Volunteer Software Development Team - New Cadet Portal


Yes, but that will not be possible due to the associated license costs and MOD restrictions in place. However, we are looking to implement push notifications to cadets email in the future. If we are to implement the latter, we will need to develop a mechanism to turn such notifications off to meet the Data Protection Act (2018) requirements which include the GDPR provisions.

I don’t think we will get to the point of custom Cadet Portal SMS notifications due to the associated costs - having worked for a software company that was doing precisely that, I can state with reasonable authority that SMS notifications are an expensive beast to manage especially for a system with the number of users that we will have.

In the future, Microsoft Teams (think Slack but Microsoft) will be rolled out across the RAFAC (for staff) as a communications tool and we are using Teams to manage this project at the moment (which is also acting as a helpful trial project for wider Teams adoption). However, there are various things that need to be in place before Teams can be rolled out more widely but it is being actively looked at the moment.


I work within the IT Department of my organisation and we are trialling Teams.

We have identified that Teams is a whole new way of working compared with sending things by email. Which is great but this will come with an associated training cost

If teams is rolled out across the RAFAC with no training, I can predict that the take up will be low, because nobody will know how to use it or even why they should.

Training for staff does seem to be a massive issue in this organisation, so I’m not convinced that there will even be any.

I don’t know a single person that uses skype for business with their bader account - most don’t even know they have access to it


Bang on with the take up and training, but then what do you expect when you don’t invest properly in IT and try and do it all on the cheap. But that’s HQAC for you.

We weren’t given training for Bader or Ultilearn or SharePoint like we’d get at work for new software etc.
Ultilearn promised all manner of different test styles, but has become a dumping ground and mind numbing test process and SharePoint is just another dumping ground.

To this end it would be pointless introducing anything new as people don’t use what there is already. Then there is the tedium of MOD restrictions on things, which baffle me as to why it applies to us.


Because the MoD provide it…


What do they provide? excl servers


I’d use SfB a hell of a lot more if it could do group calls. As it is, that functionality is disabled…which seems mental when it could save the organisation ££££ in travel claims to meetings etc.


It is not “disabled” - it is simply not available on the license we currently have. The money you suppose we would save would be countered somewhat by the additional license costs and I bet those come from different budgets.

There is a hope that we will be able to get onto a better licence scheme one way or another. One step at a time.


I know it’s a licensing thing rather than an organisational disablement, but I’d wager it would still provide a net saving to the organisation overall. Which budget it comes from should be irrelevant in the big picture, if the net effect is a saving to the organisation?


I must say I agree with this. I’ve used SfB for conference calls at work and it’s a good solution.

Last December I phoned into a meeting at 2FTS and I think that was done via SfB, so they do appear to have it. (I could be wrong. It was when the snow hit hard and some of us couldn’t travel to the meeting.)


They will have S4B as part of MODNET.


The VDT have uses one-to-many calling too, but not sure where their license derived. Again, probably from another agreement. I am advised there is no scope for piecemeal upgrades of licence for RAFAC users.


Hi Ladies and Gents,

I am following with interest but I don’t have a great deal to contribute which is why I haven’t been as responsive. What I would say is that the organisation is investigating possible avenues to improve the licensing situation for everyone and in fairness to the Bader guys, they are doing everything they can.

We in the VDT are using SfB extensively (and I seem to live on it in the evenings at the moment) and it is a fantastic tool for this kind of project - although I appreciate the frustrations of the limitations that are currently in place - and in the future I think it will make demonstrable efficiency savings. As @incubus has said, softly softly catchy monkey :slight_smile:



I was not aware that we couldn’t do that - not having anyone to use it with, I hadn’t tried it!

The group calls is the best part of it…


I have to say, after a demo yesterday, the Cadet Portal looks fantastic!

Can’t wait to get my Cadets stuck in and using it, definitely believe it will reduce some of our admin burden!

Like everything, the cadets will get out of it what they put in.

Well done James and the rest of VDT, your all doing a great job!


Many thanks :pray:t2:!


Is It possible to get a sneak peek?


Sure, drop me a PM :slight_smile:


+1 :slight_smile:


From the consent forms thread - has any thought been put towards a future use of the cadet portal (perhaps as a parent portal) to digitally sign consent?

Second thought - any chance of a sqn general account a al Ultilearn, where staff can see how it all works?


I don’t think we will ever get to a Parents Portal environment, as I have said already, because the MoD just won’t allow it…baby steps.

However, pre-filled TG21s which are produced for each event are something we will be looking to do.

…and digital signing of forms is a long way off in reality…

I keep getting asked about a sandbox environment but there are complex and technically challenging reasons why this probably won’t happen which basically relate back to money. If we have a fake cadet account in place for each Sqn to access the Cadet Portal, that will then get picked up in the stats which will then require a subscription payment which the Sqn would then be expected to pay.

What I would say is much more likely is a show and tell video which I am working on with another volunteer at the moment. More to follow on that front.