Royal Navy Officers To Avoid 'Grilling' From Ship's Captain In Training Revamp

Practical training for Royal Navy officers is getting a major revamp after 'falling behind the industry standard for equivalent training'.

Royal Navy officers will no longer face a 'grilling' from a ship's captain when demonstrating what they have learned during their first spell at sea.

The Senior Service has outlined how it is changing practical training for its officers, describing it as the "biggest revamp in decades".

Instead of facing a 'grilling', officers will be expected to draw upon all the knowledge they've picked up over three months at sea on a warship during a 'detailed assessment'.

They will be required to explain how they might respond to an emergency, demonstrate leadership, knowledge and the ability to think on their feet.

Also, the final assessment will no longer be carried out solely by the commanding officer, with other members of the ship's company encouraged to sit on the panel.

The move has been billed as "the most significant change" to the 12 weeks of Common Fleet Time which introduces most junior officers to the day-to-day life on a Royal Navy ship. 

Common Fleet Time follows officers' commissioning after completing basic training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon.

The Royal Navy said the training package had 'not been reviewed for some time, falling behind the industry standard for equivalent training for junior managers'.

Anonymous Royal Navy recruits hands CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
Lieutenant Alexandra Head said "people today expect modern training" (Picture: Royal Navy).

Lieutenant Alexandra Head, from the Navy's Training Management Group and who led the revamp, said: "The new assessment is designed to give modern-day learners holistic feedback in line with current coaching and mentoring practices, allowing individuals to identify areas for self-improvement.

"People today expect modern training. Our sea training needs to reflect that.

"This is a different way of assessing Royal Navy officers, much more modern, much more in line with the commercial world and also much more in keeping with the expectations of the candidates themselves."

The first group of 80 newly-commissioned officers will go through the new-look Common Fleet Time at the end of next month.

Other changes include a smaller 'learning journal' – or taskbook – for trainees to complete while on board and gaining work experience in each department rather than just their chosen specialist branch.

Trainees will also be encouraged to shadow senior ratings.

The Royal Navy Management Training branch spent two years working with training officers and Britannia Royal Naval College to shape the new training.

In November last year, the Royal Navy said interest in joining the service had 'surged' during the coronavirus pandemic