This article is structured as follows:

  1. Royal Naval Leadership Academy (RNLA)
  2. Leading Rates Leadership Course (LRLC)
  3. Senior Rates Leadership Course (SRLC)
  4. Warrant Officer Staff Course (WOSC)
  5. Physical Training
  6. Presentations and Lectures

1.0     Royal Naval Leadership Academy

The Royal Naval Leadership Academy (RNLA) became a unified organisation on 01 July 2009. Under the Command of the Commodore BRNC (Commodore Naval Core Training System (NCTS)), the Officer Commanding RNLA has delegated authority to deliver Leadership Training, in accordance with 2SL’s directive.

Since its inception in 2007, the RNLA has developed and is now comprised of 3 Squadrons and an HQ split across 3 sites. Royal Arthur Squadron and the HQ are based at HMS Collingwood, whilst Royal Sovereign and Powerful Squadrons are based at BRNC Dartmouth. The HQ is also responsible for the Outdoor Leadership Training Centre (OLTC) at Talybont-On-Usk, Brecon in South Wales.

Command, Leadership & Management (CLM) and Divisional training is provided to RN personnel throughout their careers, principally in support of promotion, recognising that those selected will be required to exercise greater levels of leadership than hitherto. All Ratings receive an element of team building while undergoing initial (Phase 1) and specialist (Phase 2) training before being accepted on to the trained strength; this acts as a precursor to subsequent formal CLM training once selected for promotion which is conducted by the RNLA, utilising on-site resources and facilities at Erlstoke (Salisbury Plain), and the OLTC.

Therefore it is the role of the RNLA to train future leaders so that they can further develop and realise their full potential. The short videos below provide some insight:

2.0     Leading Rates Leadership Course

2.1     Introduction

The Leading Rates Leadership Course (LRLC) is a 3 week leadership course for aspiring Leading Hands, where successful completion is part of the mandatory requirements for confirmation as a Leading Hand. Medically fit candidates will be expected to have the physical ability to pass the 2.4km Fitness Assessment on Day one, take part in challenging circuits, hike 25km in 48hrs carrying up to 30kg in equipment and complete a 4.83km endurance run, which entails a 2.4km squad run out at the group’s slowest RNFT time plus one minute, with 3 injections of pace made by the lead PTI on the return leg. The physical expectations for candidates with a permanent medical downgrade will be dealt with as appropriate to their condition. All candidates are expected to have the mental ability to communicate effectively, both orally and written; act as the leader and member of a team; and prepare and successfully execute a plan. The course comprises the following elements:

  • Week 1: candidates will study leadership theory based around Adair’s Action Centred Leadership Model which focuses on the task, team and individual. They will undertake team building activities and receive instruction on Naval ethos and communication.
  • Week 2: candidates will be instructed on Divisional responsibilities and the role of a Leading Hand. They will be given the opportunity to do non-assessed PLTs prior to being assessed on their presentations, PLTs and sit the Leading Hand exam. This week focuses on the reinforcement of pride and responsibilities of a Leading Hand.
  • Week 3: candidates will undertake the assessed DLX on Salisbury Plain. DLX is a 2-day evolution that is designed to stretch and challenge the candidates on course. The candidates begin at 1300 on Mon, when they are given a scenario. They ‘deploy’ to Salisbury plain where they are in field conditions until the Wed pm. During this period they are asked to perform various PLTs from outside their area of expertise.

2.2     Objectives

The objectives of the LRLC are the theoretical instruction, practical training and assessment of competence in the following areas of leadership and management:

  • Leadership and management principles;
  • Personal management;
  • Practical leadership, management and team building exercises;
  • Oral and written communication including presentations, briefs and debates;
  • Health and safety training not specific to specialisation;
  • Discrimination and Equal & Diversity awareness training;
  • Desk top management, leadership and communication exercises;
  • Stress management;
  • Illegal substances and alcohol misuse awareness lectures; and
  • Provision of individual performance appraisal reports.

2.3     Assessment

The aim of the LRLC is to develop the leadership and management skills of supervisors. This development will be evaluated by conducting continually assessed own and group presentations and practical leadership activities to ensure that:

  • The student has achieved each objective independently;
  • Practical projects supervised and assessed by experienced subject matter experts; and
  • Each objective has been assessed within a set time-scale.

3.0     Senior Rates Leadership Course

3.1     Introduction

The Senior Rates Leadership Course (SRLC) is a 5-week leadership course for aspiring Senior Rates, where successful completion is part of the mandatory requirements for confirmation as a Petty Officer. Medically fit candidates will be expected to have the physical ability to pass the 2.4km Fitness Assessment on Day one, take part in challenging circuits and hike 40km over 48hrs carrying up to 30kg of equipment. The physical expectations for candidates with a permanent medical downgrade will be dealt with as appropriate to their condition. All candidates are expected to have the mental ability to communicate effectively, both orally and written; act as the leader and member of a team; and prepare and successfully execute a plan. The course comprises the following elements:

  • Week 1: candidates will study Leadership Agility, management theory, communication, both oral and written with briefs and Defence writing exercises.
  • Week 2: candidates will be instructed and assessed on their CLM abilities during Exercise Brecon Beacons (EBB). Departing on 1800 on Mon and returning 1200 on Friday, candidates will hike 40km over a 48hr period whilst carrying 30kg of equipment and navigating over undulating terrain, conducting both non-assessed and assessed Practical Leadership Tasks (PLTs).
  • Week 3: candidates will:
    • Study and practice coaching theory;
    • Conduct assessed Naval Ethos presentations; and
    • Provide Command Briefs about their course’s allocated leader.
  • Week 4: candidates will undertake the assessed Dynamic Leadership Exercise (DLX) on Salisbury Plain. DLX is a 3-day evolution that is designed to stretch and challenge the candidates on course. The candidates begin at 0500 on Wednesday, when they are given a scenario. They plan that morning prior to ‘deploying’ to Salisbury Plain where they are in field conditions until the Friday afternoon. During this period candidates are asked to perform various PLTs from outside their area of expertise, ranging from establishing vehicle checkpoints to setting up infrastructure.
  • Week 5: candidates will undertake the Divisional Senior Rate package where they will be given instruction and assessment of how to perform as a Divisional Senior Rate, incorporating writing SJARs, E&D, Service Law and the Divisional System.

3.2     Objectives

The objectives of the SRLC are to conduct the theoretical instruction, practical training and assessment of competence in the following areas of leadership and management:

  1. Command, Leadership and Management principles;
  2. Leadership Agility training. Decision-making and problem solving exercises including individual and syndicate practical desktop planning and execution exercises;
  3. Coaching and mentoring skills.
  4. Utilisation of power, authority & influence to maintain control, discipline and standards within a group;
  5. Creating realistic goals & objectives for team & self;
  6. Application of effective diagnosis & flexible leadership styles to achieve goals;
  7. Motivation and morale of subordinates by evaluation and provision of feedback on the performance of teams and individuals;
  8. Oral and written communication including lectures, briefs, debates, reports and informal and formal meeting skills;
  9. Health and Safety legislation;
  10. Stress Awareness training;
  11. Diversity and Inclusion awareness training; and
  12. Provision of individual performance appraisal reports.

3.3     Performance Criteria

The aim of the SRLC is to develop the leadership and management skills of supervisors. Its achievement will be evaluated by conducting continually assessed own and group presentations and practical leadership activities to ensure that:

  • The student has achieved each objective independently;
  • Divisional Senior Ratings multiple-choice examination with at least 80% accuracy;
  • Practical projects supervised and assessed by experienced subject matter experts; and
  • Each objective has been assessed within a set time-scale.

4.0     Warrant Officer Staff Course

The Warrant Officers Staff Course (WOSC) challenges potential Warrant Officers to stretch their knowledge around the areas of Command Estimate, briefings and awareness of issues external to their source branch.

In order to consider further CLM development and challenges that are faced at this senior level, WOSC involves visits to Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) and the Joint Services Command and Staff College Shrivenham (JSCSC).

5.0     Physical Training

Both the SRLC and the LRLC contain the following physical activities:

  • 2.4 km Run (Fitness Assessment (FA)): the FA takes the form of a 2.4 km run and will follow standard RNFT timings for age and gender, which Ratings must pass. Those who fail receive an immediate warning and are given the opportunity to repeat the FA at the end of Week one. It should be noted that during times of inclement weather when the 2.4 km track is unsafe for use, students will be expected to conduct the MSFT. Failure of the FA will result in an immediate Return to Unit (RTU).
  • Rockport Walk: The Rockport Walk takes place on Day one of training for individuals who are medically downgraded (LC1) or over 40. Individuals are expected to achieve at least the level set for their age and gender specific standard at RNFT. Those who fail receive an immediate warning and are given the opportunity to repeat the serial at the end of Week one. Failure of this repeats results in immediate RTU.
  • 4.83 km Squad Run (currently LRLC only): this squad run is designed to develop teamwork and motivational skills whilst undertaking physical activity.
  • Circuit Training: students will undergo numerous circuit training sessions aimed at maintaining their fitness levels to ensure they are ready to safely participate in the exercises on the Brecon Beacons and Salisbury Plain.
  • Dogwatch Sports: three evenings per week all trainees are actively involved in competitive team games during the Dogwatches with an aim of developing communication, team bonding and team co-ordination.
  • Assault Course and Cliff and Chasm Exercise: these are designed to create a physically demanding and stressful environment in which to test team planning, initiative and decision making.
  • Dynamic Leadership Exercise (DLX): both the LRLC and SRLC conduct a DLX which takes place on the Salisbury Plain Training Areas and involves a night navigation exercise and disaster relief (DISTEX) phase. The DLX is a major evolution that tests Mission Command whilst embracing all theories taught in both benign and arduous conditions.
  • Exercise Brecon Beacons (SRLC only): this is a 4-day exercise designed to develop teamwork, planning, initiative and decision making under arduous conditions in preparation for the DLX.
  • Swimming.

6.0     Presentations and Lectures

SRLC students will be given a Naval Ethos presentation title on Day One of training and must prepare a 15 minute lecture to be presented in week 3. LRLC students must prepare a 7 minute and a 12 minute lecture during training.

All lecture subjects are to be the individual’s choice but must be of an informative and undemonstrative nature, and not connected with a Service profession or trade. Prior preparation is essential as lectures and presentations are given early in the course. All presentation methods are acceptable and are to be in the following basic format:

  • Introduction (including personal): setting out the scope of the lecture and the aim, 5% of total time.
  • Objectives: what you intend to convey in the lecture, 5% of total time.
  • Main Body (of the lecture): the ‘meat’ of the information you have to deliver, 80% of total time.
  • Conclusion: a summary of the main points, 10% of total time.

LRLC personnel should prepare and take with them props, models, PowerPoint presentations etc, as there is limited time and facilities for self help available once on course. Presentations on personal laptop computers must be transferred to a classroom PC for delivery using an issued Restricted CD and the ‘Sheepdip’ PC in the Royal Arthur building Library. It is recommended that Divisional Officers arrange for students to deliver their intended presentations to a suitable audience prior to starting course.

For some ideas on how to structure your presentations and lectures view: DITS example lesson plans.

7.0     Useful Links

  • Chartered Management Institute (CMI): http://www.managers.org.uk/Individuals/Qualifications/Armed-Forces.aspx

2 thoughts on “Royal Navy CLM Programmes

    1. Hi Michael,
      From the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) you will gain either 1) CMI Level 2 Diploma in Team Leading (QCF) (no extra work) or 2) CMI Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management (QCF) (extra work). CMI provides an 18-month window of opportunity for military personnel to register for qualifications that are accredited directly to their career development courses. see Useful Links above for more information.

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