Army Foundation College Trials New Feature Of Basic Training

Trials of Compass For Life, developed by one of the youngest people to ever be selected for the SAS, began before the coronavirus lockdown.

The British Army is trialling a new learning framework, aimed at maximising potential, at its Foundation College in Harrogate.

Compass For Life was developed by veteran Floyd Woodrow - one of the youngest soldiers to ever be selected for the SAS.

"It can work with five-year-old children right the way through to business leaders, sportsmen and indeed the military," he told Forces News.

It involves a compass, with north, east, south and west all representing different values.

"It's about having high aspirations, it's about making sure you push yourself - what I would call to having a 'super North Star' and it's about being a strategist and how you break that journey down," Mr Woodrow said.

"What the compass does, it allows you to rebalance quickly. Otherwise, you've got lots of phenomenal ideas but they're all over, they're scattered. It's like having a jigsaw that's in pieces.

"The compass puts that picture together and enables you to think effectively to really push performance."

Mr Woodrow added that he "completely" believes the approach will be a game changer for the British Army.

Compass For Life, which also aims to help with the transition into the military, is already being piloted in the Army's standard entry course at Pirbright.

There are also plans to introduce it to reservists later this year. 

The college has nearly 1,400 students and is currently operating virtually.

Captain Joe Read, who is involved with the project at the Army Foundation College, said: "We have a basically trained soldier who can march right, they can run right and they can shoot right, and that's fantastic and really important.

"But because they're so good at that now, we can now start to look at them as individuals and we can look at how they're going to be developing as individuals throughout the rest of their career."

Capt Read said it was an opportunity for the Army to catch up with the civilian world in terms of training, education and "laying [down] strong foundations" for personnel as individuals, not just soldiers.

It is hoped the education model will also lead to improved retention within the Army.

The trials will be analysed at the end of the year.