PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Re-introduction of Commissioning opportunities for NCA
Old 18th Mar 2009, 20:30
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nigit
Posts: 439
This thread has drifted further and further away from the original post - not to say the points aren't valid, but...

Re-starting the commissioning of NCA is a really good way of keeping the more talented and enthusiastic guys in the branch/specialisation they're in now. I've seen many many NCA commission into ground trades over the past few years, the vast majority of whom have been a real loss to the branch. They were generally the cream of the crop and highly motivated and obviously frustrated at being "capped" at NCO level. As a result, they decided to commission to regain a career path and were lost to other branches (in particular the Flt Ops branch, but that's a different thread altogether...)

With the new scheme, the same guys will still rise to the top, but now they have a career path within specialisation resulting in their expertise and experience being retained where it is needed the most - the frontline. The old scheme was flawed in that there was no coarse filter at sqn level which meant any numpty could enter the OASC lottery, strike it lucky and come back as the relevant crew position leader - irrespective of professional ability or reputation (all those who work with NCA branches will know examples), thus causing the old scheme to lose credibilty over time. If the new scheme is to work effectively, careful filtering needs to be done at sqn level to ensure only the best candidates succeed in order to maintain credibility. Competition will be fierce enough but it will ensure that the good guys are retained.

I think there is a need for commissioned rearcrew to help bat for their side at sqn exec level and higher too. With the best will in the world, few MACR will hold real sway execs (though there will always be execptions) - many senior offrs still look down their noses at our non-commissioned brethren...

So, with careful execution and selection, commissioning of NCA will a) retain experience and expertise at the frontline and stop the bleeding of talent (or brain drain, if you prefer) from the NCA branches, b) offer NCA quicker and more extensive career progression and c) offer better representation for the boys and girls on the shop floor at exec level and beyond (to my knowledge, there are no NCA branch, branch sponsors).

Of course, some NCA will continue to commission out of specialisation but I will stick my neck out and suggest that the majority of those will apply for other flying roles - ie in the front, whether that be pointy, shiny or rotary.

So that's my opinion - as you will notice, I think it's a positive thing. And for those wondering about my provenance, I was a crewman for 8 years before commissiong to the front end 9 years ago (because I had to, in order to get there...). I feel very strongly about about my old branch and believed the stopping of NCA commissioning was a mistake - I hope the new scheme is a success and wish all candidates the very best of luck.
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