Last Updated: 03 June, 2015


RAF Halton
RAF Halton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Defence Centre of Training Support (DCTS) was established on 01 October 2003 and it absorbed the Royal Navy’s School of Education and Training, the Army School of Training Support and those elements of RAF Halton that had previously been the RAF’s Training and Development Support Unit.

The DCTS is headquartered at Kermode Hall at RAF Halton near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England and was until November 2012 part of the Ministry of Defence’s Directorate General Training and Education.

Following a study, it was agreed that Command and Control (C2) should be transferred from Joint Forces Command (Joint Warfare) to the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom (DAUK), where it sits within the Chief of Staff’s area of responsibility, and this occurred on 01 November 2012.

In the short term, there is no intent to move DCTS from its current location at RAF Halton. The DCTS’s headquarters at RAF Halton contain the Specialist Training and Consultancy Group (STCG), Technology Based Training Group and the Instructional Training Group (ITG). ITG also have a supporting element at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth, England.

  • ST&CG (also referred to as STG): The group offers a variety of courses to support those involved in specialist training roles within Defence and has two main roles: training consultancy and specialist training delivery.
  • ITG: runs courses with the aim of training instructors in the military.
  • LTG (Learning Technologies Group): is a group of several departments with expertise in the use of technology within military training.
    • Defence Learning Portal (DLP): is a delivery mechanism for military eLearning for the MOD in its entirety, and is managed within LTG.
    • Research and Development (R&D): R&D provides consultancy and training in eLearning in addition to research projects into how developing technologies can be applied to military training.
    • Digital Media Group (DMG): used to create video and media for both promotional and instructional purposes (no longer).

Role and Responsibility

DCTS has pan-defence responsibility for the training of instructors and as such is the authority on the delivery of specialist training within the UK Defence community, preparing staff for instructional, training management and training support tours.  It also supports the cost effective exploitation and optimum application of learning technologies and eLearning across Defence. The DCTS is responsible for training military instructors and training managers, e-learning support services to the MOD, computer-based training production and video production.

Tri-service experts from the training environment and field forces advise an overarching Customer Executive Board. All military and civilian instructors providing training in phase 1 or 2 training establishments are mandated to meet the requirements of the Defence Train the Trainer (DTTT) programme delivered by, or under franchise from, the DCTS or to have a recognised equivalent qualification. The DTTT programme is a 13-day course and incorporates training in Defence Instructional Techniques (DIT), Care of Trainees (CoT) and a Certificate to teach in the Lifelong Learning sector (PTLLS) at level 4. All of these can be provided as independent courses.

A Defence Instructor Monitoring and Evaluation (DIME) course is available to develop assessment and coaching skills for those with responsibility for monitoring and supporting instructors. A more detailed Defence Instructor Assessment and Development (DIAD) course is available for those with responsibility for managing the assessment, coaching and development of instructors.

The above three courses are now legacy qualifications, the reader is directed to The Defence Trainer Capability and the Army Instructor Capability pages for up to date information on the new range of courses. However, a good deal of the information on this page is still extant.

Franchise Agreements

Eleven training establishments have franchise agreements with the DCTS and provide approximately 80% of the DTTT courses. Between 2010 and 2012, over 5,500 instructors completed these courses. The majority of instructors were Army personnel; over half of all instructors are trained by the Army Recruiting and Training Division (ARTD) Staff Leadership School.

The British Army replaced, or rather enhanced, the Defence programme of courses with the Army Instructor Capability programme during 2014. The vast majority of Army instructors will continue to complete their instructor training at the ARTD Staff Leadership School.


DCTS offers a range of instructor and training-related courses to military personnel and civil servants: view here.

Useful Links

Defence Academy of the UK:

RAF Halton:

Defence Learning Portal:


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