AWFP Training: How many courses - when are they?

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by gunnjen, Jan 12, 2008.

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  1. Hello all,

    I'm hoping to get some info from those in the know, I'm self employed and having an understanding of when training coursesare being run is essential, as these are the periods I don't get paid.

    Just going with the flow and trying to get trained as and when as a best endeavour is something that just doesn't fit with my financial commitments. Or my clients requirements.
    Therefore planning for the year in this sense is important with a family..etc

    Can somebody please tell me the following for the AWFP branch:

    1)From the point of passing out of Raleigh - what courses (and how long are they) are involved to get you to the following stages: Qualified AWFP/Trained Strength

    2)What is the timetable for the courses?

    Many thanks
  2. 518 (3 days - Plymouth/Faslane), 547 (5 days - Portsmouth/Faslane), BSSC (5 days - Portsmouth).

    Your PSI will be able to tell you when the next courses are.
  3. Or your Divisionl Officer - an if he/she cant, then your 1LT would probably like to be aware that they can't give you such info.
  4. Thanks for the help - is it likely they'll have an understanding of what the plan for these courses are for the rest of the year?
  5. No worries, glad to be of service.
    I seem to remember that one of the roles of the Division Officer is "to be responsible for the rating's welfare, training and advancement" - probably not word perfect, but I hope you get the gist. Therefore if he/she doesn't know the details, they should be able to get them for you/point you in the correct direction, once you ask the question.
    Good luck
  6. Yep, if our unit is anything to go by they'll have a flow chart with dates courses and venues for the next 12 months. (for weapons courses anyway)
    The rest they can pull off the data base

  7. Not to be picky, but you are either a member of or planning to join the RNR, right? This isn't the place where you can book a two week Butlins holiday to the schedule that fits you.

    There are a few of us in the RNR who are self-employed, but as with everyone else, you have to fit in with the RN/RNR's schedule.

    You can always apply for courses and exercises, but you might not get on them when you want to. You might be kicked off of an exercise at the last minute due to a requirements change, and then have to make up your ORT days at short notice if you still want to get your bounty.

    Not to mention that once you are fully trained in 18-24 months' time, especially in the AWFP branch, you can be given a 30-day mobilisation order which can see you overseas for six-eight months.

    We all moan and gripe about the conditions, and I certainly complain about the lack of expenses as I am also self-employed and have family, finances and clients to worry about, but at the end of the day by joining the RNR I have made a commitment that I will fufill to the best of my ability, and sometimes that means jumping when I'm told to. Sorry to sound harsh, but if you're concerned about the amount of time, and the periods of time that you will need to put aside for the RNR, then I suggest that you talk to the careers office before you join, or if you have already joined, talk to your DO. Perhaps the RNR isn't the best place for you if you're already questioning your ability to commit at this early stage.
  8. icantfly....take it easy, maybe you got the tone of my original message wrong - I'm well aware of what commitments there are in joining the military reserve or regular.

    I was born on a military base, raised within the forces in an all military family and have served in the armed forces myself before joining the RNR.

    Without getting into a bun fight here I think you're stance is a little unreasonable. Stating that I have various commitments (and I appreciate everyone has a cross to bear) is simply stating fact not complaining or griping. I don't know what you do but I can't be quite as flexible as you otherwise it may mean loss of a contract and therefore no money coming in to feed the family or pay mortgage. That may be an acceptable risk to you but to me I think it's sensible to try to mitigate it by understanding future commitments as much as you can - albeit with an understanding things can change last minute.

    You make it sound like I'm making demands and expecting it all on my terms. No that is not the case I'm simply approaching this with a sense of practicality to protect my civilian employment. I too will try to serve with the best of my ability but what's wrong in trying to plan ahead?

    Hope this has cleared all that up for you
  9. I'm a contractor and most of the contracts that I take are between four and 10 months long. My position is exactly the same as yours by the sounds of it; if I lose a contract, I have no money coming in and there goes my ability to pay my mortgage too.

    Unfortunately, there is no sense of practicality where planning ahead is concerned. You can plan for your courses, and if they're not cancelled, you will go on them. But sometimes they are cancelled. Then you have the exercises - they may be cancelled at the last minute, or the dates may change by a week or they may be extended by a couple of days with little or no notice. I've had to pull out of exercises in those circumstances before or lose the contracts I've been on, along with any job references that go with.

    Some employers may give you time off, others will expect you to work through your contract or they'll dismiss you.

    Sorry if I sounded blunt, but the best way to plan ahead is to inform any prospective employer that you are in the RNR and of any dates you may have. Also, explain to them that you may have to change those dates with often no notice, but that you will do your best to keep to them. The only way I've found to keep contracts whilst in the RNR is to take ones working for the Govt or Defence Contractors as they're a little more understanding and most have deals with their permanent staff that work much the same way..

    It's not an ideal situation, but until the RN realises that it cannot expect the members of the RNR to just be available and to walk out of their civvie jobs when needed, and plan ahead, it's all we have.
  10. Icantfly - I know it's a difficult one isn't it? I've been upfront with my employer and told them what ths situation is - so far they've been sympathetic

    I've PM'd you anyway
  11. You also can do the 518 in Pompy.

    With most things in the RNR - Book early.

    Its very difficult to plan your full year in the RNR as things get cancelled and added in at short notice, but you should be able to get the basics programmed in.

    Your PSI's should have all the dates of courses and availablity. Raleigh and LRCC seem to be the worst courses for dates at the moment. Many of our new entries are getting really fed up with having courses cancelled at the last minute. Some of them have been in for well over 12 months. As for the LRCC the RNR courses are filled very quickly, I dont think there are any RNR dates left for 2008 and the RN course goes to a 3 week course after March!
  12. I'm sorry mate but i book my RNR courses around what i have to do in my personal life and full time occupation. Yes, if there is something i really need or want to do with the RNR i'll try to move things around (like travelling 300 miles to Culdrose on a monday night after work for a 2 day course which was completed in one and a half days and could quite easily have been completed in one dayif they hadn't had a standeasy every 20 minutes.). It got so ridiculous that when the instructor announced a standeasy the only person who left the room was the instructor. What gunnjen is doing is nothing more than you would expect to write in your PTP (or whatever its called this week). The people who don't plan are often the same people who are begging for ORT come March because they havent enough days under their belt.

    Now that recruiting is classed as ORT we have many people offering to spend a week doing that to get their bounty. Three years into GSSR and they're still not 547 qualified.

    I try to do a yearly program of what i want to do and adjust it as required.
  13. I didn't know recruiting was classed as ORT. Interesting how these things change :)
  14. Apparently so.

    We'd arranged 5 days over Christmas to man 2 stands. Had to scale it all back at the last minute due to MTD's etc but there were a few people who were relying on it to get their bounty - and have done for the last couple of years.
  15. I have just got to do my 518 and my 547 course this year then I will be AB1 because I have done everything else there is to do. BSSC, MERWEX, Phase 1 Sea Safety aka Safe Deckhand.

    Make sure you do additional weekends such as Sea Weekends and Shooting Weekends too, these run at various times in the year, so watch out for them when they come up. I'd say the shooting weekends are important for when you've passed your 518 course to keep yourself in date and to keep honing your marksmenship principles.

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