RFA Training at BRNC

Hi,
I'm one of the RFA cadets currently training at Britannia Royal Navy College. We have 4 deck, 2 logistics and 6 marine engineering cadets in our division. If you have any questions about Dartmouth or the RFA training here, feel free to ask!7A774916-A23C-413F-9960-4B6DC02F75BC.JPG
 

thatboatguy

Midshipman
I’m due to start next month, so I do actually have some *relevant* questions. First of all, do we get weekends off? Second, I’m attending as a qualified officer, not a cadet, so do you know if what I’ll be doing is going to be different to what you’re up to, or not? What do you actually get up to?
 

Jago

Midshipman
I went to Dartmouth over three years ago and we had (most) weekends off- you're free to go home or stay at the college (depending on how far away you live etc). You won't be treated differently at all, really, you'll just have a single room rather than having to share. It's a good laugh if you don't take it too seriously and if you appreciate that it's a world apart from the RFA proper.
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
I’m attending as a qualified officer, not a cadet, so do you know if what I’ll be doing is going to be different to what you’re up to, or not?
You are going there as a trainee to be trained, you will be treated as a trainee until you have finished the course. The big difference is that (see correction from RFA at HMS Raleigh) for the RN this is a make or break course, don't pass, don't have a job, so not surprisingly the staff and the RN cadets approach it slightly different for them. The RFA they understand use the course differently, and so we get treated slightly differently (more like the Drs or the SUYs ie slightly more like adults).

It's a good laugh if you don't take it too seriously and if you appreciate that it's a world apart from the RFA proper.
For us its a chance to learn, the more you embrace the course, the more you get out of it. Dartmouth is its own world, its not the RN proper or the RFA. Everything they do to you there is for your training, take it positively, think and reflect on the lessons and the instructors actions and use them to help you throughout your career.

As Jago pointed out one of the lessons to be learnt is not to take life (our yourself) too seriously, have a laugh when you can :D
 
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Just to clarify the RFA course at BRNC is pass / fail these days for all those on the course, so is no longer an attendance only course as it once was.

You can still have fun, but you also need to pass the course to move onto the next phase and that is across the board.
 

Maso

Newbie
Just to clarify the RFA course at BRNC is pass / fail these days
That's really interesting that is has actually happened. There was talk of it when I was there but I wasn't sure if it would ever be pushed through.

So, how would it work for lateral entries? If you had left your previous employment, taken a job with the RFA and then for some reason failed BRNC you could, therefore, find yourself unemployed, unable to pay your mortgage and/or support your family?
 

Klanky67

Lantern Swinger
That's really interesting that is has actually happened. There was talk of it when I was there but I wasn't sure if it would ever be pushed through.

So, how would it work for lateral entries? If you had left your previous employment, taken a job with the RFA and then for some reason failed BRNC you could, therefore, find yourself unemployed, unable to pay your mortgage and/or support your family?
But isn't that the risk when changing any job? You can fail a probation period, etc. I'm sure this is made known to the Commercial Officer applicants. I personally like to see pass/fail courses, focuses the minds of the people participating.
 

Maso

Newbie
But isn't that the risk when changing any job? You can fail a probation period
You have a point but it isn't quite the same (at least not IMO). At BRNC many of the things you are graded on have absolutely no relevance to the job you are actually going to be doing and so to terminate someone's employment on this basis (i.e. before you have determined whether or not they are any good as a Deckie/Engineer/SE/Logs) I see as a little pointless. I would be far more concerned as to whether someone can execute their duties safely than how fast they can run 1.5 miles. Just my opinion. Perhaps the whole grading system has changed since I was there as this was some years ago now. If you are still entitled to your notice period in the event of not passing (as you are in a commercial organisation should you fail a probation period) then I suppose it is not the end of the world, giving you plenty of time to find another job.

I would just add then when I was there I fully embraced the BRNC experience and enjoyed it and, frankly, failing it would have pretty tough. It was only really those that fought against it who struggled.
 

Klanky67

Lantern Swinger
You’ve been there, I haven’t therefore I accept your point as you know the course. I would imagine they’re not kicking them
out for Just failing a run or some other single event but that it would be an overall assessment of someone’s potential to become pseudo RN officers. But hey, it’s the RFA! Anything can happen!!!!!!!
 

Maso

Newbie
You're right. The assessment is about far more than just fitness. When I was there it was a points based system and you needed 13 out of 24 to "pass" (although for us it wouldn't have officially been a fail due to not losing our jobs) and 18 for a "strong pass". You could, therefore, find yourself in a situation where you were 1 point shy of the 13 required and fail the fitness test repeatedly which would have provided you with said sufficient points.

We also had a few SEs amongst our group who had already done a couple of trips at sea and then been sent to BRNC. You would be pretty cheesed off if you had been to sea, performed well and then lost your job after failing the BRNC course!

Anyhow, it will be interesting to see whether it makes any difference to the calibre of individual it churns out.
 

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