VR(T) Commission Change


The wording on my commisioning scroll says otherwise…


The general understanding and implications of “reservist” has changed significantly over the past few years as proper reserves have been expected to become a larger part of our armed forces. Whatever was chosen for convenience in the history of the commissioned side of the ACO is no longer a sensible option and we are right to distance our volunteers from that perception and expectation.


Wiki says;
A reservist is a person who is a member of a military reserve force. They are otherwise civilians, and in peacetime have careers outside the military. Reservists usually go for training on an annual basis to refresh their skills. This person is usually a former active-duty member of the armed forces, and they remain a reservist either voluntarily, or by obligation. In some countries such as Israel, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland, reservists are conscripted soldiers who are called up for training and service when necessary.
All three branches of the British Armed Forces have volunteer reserves. Reservists hold civilian jobs and train on a stipulated number of weekends monthly. They are generally assigned to an administrative corps or specialist trade according to their occupations and location in the country.

Dictionary definition:
noun: reservist; plural noun: reservists
a member of the military reserve forces.

Popular soshul meja definition;
Whatever suits someone’s argument to be an Internet hard man.


Slightly off tack I know, but watching ‘Going Postal’ on the telebox there were a couple of lines from an exchange between 2 characters worth noting -

Pump 19 "We volunteered"
Adora Dearheart “That is the worst kind of exploitation!”

Just putting it out there, just because its from fiction doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Hippo new year everyone :slight_smile:


Wording blah blah blah.

We cannot consider ourselves to be equal of the real reserve forces. We complete no MATTs, have zero fitness requirement and only command a few adults and mostly children.


Wording does become quite important when it comes to the legal aspects of these things though.


Who said VRT officers were equal to those who are deployable?

Two different things. Both are members of the reserve forces like it or not. For now.



You are conflating facts with your opinion. From a legal perspective, your points are - no offence - immaterial. What matters here is the legal perspective; your opinion is your own, and you’re quite entitled to it (even if it is factually incorrect).

s2 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA96) specifies who is a member of the Reserve Forces. ATC and CCF(RAF) Officers are - currently - commissioned into the RAFVR Training Branch (one of several branches). The RAFVR is a “division” (in the wording of Schedule 8 to RFA96) of the Royal (since 1997) Air Force Reserve (RAFR). The members of the RAFR are - according to s2 of RFA96 - therefore members of the Reserve Forces; ie reservists.

Being a reservist has nothing to do with call out or annual training liability, indeed RFA96 makes specific provision to exempt RAFVR(T) and TA (as was) General List B (ie CCF(A) and ACF) Officers from both. Being a reservist is simply about being - legally - a member of the Reserve Forces …and, from the MOD perspective, that is the whole point of the Cadet Forces Commission; so that we are no longer - legally - reservists, and all that entails.

So, to say “CFAVs are not reservists” is utterly missing the point (as well as incorrect, in the commissioned case). The MOD would not be jumping through the hoops it is - and a tremendous rush (why?) - to introduce the CF Commission, were it not for this issue (can you imagine how much the staff work is costing?!). All has been well enough for the past 75 years (in the case of the ATC) for its Offrs to be commissioned into the RAFVR and therefore reservists; to have the level of activity on this matter that we have had for the past 4-5yrs, something(s) have changed, and those things are (a) employment law, (b) the reservist offer, and © the willingness of what we now call CFAVs to use - properly or improperly - the HR/Service Complaint system.

I believe that the MOD is - rightly - terrified that someone will launch (and probably win) a legal case in respect of commissioned - and possibly all remunerated - CFAVs legally being employees, and not volunteers; opening up the possibility of their having to pay - retrospectively - all that that entails, to all of those entitled. Thus the push towards the CF Commission, and probably also the rush to implement. The cost of the staff work will be less than the cost of a successful legal challenge (BTW, I am not suggesting that such a thing would be appropriate; but someone is clearly exercising the legal eagles at Head Office).

I make no judgement on your opinion, you are as fully entitled to it as I am to mine; but I happen - based on the facts - to disagree with you. I would simply add that the majority of CF Officers are under not illusions that, despite their being commissioned Officers in the Reserve Forces, their role is a world away from that of the reserves with a call out liability. However, I submit that the majority are also hugely proud of their membership of their respective service, and their commission. That does not equate to thinking that their role is something that it isn’t.



Excellent work there@btiactual and much more eloquently put than I could.

However, the threat of future legal challenge aside it doesn’t absolve of historical cases being sought.

Is this all damage limitation? Stem the tide so to speak?


From a legal background, there’d be no basis for a legal challenge. People signed up without expectation that they’d be entitled to reservist offers available now. Although a clarification in position (re cadet force commissions) works both ways.



I suspect the bigger issue is that of employment status. There is potential there for both Offr and WO/SNCO(ATC) / ACF AI cadres to be affected.

I won’t even begin to open the can of worms that is the CCF.

Happy New Year all - it’s going to be an interesting one!



I believe you are wrong here. If it can be shown that although they are considered to be volunteers but actually should be listed as employees by various virtues (including remuneration, contract and policies - which we all have) then employee rights exist such as disability or racial discrimination (Armitage v relate1994 in respect of the latter).

Also see Murray vs Citizens Advice Beruea 2004 for a case which parallels can be drawn. In these two situations the cases were live, but could it be shown within the statute of limitations on employment law that someone who used to be involved with the ATC and now isn’t by virtue of a protected right (discrimination/laws) or other employee right then a case could be sought - and what BTIactual is alluding to is the MOD getting panicky over it. The change to VRT rights doesn’t solve this but it helps as the VRT (and orrs) can take their cases quite far.

The next step will be a change of step with removal of pay and change to “minimum hours” I suspect.


Does the new CF commission also mean we can transfer to the ACF or SCC and they to the VRT without selection process or being boarded, simply an admin exercise as an CF officer moving from one unit to another?


That’s allowed now.
Since they are advertising for new Vice Presidents at Westbury it can be assumed that there will still be selection boards for the ACF and I am assuming at Cranwell.


@FoolsGold Once CF Offrs are appointed to a CF Commission in the ATC or CCF (or perhaps the “Air Cadet Forces”…with dark blue being Sea or Naval Cadet Forces, and the brown jobs being Army Cadet Forces?) WEF 1 Apr (apparently), there will be no further appointments to commissions in the RAFVR(T). The branch won’t be disbanded as such, it will just fall into disuse, like the RAFR(CC). However, no one has yet fully and properly explained how all this will fit with the ATC Royal Warrant, other than “it will be rewritten”. Anyone remember the CFM Royal Warrant fiasco a few years ago, when MOD changed the eligibility criteria without reference to the Palace; and HMTQ went vertical?

At the moment, my information is that - despite the original intent of tri-Svc TCOS - there will be differences in appointment process (eg CCF still not needing to attend OASC or Westbury - yet) and possibly even in TCOS.

@Plt_Off_Prune We are definitely in the same frequency! However, the “new” Cadet Forces Volunteer Agreements MAY alter this; if it is made a formal requirement for everyone to sign one, either WEF a certain date, or on reengagement. The issue of minimum hours is an interesting one, but the Volunteer Agreement may - going forwards - get around it. Fully agree on the VA issue, as I have already said, I suspect it will become seen as a “generous” daily duty allowance, replacing all other daily rate expenses for uniformed CFAVs. However, the “eligible duty” element may disappear with this move; ie its your 28days VA (or 51 if you’re CCF!) claim it for what you want, probably within extant rules on hours on duty etc. HTD would be retained as its reimbursement for travelling expenses. CIs and CAs would - presumably - still be entitled to HTD and F1771 travel.



From the ACF DIRECTIVE 2017

  1. Personnel.
    a. TACOV. The new TACOV are designed to properly recognise the nature of volunteering and to limit MOD liability. All CFAV should have signed by now but according to Westminster data this is not the case. Those CFAV who decline to sign are to be suspended until they do so.


Sorry not down in deepest Berkshire - a friend of mine wanted to transfer to the ACF from the ACO and was told that he had to go through the whole recruitment and selection process for the ACF and his experience with the ACO was effectively ignored. So in the future when we have this new commission I wonder whether you will be permitted to transfer organisation such as going from ACO Flying officer to lieutenant in the ACF an example may be moving job and finding the only cadet unit convenient to be involved with is ACF and not ACO.


@sarge Interesting …I suspected as much. Very clear intent shown there, “to limit MOD liability”!

No one in the ATC has yet been required to sign it AFAIK, but I know all new CCF CFAVs are required to sign as part of their joining admin. No idea whether it is being rolled out in the SCC; or indeed whether it can be.

As usual, everyone seems to be doing their own thing!



@FoolsGold there is actually provision within the ACF Regulations to effect a transfer for previously commissioned Offrs (as there is in ACP20 for us). Your friend has been misinformed, but will need a copy of the current ACF regs to correct. They do NOT need to attend Westbury.

However, it may not be possible to retain rank; since rank in the ACF is linked into completion of various courses. Worst case scenario they would transfer as an automatic 2Lt or Lt, then have to work up from there.



VERY interesting reading, although dated 2011 (however, note the timing in relation to DYER…)

Thanks for the steer @Plt_Off_Prune …explains fully why ACP20 now makes no reference to ETs!! However - the fact that ACP20B did, raises the interesting possibility that the MOD always knew that “CFAVs” (or at least the uniformed, remunerated cadre) were legally employees.

The Chaudri case is probably more relevant; _“The EAT found that Mrs Chaudri was actually an employee because the payments she received were for “work”, not reimbursement” _

That’s the crux of the matter. A legal precedent that a volunteer paid for “work” is an employee. If an employee, therefore entitled to all that entails (Workplace Pension anyone?) …and, arguably - legally - in the case of commissioned CFAVs, the full reservist offer (and before anyone cries “Walt!”, I am not suggesting any of the above ought to be desired or is appropriate). I also think this legal case could actually spell the end of pay/remuneration/VA; whatever you want to call it. The Chaudri case is existing legal precedent that - for a volunteer to be classed as a volunteer - they can only be reimbursed for expenses incurred, not “paid” for “work”. VA in its current for makes us employees - EndEx.

I just wish that we were treated as the Adult “Volunteers” that we are supposed to be. Explain the situation, explain the need for change, and communicate it properly to those affected. Although I was initially - and quite vocally - against the CF Commission, I am now more accepting of the need for it (and reassured that it will still be a Sovereign’s Commission); only very sad to lose my membership - at some point - of the RAFVR, of which I am very proud, and which has been one of greatest privileges of my life. I just wish that I hadn’t had to dig into this and find out the answers for myself, and that we had been openly communicated with in a manner more befitting the circumstances. Not cool.