Unexpected wins for training innovation

Published on Mr Andrew Cox (author)

Location(s): HMAS Cerberus, VIC

Topic(s): HMAS Cerberus, Training Authority - Aviation

Leading Seaman Emma Stewart instructs a class after gaining the Navy and ADF Instructor proficiencies at TA-AVN. (photo: )
Leading Seaman Emma Stewart instructs a class after gaining the Navy and ADF Instructor proficiencies at TA-AVN.

The challenges of 2020 have spurred multiple innovations in the way that Navy delivers training. This ensures that essential training continues to be delivered safely, and that Navy can meet strategic and operational workforce requirements.

This innovative mindset was highlighted in Training Authority Aviation (TA-AVN) piloting the localised delivery of the Australian Defence Force Instructor Course, delivered by the ADF Training Systems School (ADFTSS).

Multiple factors spurred this development. With travel restrictions in place, TA-AVN was facing a growing training backlog and difficulty gaining the required number of Instructors to deliver essential training. This posed a risk to TA-AVN having the required number of qualified personnel in the future.

TA-AVN began planning for the challenge with a determined mindset.

“We accepted there would be some challenges, if we had any chance of trying to recover gracefully, then we realised we must exploit every opportunity to get ahead of the curve and clear backlogs,” Lieutenant Natalie Astwood said.

TA-AVN started planning for the local delivery of the ADF Instructor Course, traditionally delivered by ADFTSS at HMAS Cerberus.

This delivered the dual benefit of reducing the load on ADFTSS and providing new Training System Officers (TSOs) immediate exposure to the Navy.

TA-AVN then worked with ADFTSS to ensure that the course would be successfully exported and delivered to a high standard.

ADFTSS was responsible for panelling nominees, providing teaching resources and awarding the proficiencies, while TA-AVN would teach the content and run the assessments and ultimately provide TA-AVN staff with the skills, attitudes and behaviours to develop into effective Instructors.

The local delivery of the ADF Instructor Course has been a success, with course evaluation providing very positive feedback from the students.

Students said they felt appropriately trained and that they could correctly and confidently conduct instruction.

So far there have been 17 graduates who have completed the course from TA-AVN.

The enduring success of the ADF Instructor Course re-design is evident in ADFTSS planning to convert future offerings to a blended model. This innovation is an outcome of both the successful TA-AVN trial of local delivery, and the backlog of Defence personnel who require Instructor proficiency.

This blended model will incorporate an online component via the ADELE learning platform and a face-to-face component for assessment, which will be facilitated at personnel’s local Defence base.

With current state border closures, this model of training delivery will ensure that essential training can continue to be delivered and will tangibly assist the Navy moving forward.

Overall, this experience of delivering the ADF Instructor Course has shown the effectiveness of blended learning courses and the potential for further growth in the way we train our people.