Do you have an RCO on Unit?
if not by your own argument (allow RCOs to conduct tests) you are still no better off.
The [off topic] issue being discussed is a lack of qualified staff
And if that is not the issue it is availability to weapons.
I am on a unit with two other weapons qualified Staff. two of us are RCOs, yet all three WIs/SAAIs.
We have air rifles and No8s with an air rifle range on site.
Training/testing Cadets is not an issue for us
To fire No8 we have to go off site
To get to a L103 or L98A2 we have to go off site
it is far easier to go to the range for No8 and L98A2 use.
1 - we don't have enough No8s to warrant the effort of IWT so easier to pull together with other units and combine weapons.
One in every X number of units with weapons have a range so why not meet at the range equipped Squadron for consolidation shooting at the end of the day(?)
2 - it is just as easy for us to go to our parent station for L98A2s as it is L103s from our "local" unit. (in truth the distance is negligible yet the use of 4x L103*s versus 30+x L98A2s from the parent station makes the decision easier)
As mentioned in our Wing we have 11x "shooting weekends" (one a month) which offers the expected four streams of training
of the staff who attend who are WI/SAAI qualified and/or RCOs we have ~13 who could be considered "regular" attendees (by that I mean attend more than one weekend a year)
9 of these are both RCOs and WIs/SAAI, two are only SAAI and two only RCOs and so by default 85% of the team, are able to conduct tests
in our Wing, at the monthly shooting events at least, we do not have trouble finding persons to conduct tests.
I appreciate that this isn't true for Squadrons. Indeed of those 13 Staff, only 8 Squadrons are represented, ~25% of the Wing.
but for the remaining 60-70% of the Wing without qualified Staff** they get to utilise these Wing monthly weekends to get their Cadets involved.
Due to the infrastructure requirements surrounding shooting it is difficult to conduct for everyone "locally".
Certainly in my own experience I am currently on a Squadron with Staff, weapons and air rifle range. Prior to this unit i was the only qualified Staff with no weapons or range (operating out of a school) and prior to that on a unit using a "Spooner Hut" as the only qualified Staff with no weapons or range.
But this is true for other ACO activities.
Flying - not every Squadron has a PPL holder, even less have ready access to aircraft so we turn to the RAF and AEFs.
Camps - few Squadrons have sufficient Staff (let alone interested and available Staff) to run a "camp" format, be it the tradition "annual camp", or more specific aerospace or D&C examples, and so combine as a Wing to coordinate.
Radio courses - few Squadrons have a dedicated Radio Officer, and even less have a competent Radio "instructor" to teach the courses.
First Aid - a better situation than Radio and shooting in terms of qualified Staff, but how many Squadrons have Staff qualified to teach/instruct? how many have access to an "annie" to conduct Heartstart for instance without going to the Wing store or local units?
Unfortunately the manner in which shooting (both training and LFMT) is conducted in terms of qualifications, range requirements, storage of hardware and the like, it is difficult to achieve this and remain "self-sufficient" for even 50% of Squadrons.
as such combining efforts and joint coordination is the only option for the significant majority
seeing a change to allow RCOs to conduct WHTs is false hope of an improvement. The weapons still need to be available, and for most of us that will be off Squadron.
If weapons are held at a neighbouring/"local" unit they are likely to have qualified staff and in my experience the strong majority of RCOs are also WIs/SAAIs anyway
The OP question is about testing, but access to training and testing is not sufficient, what is the point in training and testing if it is not going to be used?
yes we need more DPs in the parishes and we need more Staff to be qualified
remember however than not all can hold DPs, some can't even hold Air rifles on squadron not "owning" their own building
but lets assume DPs and Staff were available, this only solves the issue of IWT and WHT, and creates a larger issue of a lack of LFMT
(out of interest of the 8 Squadrons represented by the 13 Staff indicated previously:
4 can be self sufficient with the No8
3 can be self sufficient with the air rifle
2 hold L103s
so even within the "keen" shooters the numbers are not impressive and why combined efforts are employed)
*and remember these were issued as L103s for dry training yet issued without the ancillaries required for dry training; drill rounds and maintenance kits
**Some squadrons are self sufficient and thus do not require Wing assistance to attend so inaccurate to indicate 75% are without to capability