2018 Training Plan

It’s been a while since I last blogged. Been busy. I’m afraid I haven’t got any better at this sort of thing so good luck getting to the finish line.

This instalment is a heads up on the 2018 training plan.

Future Op concept. Without understanding where we are and want to get to this plan won’t make complete sense but nor do I want this to be more painful for you then it needs. I’ll try and surmise the work we have been doing to say that our international offer has broadened off the back of Ops in Sri Lanka and the Caribbean. Utilising tech tools (e.g. palantir), exploiting our excellent Sat Comms (Inmarsat), potential op partners and impending acquisition of equipment is shaping the course we see ourselves taking. The overwhelming sense we have is that things are looking like we can make a significant improvement to the number of people we can help.

Training Plan. This plan is based upon our current resources (people, money and equipment) and in short we are limited in what we can achieve. Our plan is to build a model that is both sustainable (won’t get thrown out when the first Op comes along) and scale-able i.e. we can build off it. So we aim to execute one major combined training event every 2 months which will be interspersed with the odd individual event. The major training events are divided in two types: domestic (3) and international (3) response.

Major Training Events – Domestic.

We will run three domestic packages this year. These will a combination of three courses: operational leadership, induction and from May core ops.

The courses:

  • Operational Leadership – part I. This will be a five day course starting on the Tuesday night and finishing on the Sun early afternoon. We see the teaching element completing on the Friday, then using the Saturday for a planning and CPX session before a final exercise on the Sunday. The Greyshirts for this will come from induction and core operations. As we roll more and more leaders through I hope to see us run multiple teams of varying ability simultaneously to increase our capability and give volunteers the opportunity to develop.


  • Induction. This remains a two and a half day course run over a weekend. The final exercise for this will be run alongside the op leadership course. The aim is for nine in total of which three will be part of the domestic event and one will be run independently in Chilmark. Another four will be run outside of Chilmark and we are targeting the area around Chesterfield to accommodate the 30% of our volunteers who reside in the Midlands. A further one will be run in Scotland to capture the Scots and those in the NE and NW.


  • Core Ops. A new course. It will run in tandem with Induction so forming up on a Friday night and finishing with a combined final exercise. It’s a new course which is designed to deliver some hard skills training centred on debris management (“muck n gut”) and light reconstruction tasks. The first one will start from 30 May.


Major Training Events – International.

Again we are looking to run three. These will combine the international operators, specialty training and the next module of the operational leadership course.

  • International operators. This is the cornerstone for how we build out our international offer. It’s designed to give an understanding of the international humanitarian environment and some soft and hard skills training.


  • Specialty operator. This is a real work in progress but current thinking is that we will try and tag PIO, tech/signals – a schooling on comms kit and Palantir (ICS software tool), chainsaw and drone operator.


  • Op leadership – part II. This is designed for those who have completed both Op leadership part I and the international courses. Like the domestic we see these students running the final exercise which brings together the operators with their future leaders.


Not included in this list is our bespoke induction courses for our operational partners, e.g. Inmarsat and those courses we are going to find external deliverers to try and run for us. The last point is really embryonic so I’ll refrain for now in discussing where this might go.

Right, there are some shortfalls and some areas we are going to have to put on ice. Shortfalls, we are working to see where and how we can run our train the trainers course, fit in our workshops – especially for our regional leadership volunteers and develop our on-line training opportunities. We are also going to have to cut back on external training opportunities (e.g. SIMEX and LRF Exs – we did one of each last year) and invest that into getting this up and running.

I’d like to end on one point. I often get asked by volunteers “where can I help?” My answer is almost always get on some training or help run it. Training is how we are going to do help more people and reach those that others can’t.

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