ICSC - Whats the point?

#1
So what is the point of ICSC, apart from filling your life for 8 months with largely meaningless drivel?

As i now look back i think what have i achieved?

My understanding of training and education is that it's designed to train and educate....icsc seems to be one long assessment to filter the top 10%...

also, word on the street is that the lower sixth have pretty much abandoned the tech exam and won't be releasing the results because they were so dire, not because they're all thickies, but because the exam had been made so difficult to assist establishing a pecking order...

...as for the 10 members of DS that have PVRd, a fine example.....

such a waste of what could be a really effective course!

oh, and i think around 19 pax have PVRd from the course!
 
#3
I've found quite a bit from ICSC pretty useful in the current job. By the same token, there's a lot of pish that i haven't!

More importantly, it's expanded my 'bluff with confidence' repertoire! :D
 
#4
It seems that attendance on ICSC gives everyone the mistaken impression that you now know everything when in fact you know very little, but about lots of subjects!
 
#5
It's 7 months not on operations getting shot at with some time at home and you get paid - thats a summary of the good bits :)
 
#6
ADUX said:
it's expanded my 'bluff with confidence' repertoire! :D
Thanks, that neatly reinforces something we were taught on ICSC(A).

Our DS told us that graduates of ICSC(L) could be summed up in three words; Loud, Confident...and Wrong :twisted:






Edited once for non-JSP101 spelling
 

untallguy

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#7
ADUX said:
I've found quite a bit from ICSC pretty useful in the current job. By the same token, there's a lot of pish that i haven't!

More importantly, it's expanded my 'bluff with confidence' repertoire! :D
You're a lucky guy. ICSC(L) has added nothing to my current job and, given that I've forgotten quite a lot of what I was taught, and I'm off to a unit that is not part of a manoeuvre Bde, I doubt that it will add much to the next one!

Nine months well spent...
 
#8
You can't please them all...

6 months time out, given the chance to learn if you want to, with noone that worried if you can't be arrsed. Late starts, early finishes, sport when you want (bugger me if a couple of our lot went stalking for a week!), every weekend with the missus (every night if accompanied). What's to complain about?

OK, so the tech was pisch and aquisition not much better, but was the rest really that bad?

Can't say that I was a fan of the assessments, mostly because the playing field was hardly level, but none were that testing. You get out what you put in... etc.

I thought it was bloody brilliant, if only because of the time off. Can also say that, with the exception of aquisition, I've bumped in to pretty much everything else that was taught on the course during the last year.

Be careful what you wish for when slagging the course. You might spoil it for the rest of them.

dpm
 
#9
DPM said:
Late starts, early finishes, sport when you want...
What course were you on? Not much like the ICSC(L) I know.

How about coming back first thing Monday morning for a single crap VL, then having to kill time until after lunch when the programme continues, and getting just 4 sports afternoons in Term 1 if memory serves.

And thats before I even start commenting on lean and muda.
 
#11
my two-penneth worth, for what its worth, is that ICSC is totally binary....

it ranges from absolutelty outstanding world class speakers (richard holmes, douglas hurd, MinAf(he wasn't world class BTW)) to absolute shoite.

there is an awful, awful lot of muda. The course could be leaned to approx half of its current length, after all, the navy and crabs do it in far less time and there still get people promoted and onto A/HCSC...

...as for cse programming, terrible, totally agree with above poster....there's nothing better for your moral than having SRT all thursday afternoon, only to be sat in a poxy and normally very, very dull VL/DC until 1600 on a fri!!!

Tech phase, utter pish
 
#12
Attitude on ours was, it's your course, so if you want the time off and accept responsibility for the lessons you miss, feel free. Quite grown up, lots of sport (stalking, sailing, hockey...), hods of paternity leave, and quite a bit of spurious time off.

Almost certainly had more to do with the Div Dir and individual DS, but our experience was that, if your had the b0ll0cks to ask, you got. Those that didn't get, probably hadn't asked... then complained all the way through.

Maybe things have changed.

Come to think of it, more than one guy missed an exam thingemy for sport, and another for a compassionate - no dramas.

Another thing about ICSC(L). Lots of whinging that some elements were too easy and could be thinned out. Lucky them... Could have spent a little more time helping those that hadn't been exposed to Op Planning, Budgets, whatever.

Would you rather go back to competing for a quarter of us being staff trained while we're running so hot? Bugger that.

dpm
 
#13
As for discretionary lectures, it depends on your DS. In the vocabulary of some, discretionary = mandatory, and knowing they're at the back doing a head check of their syndicate makes you feel like you're an OCdt again at Sandhurst.
 
#14
I agree with dpm... such a rare thing.

As a non-grad who hadn't done AJD I felt (the clearly self-obsessed and neurotic) need to find out where I stood in my peer group - even if some of them weren't trying. I set about trying to do myself justice and get the report I needed for the next stage of what I am doing.

I found term 1 after the World View and International bit very tedious, but had been prepared before it started for the pace, and as far as I can tell, it helped to be prepared. The maths test and English test were simple, but some people allowed the DS to apply pressure early because they spunked them. The tech phase absolutely did my poor wee brain in, to the extent that after the chemist explained that 2 Hs and an O made water we should understand instinctively that 6 Cs, 4 Hs, and a couple of Os made something else and from that point on should be able to name every chemical compound she displayed, I had to leave. I didn't attend any more tech DLs yet scored well enough on the exam by teaching myself that my DS couldn't give me any sh1t about it.

I weekly commuted but regularly got home at least once during the week. I made sure, though that my work was all done before the weekend, so I didn't impose that on my family. I know that friends who lived at Shriv found it hard to marry up their reading and living.

I thought the quality of instruction on the Defence Acquisition part was good, until I started doing my job (which is HR, by the way, but so far have had to write a few business cases, COEIAs and contribute to an URD). It took a 12 year old civil servant two minutes to explain discounted cash flows after being confuddled for several days by the 'experts' in my syndicate.

Term 2 was much better in my view, and I enjoyed the irony that planning for a make believe war with a make believe Army had to be done in CS95 but planning for a real conflict with real units had to be done in Barrack Dress. I spent hours trying to learn what was essentially meant to be my core business (despite comparatively little RD) so that I could be of use to my syndicate and do myself justice.

I acknowledge the lack of honesty about the whole thing - the DS assumption that the quartiles should be populated by the Cbt, CS, CSS and PQO/LE in that order. I think the reports are useful if they support your previous and subsequent OJARs, but can be quite happily discarded if they are an anomally. I think that a top quartile report for an non-Cbt officer would be one of the most valuable reports to get - particularly in supporting your aspirations for sub-unit comd.

Throughout I thought the FEs were the most abitrarily marked tests you could ever imagine, heavily skewed to spouting out half-learned half-truths to half-listening audiences. I thought your luck stopped and started with the quality of your DS, for which I was fortunate in both terms (some syndicates in the US got absolutely nothing out of the TEWTs). I was astounded by the breath-taking ability of my peers to lie and disappointed by there willingness to... well, I think I'll leave one last acronym: SNBE.
 
#15
goon_bde said:
The course could be leaned to approx half of its current length, after all, the navy and crabs do it in far less time and there still get people promoted and onto A/HCSC...
Yeeees, but only because each Service has a quota - if it was open competition, you would find that you would have a massive advantage over the other 2 Services and ACSC/HCSC would be 90% Army (as opposed to 75%....). The Air and Maritime candidates at ACSC either spend an awful lot of time catching up over the first few months in order to compete effectively or they treat it as the gap-filling, box-ticking exercise that it is for some (having already demonstrated their suitability for high command by having really good hand-eye co-ordination).

The situation is different at the moment whilst ACSC is in transition and they are running the 'Battersea Dog's Home' course. Count yourself lucky, if you think ICSC(L) gives you a thin veneer of knowledge across a wide range of topics, ICSC(A) gives you a nano-plating of knowledge across a very narrow range of subjects!
 
#16
DPM said:
You can't please them all...

Be careful what you wish for when slagging the course. You might spoil it for the rest of them.

dpm
Thought that was part of the fun of post-course critiques. You know, stitch up the next lot by saying "less food, more phys"...
 
#17
Fifth_Columnist said:
The Air and Maritime candidates at ACSC either spend an awful lot of time catching up over the first few months in order to compete effectively or they treat it as the gap-filling, box-ticking exercise that it is for some (having already demonstrated their suitability for high command by having really good hand-eye co-ordination).
As long as they insist on commissioning their drivers, it will be ever thus!
 
#18
Fifth_Columnist said:
...if you think ICSC(L) gives you a thin veneer of knowledge across a wide range of topics, ICSC(A) gives you a nano-plating of knowledge across a very narrow range of subjects!
How true! :lol:

But then, I do think myself lucky. If I'd stayed in the Army, as a PQO I wouldn't have had a snowflakes chance in Hell of getting on ICSC, whereas with Crab Air, it's compulsory.

And notwithstanding the miserably small amount of information ICSC(A) imparted, back in the real world I simply don't have the opportunity to apply the vast majority of what I was taught. Which is what leads me to my reservations about how much (actually) IS crammed into ICSC(L).

Mates of mine who have done/are doing it confirm that in their estimation about 80% of it is irrelevant to what they will be doing post-course - whether that's in a command or staff appointment. To me this is symptomatic of what is wrong with 'military instruction' (and I don't exclude Crabs and Fishheads from that). So many courses I've done suffer from the same thing, which is that the aim of the course is to pass the course, tick the box and move on. For why?? So the organisation can cover it's arse when you cock up and say "we trained him/her, if he/she didn't pay attention/apply what they learnt it's not our fault."

I did Service Funds many years ago and got a high pass mark (97%), but it took a proper accountant a full week to untangle the God-awful muddle I had got the mess accounts into in just six months. Why? a; 'cos I'm a fcukwit, obviously..., but also b; 'cos the course at Worthy Down was firmly aimed at teaching me to pass the end-of-course exam, not teaching me to understand - really understand -WTF I was doing.

I get the distinct impression that ICSC(L, A and M) fall into the same category of course. :evil:
 
#20
harold_von_scaley said:
does anybody else think that the level 2 assessment completely undermines the credibility of the cse?
It would be fine if it had a sensible mark allocation, but it has a potential score (or lack of) higher than all other FEs combined.

I'd love to hear of someone asking for the component scores (FEs and L2) under the Freedom of Information Act. It would also be interesting to know if there are any criteria for DS to mark against when giving their Level 2 score. If not, as I suspect, the whole marking system will be like the course construct, i.e. fundamentally flawed. (Not to mention subject to the variable foibles and quality of the DS themselves).
 
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