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How Devon ACF’s adult volunteers skilled-up in lockdown

The challenges 2020 has presented us with have been well-documented, but it was great to see a group of CFAVs from Devon Army Cadet Force taking the opportunity to gain the CVQO BTEC Level in Education and Training.

We caught up with 2Lt Conor Maher to find out a little more about how the course ran and what he hoped the learners would gain from the experience.

How have you found running the CVQO Education and Training course this year?

“The course has been challenging to run through lockdown, but it has equally given us a unique opportunity to allow CFAVs to be fully focused on the qualification, which has helped to make the course a big success.”

What do you and your learners hope to gain from the process?

“The learners are hoping to gain accreditation for their existing and extensive teaching experience within the cadet forces, which is not otherwise recognised, while also learning about teaching styles and methods in more detail in order to make them better and more rounded instructors.

“I am hoping to improve the overall standard and quality of training delivery within the county by increasing the number of competent and qualified instructors.”

What have been the most useful aspects of the course so far?

“The microteach and associated feedback has been extremely useful. A lot of CFAVs won’t have had an assessed lesson since their AIC (Advanced Induction Course), especially if they haven’t done the SAAI (Skill At Arms Course) and as such it has been really useful to have a formal assessed lesson for quality monitoring and also receive helpful feedback from peers.

“Additionally, it’s great to have an opportunity to watch others teach, and to pick up tips and tricks for your own teaching along the way.”

Are there any positive anecdotes or stories from your learners you are able to share?

“In terms of anecdotes, our microteach session was designed to be completely non-ACF related, and as a result we had some fantastic lessons on how to make origami frogs, how to paint figurines, how to draw up and inject adrenaline, how to make Christmas cards, how to grow kale, and how to terminate fibre-optic cables!

“On another positive note, the first two candidates to complete the course had no academic background or qualifications post-16, and were extremely anxious about the course at the outset – however I’m delighted they were able to complete the course with support and assistance from their peers and tutors.”

Do you plan to offer any more CVQO qualifications in the future?

“Yes. We continue to run the suite of BTEC and ILM qualifications, and plan to roll-out the AET (Award, Education and Training) on a much wider scale next year.”