Armed Forces: Cadets

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 11th September 2018.

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Photo of Nia Griffith Nia Griffith Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Officer Cadet Survey 2017-18, what steps his Department is taking to increase opportunities for officer cadets to improve in order to avoid repeating their training.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The approach taken by each branch of the Armed Forces is set out below.

In the Naval Service, a 'teach, coach, mentor' philosophy is applied to enable instructors to apply the full range of instructional techniques, minimising the requirement for Officer Cadets to repeat elements of their training. Where students fall short of the training requirement there will be occasions where, to avoid a student being removed from training, elements of training may need to be repeated, enabling those Officer Cadets who need extra training to progress. All elements of Officer training are subject to regular and constant internal validation feedback to actively and constantly improve delivery. This involves obtaining student feedback on what is taught and the standard of delivery. This feedback is employed to identify where improvements can be made and ensure optimum effectiveness of the delivery of training. External validation of training is also conducted by the Human Resource and Training Support Group to ensure the relevant material is being delivered in training, minimising the requirement for repetition.

In the Army, first time pass rates have increased steadily over the last five years and repetition of training is now a rare occurrence among Officer Cadets. Measures to improve Officer Cadets and avoid repetition of training include improved pre-employment and induction training for permanent staff, which includes how to deliver effective feedback; briefings before each assessment on the standard expected and subsequent feedback on performance and areas for improvement. For critical assessments, Officer Cadets are given the opportunity to retake the assessment after a period of reflection.

In the Royal Air Force, to avoid repeating training,Officer Cadets' development is assessed throughout the course. Cadets are counselled on their performance throughout the course and areas for development are highlighted. These are managed through a series of personalised training interventions that provide cadets with goals and focused training to achieve success.

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