TA Questionaire / IFF Research

#1
Just got a phonecall from IFF Research who were conducting a survery about the TA on behalf of the MOD. Has anyone else had a similar call?

They asked me about:

1. Reasons I joined.
2. Reasons I chose Officer.
3. Experiences in training.
4. Civilian Jobs/Education etc.
 
#2
Funnily enough this thread is currently about 8 below your post, and entitled 'IFF research':

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn/Forums/viewtopic/t=15556.html

My opinion, for what it's worth: if anyone randomly phones you up and asks you about the TA or anything military, put the phone down and report it to your Adjt.

msr
 
#5
Research is genuine. Complies with Data Protection Act as follows:

http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/80029--e.htm#33

(I happen to know that) Parry's details were on a list which was quite properly and correctly submitted through the chain of command precisely for research into the 4 areas he was asked about.

Suggest that now this is public domain, including the name of the research company, (thanks Parry) that extreme caution should be exercised if you receive a phone call like this (thanks arrse, not everyone understands what should be restricted or why).

Any reputable research company should be able to establish their bona-fides and should be able to give you a phone number to call back after you have checked them out (if they can't or won't suspect journalist rather than terrorist) and - as MSR says - report it up the chain of command.
 
#6
Understand your concerns Abacus etc but then they said they would provide bona fides to me by email. This however has not been provided.

I followed this up with the RFCA who contacted media ops (RFCA seemed to translate research company into TV appearance?!!?!) who said they'd follow it up but hadn't heard anything.

I'm glad to have it layed to rest now thanks abacus a little weight from the mind.
 
#7
Bloke phones you and says "Hi I'm Bob calling from IFF research, we'd like to talk to you about why you joined the TA. Are you able to answer some questions?"

Factors:
1) Company I've never heard of calling me to talk about why I joined Army after only asking if I was me, no other checks.
2) Hadn't been warned about any research being conducted.
3) It's Saturday morning, I should be training-why call now (what do TA do at weekends?). As it was I had decided staying at home was more beneficial so I'm in bed-can't be arsed to talk..

Result= "Sorry, no I can't", "oh ok", "bye" click.

As for releasing the name of said company into public domain, well either it's a dodgy call that might be repeated or the MOD didn't seem to care about releasing our details to external companies (acting on their behalf mind) and not warning us to expect a call. Anyway it hardly falls into domain of OS act, and they didn't ask me not to talk about it.
 
#9
TA_Sig,

not having a go at you as such but your post lets me address most of the issues surrounding this so have quoted you throughout.

Abacus

TA_sig said:
Bloke phones you and says "Hi I'm Bob calling from IFF research, we'd like to talk to you about why you joined the TA. Are you able to answer some questions?"
Except now that this is on ARRSE you can't be sure if he really is Bob from IFF. Antphilip, I'm mildly concerned that they didn't follow through with the promised email but then we are talking about call-centre staff working weekends for rubbish pay so probably lack of customer care rather than anything dodgy.

TA_sig said:
Factors:
1) Company I've never heard of calling me to talk about why I joined Army after only asking if I was me, no other checks.
Why should you have heard of them? How can they have more details about you than your name and contact number? Would you not be just a wee bit concerned if your full details had been released, even to the most securely vetted agency?

TA_sig said:
Factors:
2) Hadn't been warned about any research being conducted.
Imagine me (pretty sure you know who I am and certain Parry, MSR and Antphilip all know me) approaching an OCdt and telling them that they were about to be contacted by a research agency interested in data to help with recruiting. Now I've got very firm ideas about recruiting based on best practice and successful campaign experience. What then am I going to say when an OCDT says, "What would you like me to tell them when they call, Sir?" Obviously, I will encourage him/her to be open, truthful and polite but imagine now you are the OCDt keen to impress, wouldn't you be just a bit tempted to try and second-guess what I would really, really want you to say?

TA_sig said:
Factors:
3) It's Saturday morning, I should be training-why call now (what do TA do at weekends?). As it was I had decided staying at home was more beneficial so I'm in bed-can't be arsed to talk..
You were in when others presumably weren't. They managed to contact you. Result.

TA_sig said:
Result= "Sorry, no I can't", "oh ok", "bye" click.
You're entitled to say no and if you do then they have to respect your wishes. Good thing on both counts I say and looks like the system works. But... The next TA Officer recruitment campaign is going to rely partly on data culled from this survey, could you have made more of a contribution?

TA_sig said:
As for releasing the name of said company into public domain, well either it's a dodgy call that might be repeated
See my comments above. Note to Parry: don't blame yourself it was going to happen sooner or later as a result of "The Law of Unintended Consequences". I happen to think arrse is a fabulous resource but it does have downsides and this is one of the more obvious ones.

TA_sig said:
or the MOD didn't seem to care about releasing our details to external companies (acting on their behalf mind)
Rubbish, and a dreadful attitude to voice publicly. The MOD in this case is individuals like me working - as you do - for the MOD and expected to act in the best interests of our service at all times. How does that count as not caring? PM me if you have any doubts about the checking I did before releasing even the minimal information that we did.

TA_sig said:
and not warning us to expect a call.
See my comments above.

TA_sig said:
Anyway it hardly falls into domain of OS act, and they didn't ask me not to talk about it.
The Law of Unintended Consequences, or possibly a failing of Situational Awareness. Try fitting arrse into the 7Qs, I think you'll find it appears under "How does the ground affect en operation?"
 
#10
Abacus, you made some good points, and I appreciate the fact that people put the work in and show an interest in order to work on recruitment etc.

Imagine me (pretty sure you know who I am and certain Parry, MSR and Antphilip all know me) approaching an OCdt and telling them that they were about to be contacted by a research agency interested in data to help with recruiting. Now I've got very firm ideas about recruiting based on best practice and successful campaign experience. What then am I going to say when an OCDT says, "What would you like me to tell them when they call, Sir?" Obviously, I will encourage him/her to be open, truthful and polite but imagine now you are the OCDt keen to impress, wouldn't you be just a bit tempted to try and second-guess what I would really, really want you to say?
Yes telling individual Ocdts and general recruits that they will be contacted may well place bias on the survey, but announcing to the general masses, that IFF were conducting the research and that people may be called, on parade may reduce the number of people declining to answer.

Was it only to Ocdts? I happen to know that a number of people contacted do not fall in that category, although may have expressed an interest in that area.

Did units identify particular individuals to be contacted.


Except now that this is on ARRSE you can't be sure if he really is Bob from IFF.
I couldn't be sure it was Bob from IFF anyway, regardless of whether it was in public domain or not. Even if it was a guy called Bob, can I be sure that he is from IFF (which I hadn't heard of)? It could almost just as easily been media or more sinister bods as a legit company.

The Law of Unintended Consequences, or possibly a failing of Situational Awareness. Try fitting arrse into the 7Qs, I think you'll find it appears under "How does the ground affect en operation?"
Indeed, however as the threat of it being a bogus call or a windup as such also factored in then I made the measured decision to post a question. Which would either identify it as genuine or not. Perhaps I should have thought not to identify the company.

Rubbish, and a dreadful attitude to voice publicly
True, I know enough about the MOD and it's (rightful) fetish for vetting anything connected to such matters to have thought about that a bit better, although was a bit upset about being called on my mobile which I believe was not put down as a contact for myself but has been given to a few people in order to arrange events/trg etc. Probably got into the system that way.

TA_S
 
#11
TA_S. Good comments. Have responded to your PM.

List included post May 05 2Lts as they are still within the 5 Module TACC as well as UPOs notified by individual units but not necessarily under RTC training yet.

If anyone needs more specifics, please PM me as I don't want to be any more detailed than this in public.
 
#12
Just a general point ...


If the MOD is conducting research of this type it means that either
- (a) they think there's a problem and are trying to find out why or
- (b) they know what the problem is and are working out how best to address it.

In either case it is in the best interests of everyone in the TA if the researchers get as much help as possible. Otherwise, you can't really complain if stuff doesn't get sorted.
 
#14
Indeed, I have noticed a massive increase in Ocdt's and DEPO's recently although I think a lot of it may be down to recruiting teams encouraging/throwing anyone with a hint of a degree, or slight ability towards the system and playing a numbers game-then recruit those DEPO's who don't make the grade, or drop out into the Sqn's. Non direct entries are likely to stay on as well and are probably better integrated with the Sqn's, however they don't seem as common.

It works quite well for units too as a lot of the TAPOCC RTC training is beneficial to all ranks, those coming off the course will have better mil and leadership skills regardless of whether the pigeon of fate has deposited a blob on their rank slide.
 
#15
Absolutely bang on the money TA_Sig

And the skills of the instructors are greatly enhanced meaning most should return to their units after a couple of years on promotion. (He said hopefully!)
 
#16
Surely the MOD or MEDIA OPS would have sent out some sort of directive to inform us that a company called IFF was conducting research.

Another factor that questions its legitimacy would be the notion that: Surely the best way to do 'valid' research into TA members - would be to send questionnaires to our units (so that we could spend 5mins on a Tuesday evening filling them in) and sent via Military post?!

As it is - I'd never really give away information regarding what I do via phonecall to some guy called Bob from some company called IFF - that could be anyone calling from anywhere...

As for sending anyone with a degree to Sandhurst - during my interview to join the TA - the Cpt noticed that I have a degree and asked me whether I'd consider going in as an officer - I declined because I wanted to experience the army at the ground level before even considering whether I was "officer material"...
 
#17
James, (that is your website, right?).

5mins free time on a drill night is something that can be quite hard to get when there's any significant training happening, heck there's not normally enough time to get all the administration completed on a bad week.

What you don't seem to get, and a lot of the OR's all over the place is that as a PO/Ocdt you spend a lot of time at 'ground level' if not subterranean.
A lot of people tend to ask 'why weren't you in at the weekend/last drill night/whenever and helping out with maintenance (and getting hammered in JRC)?' When someone else will chip in 'ah he's a PO/Ocdt he's too important/doesn't care about us' where in reality you were getting beasted around a field in the name of PT from 0530 through to atleast 6 plt attacks a couple of patrols, adv contact and the conquering of a small nation by dinner time at 2300, before heading out on a reccee patrol, plust plenty stagging on etc, when you could have been in a garrage scraping rust off a landie/cleaning weapons/practicing drill/getting hammered in the bar (whole lot easier, but not as much fun/challenge).

Now the time acting as a rifleman will improve your mill skills no end, useful if inf or siggie or whatever the command/duty appointments as well as RCB Briefing/TCB will give you a very good idea as to whether you're cut out to be an Officer-as will the way you manage your training alongside relationships with your home unit. Especially when your training calenders conflict and you have to decide between practac 3 and that summer ball or a FTX.

If you want there is still time to learn a trade and use it, which will be useful later on, however you will learn a lot of what you need to know on you're special to arm course if you eventually commission.

TA_S
 
#18
Oh - yeah I agree with you 100%. I was just unsure whether a commission was for me, so I deliberately held back from saying yes to one. At the moment - I'm just happy where I am. :)
 

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