How do I do an upgrader whinge officially

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by Iceberg, Mar 11, 2005.

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  1. I was going to add 'and get listened to'

    I've changed units/trade and had to complete two TA upgrader courses @RSS.DCCIS and I'm glad to report the number of written complaints has dropped from 50% on my first one downto 8% on my last one (which was probably because I told the course not to bother - I'm trying to make amends now).

    The reply to my first complaint included

    Pity it hasn't happened and nearly every TA upgrader course gets complained about.

    My main gripe is the people dealing with the complaints, aren't the people I whinging about. The relevant Sqn OC's/instructors seem very concerned the courses they run are being criticised or deemed sub standard but they aren't setting the timetable - so will they answer up.

    The 95% of content of all TA upgrader courses is the same. Plus some of the definciencies we come away with are nigh impossible to achieve within unit (i.e. we don't have a SCC so how do we sort out the FAME/SMT RSTO?)

    p.s. I think the main reason we complain is someone is treating us as STABs i.e. not taking us seriously
  2. I understand the frustration that can be felt if you feel something in the RSTOs is not right or needs adjusting.

    The main problem here is TDT. They are the enablers to change. It is the responsability of field units to express to TDT what skills and subjects they require their soldiers to have. If they do not say anything or raise any concerns TDT will not action any change in the RSTOs.

    At the end of your course it is worth while speaking with your intructors/ head of dept to give them a feel of what is wrong etc. Some things they can change (with TDT) approval but any change would have to be a common complaint (new kit in service, outdated technuiqes etc)

    Course validation happens all the time (at multiple levels) and I have seen this process work but it is not an overnight solution.

    You have to be careful though in that what you expect to be taught could be very different from what is actually required (and laid down in your Job desciption) and it is important that you try to stay away from including skills of other trades unless of real relevance to all field units (rather than a specific skill required in a specialist unit)

    I recommend you do not give up though, it is important that soldiers take an active part in the future of their trade and continue to build in new strengths and ideas (especially at SNCO level) otherwise nothing changes until it is too late.

    Get your OPs team on side and make a clear argument, if they agree they should then speak with counterparts in other units and then push to have TDT visit and assess your redress.

    Good Luck
  3. Stick a post on Armynet. They have a forum for the RSS and all other Sigs matters. Needless to say that it is not anonymous - however, no one in their right mind will ignore a genuine grievance posted on a forum designed to allow soldiers to post messages to raise issues. The good thing is that you can gather your evidence on here and then post a concise message on there.

    If nothing else, it will make the RSS etc put their money were their mouth is and see if they respect the spirit of proividing soldiers a forum on armynet.
  4. Disco,

    I don't think TDT is the main problem here. The RSTO are in the main relevant with maybe the odd objective dated. I think the problem is how they've been interpretted down at Blandford, (I've never heard of any complaints about class 2 or 3 courses, the persons writing the RSTO's for them probably wrote the class 1).

    Most TA class 1 courses have 5 main common building blocks:


    The first four are taught quite well and I've no problems with them but the last two aren't taught but you get tested on them (and take up a fair amount of time), they are actually taught on other courses. (OJT is taught via DITS/BITS and orders on Det Commanders). So why revisit them (make them a pre course requisite)?

    Surely during course design you look at what needed to be taught, whats nice to be taught and whats not really needed. The problem with the TA upgraders is whats needed to be taught isn't and whats not really needed is.

    We TA only have a short amount of time to recieve training, ill thought out courses are harmful and I'm not suprised why regulars can have such a dim view upon us.
  5. Well Ive done my fair share of course design (for the TA) some of which you experienced recently and you are right about TA having a shorter period in which to train which makes design much harder, trying to keep subject matter relevant and key to upgrading skills. Dotn get caught into a Regs v Stab scenario we only get limited instructional time which we have no say in.

    You are preaching to the converted mate, you should not be tested on subjects you are not taught unless it is an entry standard in which case your pre-requisites come into play.

    But like I said, only TDT can bring in the changes required so you need to engage with them at the earliest opportunity.

    The "systems approach" to training, yadda yadda yadda!!

  6. I know, your area of expertise was well rx'd. Will post more in the morning when I've sobered up :!:
  7. Disco,

    Whilst on my last course I spoke to one of OC's Systems Group and he said roughly the same, he was also upset he'd rx'd a complaint about an TA upgrader course.
    He gave me the impression that he couldn't change the content of the course and when he'd tried in the past but he'd be knocked back from elsewhere. Gave me the impression he had no control over the content of the course.

    Regs v Stab scenario Don't want to get drawn into that, it was more a figure of speach trying to indicate what level we thought we were being taught at (no dig at the instructors)

    Your right about the TDT's they haven't been amended for a while and they were outdated when they were published. I believe they are being reviewed next month: goodbye NCRS and hello Info Systems :)
  8. As with most instructors when I arrived at RSS from the field I was aware of areas within my own trade group that needed changing (infact I had been fighting for many changes before I got there) Mostly it was about updating and expanding my trades skillsets to incorporate new technologies etc.

    Once in a position where I could influence real change it wasnt long before I had my fingers smacked (I must admit to trying to incorporate some subjects I and others felt needed adding but took away responsabilities from a new and upcoming trade :wink: ). Now to be fair I had to agree with TDT in that you could have any old SNCO from the field with some hair brained scheme of what is good and what is bad and they could potentially make things worse but that is not really in the spirit of instruction, after all I went to Blandford to improve things!

    I had to learn how to incorporate TDT and then we were able to make leaps and bounds and since 2000 my trade (and the others that receive specialist training from my Dept) has seen real change.

    You mention the OC getting upset and to be honest I dont blame him. He want his team to be teaching the subject matter correctly and it must be relative and effective. But change takes time and TDT do not react quickly.

    I must keep stressing though that anyone who feels that their instruction was not valid should challenge it, but offer a real argument (not that was t0ss!) as to why, provide evidence of what change is required and get your Ops team (YofS, FofS, etc) onboard and engage with TDT.

    It saddens me to be away from my last post, I must admit I relished the challenge and really enjoyed Trade instruction, but my time is done and now someone else fresh from field service can fight to incorporate what they feel should be added or changed.

    Fight on!
  9. Disco/Polar,

    Having just finished a course, and had the subsequent (anonymous) validation and wash-up, there appear to be two points to be raised.

    1. It was explained in detail when the relevance of a particular item within the course was questioned, that it (appears) to need more than just 1 course complaining to get TDT to notice. This is possibly to prevent "knee-jerk" changes to something which may only have affected a number of people on that course. If a theme develops over several courses, more weight is given to that argument.

    2. It was also stated that, due to the rather full programme at Blandford, any changes to the course content/structure can take at least 4-6 months to incorporate, purely on the basis of availability of assets/instructors, never mind the (possible) knock-on affect to future courses, or the requirement to update personnel who have completed previous courses.

    I am not defending their position or attitude, just saying that I can appreciate the obstacles that may be encountered when trying to get the "factory" to change the end product.

  10. Heard the same two excuses in 2001, did this come from the TA SSgt or the civilian validator? He was the course designer then and probably designed the course you've just attended.
  11. Slightly disagree with the training not being specific to unit, training tends be based around unit role i.e.

    RS Op (basic) - does (as u) say VHF and Ptarmigan, no JMH & little HF
    RS Op (NC) - does JMH/Data, NCRS and HF - No clansman VHF

    So I could argue we train for a primary role (ARRC RCZ or National comms), we don't train to form part of a regular ORBAT.

    TA CIS courses do eventually become generic at Supervisor level
  12. Generally yes - and I think its been going on for a while.

    A couple of years ago Class 1's were optional for TA, and generally attracted those going for YofS. They are now required for promotion to Sgt and is this the same as the regs? To get promoted within the TA you have to do the following:

    LCpl - BITS/DITS and Class 2
    Cpl - Det Comds
    Sgt - Class 1
    SSgt - SSgts course

    When I was in the infantry Sigs Class 1 came before Detties (these have since been renamed) isn't this the same for regs (in sigs). What I'm trying to get at is; the upgraders may be pitched at too low a rank group for TA (and many TA upgraders have SNCO's loaded onto the courses) - hence the complaints