Historically, a performance gap was identified between soldiers in their normal unit employment and the start standard required for the Section Commanders’ Battle Course (SCBC) and the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course (PSBC). This had led to poor performance on those courses.
The Platoon Sergeant is the second in command of an infantry platoon, comprising of up to 30 soldiers. The main fighting elements of the Infantry platoon are normally 3 Sections of 8 men each, commanded by a Corporal. The PIatoon Sergeant and Section Commander roles are afforded considerable importance. Formally training soldiers to perform theses roles is achieved via 2 courses, the SCBC and PSBC. Both are run by the Infantry Battle School (IBS) which is based at Dering Lines, Brecon.
At the time, IBS courses were focussed on core infantry skills, but the various demands on infantry battalions meant that soldiers were not necessarily well practiced in these at all times. Consequently, battalions sought to address this gap by conducting their own in-house refresher training, but over time it became evident that the levels of performance on both courses were unpredictable and varied between the battalions.
In 1996 this resulted in the Household Division and Parachute Regiment pooling resources to create the first centralised team to deliver this training, known as the Household Division and Parachute Regiment Combined Courses (HDPRCC).
The HDPRCC proved successful in improving the pass rate of soldiers on the IBS courses. The remainder of the infantry took note of this and, by 2012, all other infantry battalions had pooled resources at the Divisional level to form training teams designed, at least in part, to replicate what the HDPRCC were doing. These are collectively known as the lnfantry Division Training Teams (IDTT). Each Division Lieutenant Colonel is responsible for their Division’s team.
In addition to the pre-SCBC and PSBC courses, the IDTT’s also run a variety of other courses. Each team varies, but these courses include reconnaissance and sniper courses, Command, Leadership and Management training, and courses to assist soldiers wishing to commission from the ranks. Providing these courses in a centralised manner is deemed a more efficient use of resources than each course being run by an individual battalion.
There are approximately 50 personnel across the seven IDTT’s, training approximately 10% of the Infantry each year or 2,500 personnel on 90+ courses. Six of these teams are un-established, meaning their manpower is borrowed (on a permanent basis) from established posts elsewhere in the infantry. The 6 teams are the HDPRCC, and those from the Scottish, Queens, Kings, Prince of Wales and Rifles Divisions. This method of manning is widely referred to as the ‘black economy’. The Gurkha Training Team is the exception, being formally established.
The organisation of an IDTT varies slightly between them, but typically includes:
- Officer Commanding: Captain.
- Second in Command: Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) WO2 (CSM).
- Chief Instructor: Colour Sergeant.
- Instructors: Sergeants.
- Various administrative and support staff.
Courses delivered by the IDTT’s varies between them, but typically includes:
- Infantry Division-specific Cadre for all soldiers graduating from ITC Catterick (4 weeks).
- Singular or Combined Pre-PSBC/SCBC Course (2 weeks).
- Reece Commanders Course (1 week).
- JNCO and SNCO Command, Leadership and Management Course (1
- Course to prepare instructors before posting to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) (1 week).