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Tri-service drive for safety coherence across all cadet services

Representatives from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force Air cadets met at RAF Cranwell to discuss unifying safety across all the cadet forces. The conference was an opportunity to share best practice whilst improving the experience for the 130,000 cadets in the organisations.

The Safety Day was hosted by Royal Air Force Air Cadets Group Captain Martin Adcock, the Air Cadets’ Chief of Staff Operations, with an opening address from Brigadier Anthony Lamb MBE, the Head of Youth and Cadets in the Ministry of Defence.  

Army Cadets Chief of Staff, Colonel Catherine Jardine, and Head of Cadets and Youth HQ Royal Navy Cadet Forces, Captain Gavin MacDougall were among attendees who contributed to an open and spirited discussion on themes such as safety, inclusion and best practice. There were also presentations on transport, the best use of data and shared facilities.  

The day also addressed the challenges faced by Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) and how to cut down on multiple policy documents for staff. The new collaboration has been welcomed by the former Head of CCF, (RAF) Wg Cdr Martin Larwood-Hughes who highlighted issues within schools where section commanders are challenged by incoherent processes.

Group Captain Martin Adcock speaking to a conference room full of staff.

It was acknowledged that whilst each organisation has a different offer, shared activities such as adventure training can be approached with common guidelines. The tri service approach will now aim to produce a unified safety management system to tie in with the development of the Cadet Forces 2030 strategy.

There’s a huge amount of good that’s going on and I wanted to celebrate best practices and welcome an open and frank discussion with the other cadet forces. Each organisation has a different offer – we are an Air, Space and Cyber focused uniformed youth organisation but we do have shared activities such as adventurous training, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and shooting. If other Cadet forces have better ways of working – we shouldn’t be afraid to collaborate and share best practice. We want to work together more going forwards and there was some really good progress made.

Group Captain Martin Adcock