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Modernizing Military Training at MOD
In response to requests within government, Great Britain’s Ministry of Defence developed a plan to increase training efficiency at a reduced cost to revamp technical and group training.
The armed forces of Great Britain — the Royal Navy, Army and Air Force — enjoy a reputation as three of the world’s premier militaries, thanks in large part to their servicemen and women’s skills and professionalism. But like many organizations in the commercial world, the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) faces numerous challenges to increase efficiency and deliver value at lower cost, including its training.The MOD must deliver individual training in the most efficient manner to fulfill the military’s goals while ensuring its training meets recruits’ needs and aspirations. Any effort to transform training alters how the three militaries provide instruction. Despite intricacies, the MOD tried to convert much of its instructor-led courseware into Web-based instruction that is more effective and accessible to younger learners. Once the ministry issued this directive, it had broad support thanks to an energetic program that proved the viability of the training transformation concept and provided a precise blueprint to achieve it. Ultimately, the project was shelved, but the story of how the ministry undertook this task is instructive for any organization looking to harmonize and consolidate courseware and introduce advanced learning methods and technologies.The MOD Gets the Contract
Roughly 30 percent of the British military’s total training budget is devoted to specialist technical training — instruction in electronics, vehicle maintenance and electrical engineering via more than 1,000 available courses. The other 70 percent involves training in groups for new recruit basic training and individual skills within teams. The three military services conduct their technical training activities at nine separate academies and colleges throughout the U.K., serving more than 6,000 students daily. In 1999, in response to government requests, the British defense secretary launched a review of all training in the country’s armed forces. The report, issued two years later, concluded that defense training needed to be more integrated and the military’s training consolidated.
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