Introduction

The Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) course is being scrapped in favour of a more challenging package that troops must complete in full before being able to promote.

From October 2020, all Regular soldiers from Lance Corporal to Warrant Officer will instead undertake the Army Leadership Development Programme (ALDP).

They will get one year to finish it instead of the two years allowed for the CLM course. And, until they do, individuals will not be able to take the rank or salary of their next role.

Previously, troops who had not done part three of the package were still able to act up in a new position – meaning those who did not want to promote further had little motivation to finish it.

The new course blends the fieldcraft skills and in-unit training currently developed on CLM part one with the military education of part three.

However, its content has been made more varied and challenging, and standardised between the cap badges. It can also be completed in any location, not just a soldier’s own unit.

Training will be more aligned with officers.

As well as a culture change, the overhaul means that individuals part way through their latest CLM course need to finish part three before next October or they may struggle to secure a place.

Questions about the changes should go to regimental career management officers (RCMO’s) or Army Education Centres (AEC’s).

  • The revamped career courses went online from June 2020 (Soldier, May 2020).
  • ALDP replaced the old CLM parts 1-3.
  • Lance Corporals undertake a ten-day military training package.
  • Corporals and Sergeants also attend a seven-day military education course.
  • The warrant officers’ schedule combines both modules, with exact details to be published in the coming months – Until then they will continue with CLM.
    • The new warrant officer course was rolled out in April 2021.
    • It is a combined (military training and military education) three-week course.
  • Planners say the new scheme represents a more stimulating, demanding test.
  • For full details read ABN 058/2020.

Background

First introduced in January 2004, the CLM programme was initially designed to develop effective non-operational CLM skills in the Army’s NCO’s and WO’s.

In July 2007, the Review of Soldier Career Training and Education (RoSCTE) recommended that the scope of CLM training should be widened to include practical, operationally relevant leadership training.

As a result, the timing and content of CLM training was revised with mandatory CLM training being introduced, for the first time, for those selected for the rank of Lance Corporal.

In 2015, the British Army commissioned a leadership review. After prolonged and intense campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, it seemed the right time to reflect on mistakes and failures – and learn from them.

Whichever challenge was considered by the review, the answer always came back to leadership – and a fundamental insight emerged. Recalling Henry Kissinger’s famous (if apocryphal) question – “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?” – the Army did not have an agreed definition of what it meant to be an Army leader. Nor did it have an individual point of contact, or specific place, for its leadership thinking.

It was such a commonplace – the Army just ‘did’ leadership – that the concept had not been accorded that sort of focus. While everyone had a vested interest in leadership, there was no one individual to write the policy, nobody with ultimate responsibility for specifically developing leadership and no place in which the discussion could be had.

This insight led to two actions: the writing of the British Army’s Leadership Doctrine and the establishment of the Centre for Army Leadership (CAL). The two dovetail:

  • The doctrine codifies what the Army does; and
  • The CAL institutionalises and underpins the doctrine.

The Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), the premier British Army officer training establishment, a Major General (OF-7), became (jointly) the Director of Leadership.

In 2016, the Leadership Doctrine was published.

Consequently, the Army considered that its CLM programme needed to be updated and, from October 2020, the Army Leadership Development Programme will replace it.

The first ALDP courses where introduced in April 2020, with warrant officer courses in April 2021.

CLM policy remained extant until October 2020.

There is an aspiration for a 4 week course with military training and military education combined.

Brief Outline of the ALDP

What is the Purpose of ALDP?

The purpose of ALDP is to develop non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and warrant officers (WOs) to be:

  1. Capable of executing effective leadership through command and management;
  2. To be role models for their subordinates; and
  3. To contribute to team ethos and operational effectiveness.

How is it Done?

It is delivered as a progressive, residential course to achieve pan-Army training objectives (TOs).

The three-part CLM has been replaced with a two-part course, and is no longer capbadge specific. ALDP replaced CLM for up to Sergeant in April 2020, whilst ALDP replaced WO CLM in April 2021.

Military Training and Military Education

  • CLM Part 1 is now known as Military Training (Mil Trg or MT).
  • CLM Part 3 is now known as Military Education (Mil Ed or ME).
  • Lance Corporals receive a total of 10 days of MT.
  • Corporals receive a total of 17 days of MT and ME (10 days MT and 7 days ME).
  • Sergeants receive a total of 17 days of MT and ME (as above).
  • Warrant officers complete a 3-week package.
  • MT and ME to be completed within promotion year.
    • The amended timing of when a soldier does a career course is an improvement for soldiers and the Army as soldiers will complete ALDP prior to substantiation, to be ready for the next rank up meaning they arrive at their next job better prepared and able to offer more to their unit.
  • MT and ME can be completed in any order.
  • As the courses are universal in content, a soldier can attend the MT courses at any location countrywide.
  • There is an aspiration to have a 4-week combined MT and ME course.

Values and standards (V&S) is a considered a ‘golden thread’ throughout the programme.

From October 2020, a new eLearning package was introduced to benefit Corporal ALDP which replaced the classroom ME package for a year (October 2021).

Entry Standards

  • Regulars: MATTs Level 1 within last 12 months.
  • Reserves: MATTs Level 2 within last 12 months.
  • Army Fitness Test (AFT), 6 or 8 miles, within 3 months of course end date.
  • Weapon Handling Test (WHT) within 6 months of course end date.
  • No SCR requirements for MATTS.
  • If the individual is not Medically Fit for Deployment (MFD), then FfC, RA, and App 9 required.

Pre-Course Learning

There is pre-course learning available on the Defence Learning Environment platform.

What Really Happens on the Course?

  • Students are expected to learn, understand, and demonstrate (practically) the concepts of Commander, Leader, and Manager.
  • Students will engage in self-analysis and reflection.
  • Exhibit the Army’s values and standards in their roles.
  • Pass formative assessment on day one of the course (MATTs, pre-course learning and Corps history).
  • Pass summative assessments (both theory and practical).
  • Demonstrate Command and Control (C2), for example BCCS and delivery of orders.
  • Critical TOs by rank include:

Top Student

The top/best student is awarded to the individual who has displayed strong command, leadership and management (both in and out of class). They will be a team player who helps others and is a strong role model.

The award of top student is not guaranteed unless all criteria met.

References

Rock, S. (2019) How the British Army Defined Leadership. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2019/july/how-the-british-army-defined-leadership. [Accessed: 27 October, 2019].

Soldier. (2019) Switch from CLM to New Course will be ‘Culture Change’. Soldier: The Magazine of the British Army. October 2019, pp.20.

Soldier. (2020) New Leader Training. Soldier: The Magazine of the British Army. May 2020, pp.16.

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