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  1. #1
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    RDF Courses and Promotions

    Just a quick question on promotions and courses as there seems to be some confusion in the unit as to the rules.

    When it comes to being loaded onto a PNCO, Standards, POC or any other course, my understanding that the applicant has to meet the requirements of the course with regards to rank and KPIs. The applicant also needs to be recommended by their unit and must be of course willing to go on the course.

    My question relates to seniority when getting on courses. I've heard from my unit that if two applicants apply, seniority will be a big deciding factor in seeing who gets on the course. I've read that the way promotion (and their courses) is done differently since the Croke Park agreement and now seniority can't be taken as a factor and it's solely down to performance and other metrics. I know this was agreed with RACO and PDFORRA. I don't think RDFRA was in the room.

    Any clarifications from the more knowledgeable members of the board here? I'm assuming myself that seniority is a consideration but wouldn't be part of the official decision making process?

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  3. #2
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    All other things being equal seniority may become a factor.

    It is very rare, though, that all other things are equal.

    PDF nominations for courses are governed by an Instruction.
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

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  5. #3
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    I assume you mean RDF?

    Courses and promotions are two very separate issues

    Promotions:
    To Cpl (and commissioning as 2/Lt) is in RDF more of less guaranteed on completion of relevant course
    All other ranks depends on the rank being promoted to, criteria are set in DFR R5 and Admin Inst R5

    Places on courses:
    You apply, you must meet the criteria on the Joining Instructions (eg have grade 3 fitness, ECDL, PWT compeleted etc etc (depends on the course)).

    One criteria that is always on it is, recommended by CO. Your sub-unit commander will forward a list of people he is recommending to the CO, he may alter if he sees fit. Bde HQ may then alter the list if they see fit. This is where seniority could become a factor at the sub-unit level.

    If the course is being conducted by another Bde, that Bde can alter the list to. It is that Bde that selects the personnel to undergo the course (or your own Bde if in the same Bde). A nomination doesn’t equal selection to undergo the course.




    Now if a unit is turning down people for RDF career courses because they say we are only going to nominate 1 of say 3 applicants that is a serious issue ..... because career courses are not being filled

  6. #4
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    I assume you mean RDF?


    One criteria that is always on it is, recommended by CO. Your sub-unit commander will forward a list of people he is recommending to the CO, he may alter if he sees fit. Bde HQ may then alter the list if they see fit. This is where seniority could become a factor at the sub-unit level.


    That's where I was wondering about seniority. The proposals from 2011 would have eliminated that as a factor for the PDF. Maybe it wasn't implemented as surely the representative bodies would have received some concerns from members about how it could impact them negatively.

    Essentially, the proposals would disallow one member from being selected over another for a course solely due to seniority. Apparently giving someone preference due to age or time in service is discriminatory. Personally I think seniority makes since from a selection perspective but I can see how it dilutes the process from being a purely merit based one.

    I was indeed referring to the RDF.

  7. #5
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Also. From documentation sent to the minister in 2014. Implemented for officers fro promotions anyway.

    'Officers - New merit based promotion systems which reflect modern HR standards,
    including the elimination of seniority and the introduction of merit based systems of
    promotion at all levels, have been agreed and implemented for Generals and Officers
    up to the rank of Colonel. '

  8. #6
    Lt General
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    The other side of that coin is, only after serving for a certain period of time do you get a chance to fulfil all the courses and overseas service criteria which would give you most points.
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  9. #7
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The RDF regulations date from 2005 with relatively minor amendments since

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  11. #8
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    The RDF regulations date from 2005 with relatively minor amendments since
    You would imagine that the PDF regulations should be de facto implemented for the RDF even if not in place. Then again, regulations are regulations!

  12. #9
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    I think you need to differenciate between nominations for courses and promotions. Promotions are only supposed to take into consideration seniority when all other things are equal. Nominations for courses is a different matter. Maybe or PDF collegues can enlighten us as to the nomination process for courses. Is it still the recommendation of the CO or can people just apply directly?

  13. #10
    CQMS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    I think you need to differenciate between nominations for courses and promotions. Promotions are only supposed to take into consideration seniority when all other things are equal. Nominations for courses is a different matter. Maybe or PDF collegues can enlighten us as to the nomination process for courses. Is it still the recommendation of the CO or can people just apply directly?
    Virtually everything in the DF requires the recommendation of your CO, leave, overseas (can be overruled), courses, promotions, transfers (can be overruled) etc.

    Selection for NCO career courses (PNCO, Std NCO, SNCO, Logs Acct Cse) require a Bde level board to sit, comprised of 1 x Comdt, 1 x Capt and 1 x BSM / BQMS or equivalent. Massive levels of complexity added to a system that will virtually always result in a redress or an appeal.

    Personally, I do not think it should apply for PNCO Cse but think that it is appropriate for the other courses as offers of promotion will not be restricted to your unit unlike promotion to Cpl. The difficulty is that units apply no filters and everyone that applies gets before the Board so they could have 150 applications to do file review assessments on

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  15. #11
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    All interesting replies. I'm just interested to see if someone can get promoted fairly quickly assuming they have the time for the courses or if they de-facto have to spend a significant amount of time at private or corporal before they can get loaded onto the various promotion courses.

    What's the usual progression in years or would there be meteoric fast movers who move up the ranks quickly?

  16. #12
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    All interesting replies. I'm just interested to see if someone can get promoted fairly quickly assuming they have the time for the courses or if they de-facto have to spend a significant amount of time at private or corporal before they can get loaded onto the various promotion courses.

    What's the usual progression in years or would there be meteoric fast movers who move up the ranks quickly?
    Recruit to 3* generally takes approx 2 years (recruit to 2* and 2* to 3* are upgrades not promotions), after that you’d spend more than likely min 1 year as a Pte 3*.

    If it is felt that your suitable you can the be recommended for PNCO, which is a year long. So you could be promoted to Corporal within 4 years.

    All that of course depends on your availability to complete courses as they come up.

    After that it will depend on vacancies, ability etc

  17. #13
    Sergeant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    What's the usual progression in years or would there be meteoric fast movers who move up the ranks quickly?
    Bad route: your husband/daddy/uncle are officers (RDF or PDF)

    Controversial route: to create NCOs/officers of a certain sex

    Good route: you're ex-PDF

  18. #14
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Controversial route: to create NCOs/officers of a certain sex
    Happened when women were first signed on in 1992. We had females on NCOs courses within 18 months, Sergeants with 24 months and I reckon officers not long afterwards. Vacancies that had been held open for years were flooded with females.

    In my former unit it took me 2 years to get to NCO rank because of my backround, and a further 9 years to get my third stripe due to lack of vacancies and then to turn up on camp to be greeted by a female Sergeant who hadn't been born when I first donned uniform, who was usually a PA with the attitude of attila the cnut, really galled me...and lets not go there with officers.. Females who couldn't dress them selves or carry a rifle warranting a salute soon after they had left puberty!
    Time for another break I think......

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  20. #15
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    Happened when women were first signed on in 1992. We had females on NCOs courses within 18 months, Sergeants with 24 months and I reckon officers not long afterwards. Vacancies that had been held open for years were flooded with females.!
    But you didn't have to go through an interview process to get in, they did.

  21. #16
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    Happened when women were first signed on in 1992. We had females on NCOs courses within 18 months, Sergeants with 24 months and I reckon officers not long afterwards. Vacancies that had been held open for years were flooded with females.

    In my former unit it took me 2 years to get to NCO rank because of my backround, and a further 9 years to get my third stripe due to lack of vacancies and then to turn up on camp to be greeted by a female Sergeant who hadn't been born when I first donned uniform, who was usually a PA with the attitude of attila the cnut, really galled me...and lets not go there with officers.. Females who couldn't dress them selves or carry a rifle warranting a salute soon after they had left puberty!
    So it sounds like the there was a lot of nepotism and misguided promoting going on in the reserves of yore.

    Back to the present, what do you all think about current promotion speeds etc within the RDF?

    Should there be an expectation that it should take 2-3 years before loading onto a PNCO course and another few years after that before getting a POC?

    If a member has got themselves up to speed, is performing very well and is putting in the hours - should they not be placed on a POC or PNCO course as early as possible (if there is recognisable potential)? Or do we believe that they have to put a number of years under their belt as a junior soldier/rating just to show their commitment?

    Just to qualify my comments on the above; I do understand it will take time for a joiner to get from recruit to 3*/AB and I am suggesting the above for a scenario where you've a unit where vacancies exist and need to be filled at these levels.

  22. #17
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    See post 12

  23. #18
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    Add to that, you can now go on a POC as a 3 star, if deemed suitable.

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  25. #19
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    See post 12
    I read that post but that's not the practice that seems to be operating in every unit. I was less querying the mechanics of promotion but how it actually works in practice and what members' opinions on here are? Forgetting about new entrants being ex-pdf, being engineers, naval watchkeepers or Doctors - do you believe a new joiner should spend 3-4 years at 3* before Corporal and a similar length of time at Cpl before going for a POC - or should someone good be moved onto career courses as soon as possible and feck the begrudgers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    Add to that, you can now go on a POC as a 3 star, if deemed suitable.
    I've heard about this as well but didn't know the change had been implemented. From what I heard it's a differing interpretation of the regulations allowing non-NCO's to be commissioned with a degree being a key consideration. Apparently the degree type doesn't matter. I know an NSR AB got on a POC course lately but he had a relevant skill set.

    Could be bull as well but I've also heard that this will allow commissioning up to 45 if the candidate is deemed suitable.

  26. #20
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    What I outlined is the actual practice, generally you would see people on a PNCOs Cse with 2/3 years as a Pte 3*. There can be exceptions.

    There is a pic of the latest PNCO Cse on the RDFRA Facebook page, while not a guarantee of accuracy..... there are not too many 7 year service medals being worn.



    It remains to be seen how the POC’s course will be advertised

  27. #21
    C/S Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    What I outlined is the actual practice, generally you would see people on a PNCOs Cse with 2/3 years as a Pte 3*. There can be exceptions.

    There is a pic of the latest PNCO Cse on the RDFRA Facebook page, while not a guarantee of accuracy..... there are not too many 7 year service medals being worn.



    It remains to be seen how the POC’s course will be advertised
    Yeah, I knew there were going to be no new regulations but the current ones are very open to interpretation though. It'll be interesting to see how it's advertised alright.

  28. #22
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    What I outlined is the actual practice, generally you would see people on a PNCOs Cse with 2/3 years as a Pte 3*. There can be exceptions.

    There is a pic of the latest PNCO Cse on the RDFRA Facebook page, while not a guarantee of accuracy..... there are not too many 7 year service medals being worn.



    It remains to be seen how the POC’s course will be advertised
    Speaking as an instructor on that course - I got my 7 year medal right before a 1916 commemoration in 2016, along with the 100 year medal. - what was missing was my 12 year bar.

    Every year SINCE my 7th year i was asking for the medal and didnt get it.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

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  30. #23
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    But you didn't have to go through an interview process to get in, they did.
    We did, there was always an interview process within the unit , both for recruits and promotions. I have very little faith in formal interviews as what you get at interview very often doesn't materialize further down the line.
    Time for another break I think......

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  32. #24
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Back to the present, what do you all think about current promotion speeds etc within the RDF?

    Should there be an expectation that it should take 2-3 years before loading onto a PNCO course and another few years after that before getting a POC?
    Promotion needs to be based on courses done, there is no point in sending 19 year olds out on a PNCOs course when they don'y have the knowledge expected of them to do the job. No one should be even considered unless they have a recognised amount of corps specific course done.

    I'm guilty of being fast tracked and then spending so much time training other people on the basics that I didn't acquired corps specific courses . 3 stars often got the courses then as it more appropriate to Trooper Gunners as opposed to Sergeant gunners!, does make sense to a certain degree but it limits what NCOs can do for a long period of time... bear in mind a reserve AML 90 course took nearly 18 months from being formed up to the first shoot.
    Time for another break I think......

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  34. #25
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    Speaking as an instructor on that course - I got my 7 year medal right before a 1916 commemoration in 2016, along with the 100 year medal. - what was missing was my 12 year bar.

    Every year SINCE my 7th year i was asking for the medal and didnt get it.
    Put in a redress and you will, have it faster than light.
    Infantry Corps - An Lámh Comhrac


    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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