Making All Training Toss (MATTs)

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by polar, Dec 13, 2008.

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  1. I was going to reply to another thread but I ended up going on about MATTS.

    I hate them, they are a complete waste of resources, all they provide is a QA measure that doesn't provide quality.

    I'm intending to run a similar trade test/assessment in Jan 09 but I don't intend on testing soldiers - more collecting data to see where training should be focused.

    Going back to the other thread, I remember Bounty tests being progressive i.e. they got harder each year. So why do we have crap about the TA of the past being poorer, maybe some units were drinking clubs but why do all of us have to suffer MATTS because of their culture (and 'oddly' the ones I know about have made a major contribution to current ops).

    As you may have guessed I'm a QA freak but I don't agree with procedures if they don't provide quality.

    I dislike the amount of time dedicated to MATTS at the expense of other more relevant training
  2. Get a grip.
  3. other relevant training?
  4. I hate MATTs and believe they through up real retention issues. I did my MATTS on the 'First Chance' weekend in April so thought that was it done and dusted, now get on with the fun stuff. But no, they've been repeated on camp, nearly every weekend and some training evenings too - for those who can't get their ass out of their chairs and do the MATTs at the beginning of the year.
    MATT training and testing is fine as it tests basic skills but not as the main effort for the whole training year.
    As for testing, how many are really tested and how many get the tick in the box for turning up anyway?
  5. I am having trouble trying to decide whether I agree or not.

    MATTs run at a sub-unit level can tend to become all pervasive if not handled correctly and kept on a short leash. Run from RHQ, in a timely manner and focused on, say, 3 w/e per annum work fine. There is by definition a great deal more which ought to be going into training especially when it is borne in mind that effevtively TA units are now in a permanent state of PDT because someone's going on the next RTMC course, and the next, and he next...


    Recent experience on the Regular Individual Augmentee course at Chilwell showed up startling deficiencies in the preparation of TA soldiers and officers for MATTs testing. As a TA officer, but RIA-ing for one week rather than taking a fortnight because of time pressure to get into theatre, I fell vaguely in the middle watching both sides of the establishment get on with what they were doing.

    The Regular course is a week rather than a fortnight on the basis that unlike the TA they are expected not to need a week's revision before testing on MATTs. This is clearly not the case for all regular personnel - but it appeared to work fine for the overwhelming majority. The TA course on the other hand was seeing substantial failure rates which reflects endemic poor preparation at both unit/sub-unit and individual levels. Let's not forget that vrtually every man going through MATTs at RTMC is a volunteer for mobilisation and on that basis is both up for it and has had months of awareness that it is going to take place. There were people at all ranks, up to and including Lt Col, missing pass lines - the gradings for all the tests are posted in the training wing on the company boards.

    If we, the TA, are failing to get this right for those who are about to deploy, when both we and they know that these skills are going to be tested (not just at RTMC but in the face of operational neccessity in only a few weeks' time), then I have to say, we need lots more practice to get this right.

    If you can't pass a BPFA or stick out a 2 hour CFT stroll, you really have no business applying for mobilisation in the first place. If it doesn't occur to you, or you chain of command, that being up to the very minimum spec in terms of First Aid might be a good idea before going off to a kinetic theatre of operations then it bloody well ought to.

    Let's make sure that we're getting it right, and delivering it in a way which means our soldiers are professionally capable before we dive into the recriminations with regard to the training burden. There is systemic failure to universally prepare our soldiers for operations at the most basic of levels.

    Train them, test them, pass them. Repeat until all three phases are green.
  6. So FEG, what are most failing RIA for? Fitness and First Aid?
  7. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Polar in "whinge about having to do military training rather than play with his computer" shocker.

    MATTs are not the most exciting training, granted, but shooting, fitness, first aid, map reading etc are core skills of the soldier. If you are in the TA, you are supposed to be a soldier.

    If you are the all knowing, supersoldier, outstanding SNCO you attempt to portray yourself as, why do you not volunteer to organise and run your own MATTs package and make it interesting, demanding and relevant.

    Can't be bothered? Too easy just to whine on Arrse (again!) and make it someone elses fault?

    Thought so.
  8. What about for those who aren't about to deploy? Should they have to achieve the same standard? Shouldn't those deploying meet a higher standard?

    P.S. Caulkhead - Getting MATTs out of the way at the start of the year is a cunning plan. Even better when run at Brigade level. Falls a bit short when half of them don't do the tests properly and the other half don't send the paperwork to the unit.

    What happens when you do MATTS at the start of the year in year 1 and then the end of the year in year 2? Effectivly you've gone for nigh on 2 years without doing them. Not very clever is is?
  9. I remember somewhere in the past someone explaining "the army is not a democracy" just as I put my unwelcome 2pence into the pot.

    Should we all pass the same tests deploying or not, yes.
    Can we make the training harder, yes MATT is the minimum.

    Having to do them repeatadly because of people missing out is arse because of a few factors ie losing paperwork(spank the eejit), no warning order of ringfenced w/ends for MATTs.....let people can sort thier life out in prep for it(attend/bit of extra fiz if needed).

    If Illness/family dramas or true reasons for not attending then sure rerun them but dont subject the whole bunch to the lessons.

    Meeting a higher standard for deplying is a different basket of fish I feel and down to the Bn to run good beatup training in prep for RTMC/OPTAG with consultation with returning units.....pool the knowlage, TM's/PSI job? not sure but a good idea
  10. One possibility would be to make at least some of the MATTS into an e-learning package, in the same way that something like MK1 and 2 are.certainly the theory bits of BCD, nav and most of the MATT 6 lessons could be done this way. This would mean that training evenings wouldn't have to be given over to them so much.

    The NHS is now starting to do this for much of the mandatory training, an e learning package followed by an online test and the pass or fail passed to unit electronically.
  11. e learning has its own pitfalls - look at JPA but it will be the same lazy arrsed slackers that will not be bothered to complete it ie Why should it be done in my own time?
    MATTS training can be knocked up on a drill night however the problem in out unit is that as usual its last
    Remember once taught the MATTS are simply a revision package so a period of quick revision/practical followed by a test the following week.
    My gripe is uber an@l instructors who insist on delivering the whole MATTS package as per the timings each and every year thus wasting more valuable training time.
  12. They do. TA units are level 2, units and individuals warned off for ops are Level 1
  13. It maybe that those Uber an@l instructors are the ones who signature appears at the bottom of the paperwork and who will be first in the frame when something happens to an individual who they have signed off. As I tel potential instructors, you can do it how you like as long as you can justify it it court, but I am teaching you the correct method.
  14. You only need to teach a trained soldier once! There is no requirement as a trained soldier to sit through 6 hrs bcd/cbrn before you can take the test every year. A simple revision period should suffice. If someone who claims to be trained is sufficiently bad on a practical test then they will be an obvious candidate for retraining
  15. Top posts from the Parachutists.

    Polar, are you sure the TA really is for you?