Royal Navy to Review People Functions

An historic review of the way Royal Navy’s people functions is under way. This will modernise processes, ensure that the needs of Royal Navy personnel and their families are met and that the lived experience of everyone serving in the Royal Navy is the best it can be: from the day they look to join, through their time in the service to the day they leave – and beyond.

Under the direction of Rear Admiral Phil Hally, the People and Training Directorate is conducting a review of branch and specialisation structure, modernising the Divisional and Regimental Systems, refreshing the approach to training and empowering people to make the most of their talent.

“We are committed to putting people at the heart of everything we do,” says the admiral. “Becoming a more people-centred organisation, with routine, two-way engagement to sustain a culture of collaboration and transparency and give everyone across the Whole Force the opportunity to feed into Royal Navy transformation.”

To help people understand the changes, the Navy has a dedicated team which will provide information and opportunities to engage through regular communications and engagement activity, as well as the People Liaison Team (PLT) who will visit ships and Establishments.

In the coming months and years, personnel will experience improvements to how they train and are promoted, with more emphasis on making the most of existing skills across the Navy and providing opportunities for them to manage their career in a more flexible and rewarding way. Diversity and Inclusion will remain a cornerstone of the Service to ensure it reflect the people it serves, and there will be more initiatives to broaden the range of people recruited and promoted within the Royal Navy.

Training will become more tailored to individual needs and personal circumstances, and will provide future, transferrable skills such as cyber-awareness, to help give people a richer experience and opportunity to map their career to the areas they want. Traditional ‘stove-pipe’ employment in a specialisation will be removed to create a more coordinated and flexible structure – evolving into employment through skills within professions and disciplines. This means that someone with a traditional skill such as gunnery will be able to cross train to fill another warfare role rather than remain in the same area ‘for life’.

Pathways to promotion and the ability to move between roles as people’s careers progress or circumstances change, will become simpler, more transparent and more accessible than ever before.
“Concepts now exist on how the warfare, engineering and logistics professions may look in the future,” explains Warrant Officer 1st Class Speedy Steedman, Warrant Officer of the Royal Navy. “These changes are not intended to remove historical pride attributed to individual specialisations but are designed to create an agile workforce that gives more flexibility of employment across the Royal Navy in ways not currently possible.”

The introduction of the MyNavy App is giving people the ability to conduct day-today administration tasks such as accessing and updating personal information at any time, minimising the effort and paperwork it takes to do routine activity. A fundamental aspect of the transformation is a Whole Force review of the number of roles on the front line. The RN is evaluating where best to place people, for example moving more Service personnel to operational roles to improve the lived experience of those at sea and increasing the civilianisation of some positions ashore. This activity will ensure that the Royal Navy has the right people in the right places, at the right time to deliver its needs.

The ultimate goal is to make sure that everyone who wants to have a healthy, successful and fulfilling career in the Royal Navy can do so, with the support, opportunity and flexibility of more modern and people-centric structures.


Navy News. (2021) Historic Changes are Under Way. Navy News. July 2021, pp.30.


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