?

Then, while not linked to Ultilearn could cadets request subjects and exams to be authorised? Which would save a queue of Cadets at the door - this could maybe be turned off by Squadrons who don’t work their Ultilearn this way?

I welcome this (I saw the reply further down that events can be turned off, but COs will be made to justify and/or buck up). I’m fed up of hearing of cadets who didn’t hear about an event.

Truthfully, we don’t/can’t catch everything, so this will be of benefit to us. If a cadet can get access to all of the relevant information and register interest and not need me to go Sharepoint diving… I’ll be a happy bunny.


#127

Essentially yes but that functionality does not yet exist in terms of Cadet Portal or the approval mechanism on the SMS end of things. Like I said, it is all possible and this will be included in the next iteration of the tool after the Minimum Viable Product.

Yes, that is something to consider in the future but as I said, we aren’t at that stage yet.

All of that is the goal!

Work is going well and we have Command Board this Thursday :slight_smile:


#128

Good luck!


#129

I hope you aren’t getting too bored or frustrated with repeated or overlapping queries or suggestions - I’d like to think that we’re all just adding weight to the demand and confirmation that you’re heading the right way!

Out of curiosity, are you using this thread as market research and taking that into your meetings?


#130

Many thanks :slight_smile:

Not at all - and I am keen to get the demo video made, approved and shared which I am hoping will answer a number of common questions and queries.

Yes and no I guess is an honest answer. Staff are not the customer as this is an entirely cadet focused project. However, that does not been that the staff are not a vital stakeholder and a key audience we must engage with effectively to ensure success. The reality is that ACC membership is a very small sub-set of the volunteer cadre and an even smaller sub-set of the cadet body. The “You know you have been an air cadet too long when…” group on facebook is, I would argue, an easier way to measure opinion and reach out to a much bigger audience en masse particularly with the cadets themselves. However, I am somewhat nostalgic and I have a long history with ACC…

I continue to see ACC as a really important community and can be a force for good if you are able to cut through the endless negativity and (in some cases, well founded) scepticism.

I am quite open about our desire to be seen as open - this is a project led and developed by volunteers for the cadets themselves. Hopefully, that comes across!


#131

Have you seen the comments on the thread about TG21s? You might find them interesting!


#132

Yes, I am following the thread :+1:


#133

Erm…arn’t pre-filled TG forms already availible for the cadets under the reports tab of the bader SMS event? Biggest issue tends to be that the version of the TG form on SMS lags significantly behind that on sharepoint and takes a while to be updated.


#134

I believe that COs should not be able to turn off notifications. The cadet should be able to see everything.


#135

Yes, but you have to be able to be staff to access sms to get to that pre completed form which, as you have said, is on the wrong version of the form - which you then have to print for the cadet, they take it home, get it signed and bring it back in.

Having it in Cadet Portal will allow the cadet to just hit the output button and then print it themselves and get their parents/guardians to sign.

…and before the sceptics start talking about moving printing costs onto the cadets, that is not the case or the intention, we are just trying to make life easier…


#136

If we can accept electronic versions of the consent form then the cadets can just email it back so no problems there.

In my day job we have to manage a sizeable number of volunteers and it appears the concept behind the cadet portal is going to be very similar to the system that we use i.e. we need X number of cadets/volunteers who meet criteria a,b and c and have until such and such date to sign up.

However we have an issue with our volunteers where the ones who meet the criteria and tend to be volunteering, primarily for them selves (or just constantly micro-check the system) try and sign up to all the gucci events. This can lead to those who do the hard graft events (which with cadets would be the bag packs, some of the parades, recruitment stands or even turning up each night at the unit) getting frustrated as they miss out on the fun stuff whilst those who don’t pull their weight swooping and getting to do all the cool stuff.

Is there a way that the Sqn CO or Sqn Adj could tick a box or an “approve” or “verify” button once the cadet signs up to the camp? You could have an override at Wing & Region Level for use by the volunteers and paid staff as a safeguard (and also allowing for everything to be readded quickly when the system crashes).

No only will this help reinforce the squadron staff feelings that they serve a purpose and are valued on unit (they are making less and less decisions and shoulder more and more of the responsibility), it allows greater nuanced control helping to ensure that the right cadets go on the right courses at the right time (e.g. a cadet corporal gets to go on an Initial NCO course before a cadet especially when the cadet is not judged mature enough to be able to attend the course successfully.) This also means that cadets who do not have internet access due to social background (i.e. affordability) are not disenchanted further.

On a side note unless you can get this accessible as an app for mobiles the cadets (and probably staff) aren’t going to buy into it and sqn staff will stop bothering resetting individual passwords (ultilearn is bad enough).

Overall the intent is laudable and should be positively supported but having dealt with a similar system with (grown up) volunteers and the issues they can cause (no matter how many times you tell them no), you will need some robust backstops to prevent what is a very good idea being dragged down into Chaos and over-admin rectify a system when let loose with the general public.


#137

I would agree, and I suspect if they allow it, it will soon be taken away when they see how widespread it is (and they get bored of hunting COs to find out what they’re playing at).


#138

I think this is the better place to have started. I think perhaps now you’re in a position to start pushing some of the content out (even if it’s just teasers - looks good, by the way) and you’re on FB, then a bit of advertising on YKYBAACTLW to draw people to your page wouldn’t be a bad thing. Might be more problematic than here to manage it though.

Have you put a survey out on You Know… When…?


#139

So if cadets see an event and all the staff are busy with their own lives, odd concept I know, what do you do then? This happens now with SM.
Would you stuff up your personal life so a cadet or two can do something. Good luck on that one convincing your wife and or children/family.
I see things and raise it with staff primarily. Staff available yes, no staff then doesn’t make it onto a notice.


#140

is a prefilled TG21 we are after or prefilled TG23??

21 is a content form with a load of contact details which are duplicated in a F3822, a F3822A and on SMS.

the “interesting” bit worth noting is the health issues in the group of Cadets.

the only important bit on a TG21 is the signature of consent - the rest of the information we already have and is little immediate benefit.

(i’d argue we should already have the data on TG23s too if everyone is playing by the agreements but that is a separate discussion - a TG21 is a consent form - the only “pre-filling” would be event title, location and date)