Last Updated: 15 March, 2017

1.0     Introduction

EDIP (Explanation, Demonstration, Imitation and Practice) is an important method of instruction across the Services. However, instruction must capture the imagination of the student instructor and the learner so they both remain focused. As such there is more to instruction than just EDIP, although getting student instructors, and qualified instructors, to see past EDIP can be a challenge in itself.

During the Defence Train the Trainer course student instructors are introduced to facilitative instruction and they are encouraged to use their imagination when instructing and get their learners involved, learning from each others’ experiences.

British Army instruction and instructor development is, once again, changing. This change is mainly driven by the Directorate of Educational Capability (D Ed Cap), formerly the Directorate of Educational and Training Services (Army) (DETS(A)), on behalf of the British Army.

The Army Recruiting and Training Division Staff Leadership School (ASLS) has been at the forefront of developing a new model of instruction, the Army Instructor Capability (AIC) programme, which incorporates a range of new courses and continues to push in search of ‘excellence’, be it through Values-based Leadership (VBL), coaching, mentoring and any other skill considered applicable to improving the whole British Army instructor framework (Gratton, 2013).

With the AIC programme coming in for all instructors working at Army Recruiting and Training Division Phase 1 initial and Phase 2 specialist Defence Training Establishments, and eventually Phase 3 continuation establishments, these courses will prepare student instructors in implementing appropriate teaching methods and techniques.

The reader is also advised to read the Defence Trainer Capability page for up to date information on the new range of Defence courses.

1.1     Army Trainer Capability (ATC) Landscape Changes

This article outlines the role and purpose of the Army Instructor Capability (AIC) programme, which has subsequently been rebranded as the Army Trainer Capability (ATC) programme.

There have been a large number of policy and training programmes changes between 2006 and 2017, which will likely continue after this, which are discussed here.

2.0     Army Instructor Capability Programme

The British Army is replacing the current Defence programme of courses with the AIC programme of courses, which has an initial operational capability (IOC) of April 2014 (Gratton, 2013), now October 2014. The AIC programme has undergone a pilot and a number of iterations since 2012.

2.1     Aim of the AIC Model

The AIC which not only replaces but enhances the current Defence programme of courses, aims to better meet the needs of the British Army by placing a greater emphasis on instructional leadership and supervision to ensure the continued development of instructors.

2.2     Objectives of the AIC Model

As such it is envisioned that the AIC model programme will produce agile instructors able to develop agile and independent learners through the following objectives:

  1. Pan-Army approach including operations.
  2. Increased emphasis on work-based learning and continual professional development (CPD) (it is understood that this will require culture change).
  3. Instructional leadership through:
    1. Monitoring;
    2. Coaching;
    3. CPD; and
    4. Application of modern techniques and learning technologies.
  4. Accreditation that is benchmarked to nationally recognised standards.

The current Defence programme is distinctly lacking in areas relevant to points 2 and 3. This is where the AIC model particularly aims to change and enhance an individual instructor’s development.

2.3     AIC Framework

The AIC model is underpinned by a three stage framework as highlighted in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Army Instructor Capability Framework

Figure 1: Army instructor capability framework

3.0     Outline of the AIC Model

The new AIC programme will encompass three core courses:

  1. The Army Instructional Techniques (AIT) course;
  2. The Army Instructor Supervisor (AIS) course; and
  3. The Army Instructional Leader (AIL) course.

3.1     Army Instructional Techniques Course

The Army Instructional Techniques (AIT) course, also known as DTTT version 2 with delivery starting in October 2014, is aimed at making the British Army’s instructors better prepared for their roles prior to being posted to an ARTD establishment. The AIT will be a 10-day course but will not, initially, include the Defence mandated Care of Trainee package (which I believe is still being finalised).

The AIT will eventually replace the Defence Instructional Techniques (DIT), Defence Training the Trainer (DTTT) and DTTT Consolidation (DTTT(C)) courses by combining the essential elements and concentrating on other areas (Section 2.2). Evidence Based Teaching (EBT) is also a part of the AIT course, which has been included in order to enhance instruction thereby, hopefully, making training sessions more interesting and relevant for learners.

(Presumed) advantages of the AIT course include:

  • ‘In principle’ the student instructor being more rounded and more competent before being assigned to their training establishment;
  • No skill fade between DIT and DTTT, as attending only one course; and
  • The inclusion of instructors who provide training at Phase 3 continuation establishments (these instructors previously only had to complete the DIT course).

3.2     Army Instructor Supervisor Course

The Army Instructor Supervisor (AIS) course, running since 2012, has replaced the Sub-Unit Coaches (SUC) course, which included the Defence Instructional Assessor and Developer (DIAD) course.

The aim of the AIS course is to improve instructor development across the ARTD spectrum.

3.3     Army Instructional Leader Course

The Army Instructional Leader (AIL) course, running since 2012, is aimed at those individuals with responsibility for advising Defence Training Eesablishment Commanding Officers on the whole ‘instructional’ framework, in particular the management of the AIT and AIS Workplace Training Statement (Section 4.0).

The role of the instructional leader is pivotal in:

  • Creating and maintaining a culture of continuous improvement;
  • Promoting the adoption of good practice from across the sector;
  • The exploitation of learning technologies; and
  • The provision of continuing personnel and professional development at all levels.

4.0     Workplace Training Statement

In short, a Workplace Training Statement (WTS) means the Training Objectives (TOs), in terms of Performance, Conditions and Standards to be attained by trainees/students following assignment to a post. The WTS content may be delivered in the employing unit or elsewhere, under the direct control of the workplace line management.

The Kirkpatrick Four LevelsTM: A Fresh Look After 50 Years 1959-2009 report by Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick (2011, p.5) highlighted that:

“…Dr. Brent Peterson at Columbia University in 2004 compared the amount of time that is spent developing training and related activities, and what actually contributes to learning effectiveness. He found that the typical organization invests 85% of its resources in the training event, yet those events only contributed 24% to the learning effectiveness of the participants. The activities that led to the most learning effectiveness were follow-up activities that occurred after the training event.”

Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick (2011) suggests that this means that organisations are putting most of their time into designing, developing and delivering training, but only receiving about one-quarter of the benefit. This is in contrast to spending virtually none of their time on follow-up activities that translate into positive behaviour change and subsequent results; this is the purpose of the WTS.

With this in mind, both the AIT and AIS courses are mandated for a WTS and need to be completed within the first six months of the end date of each respective course. The WTS statement consists of a structured induction process and three formal observations (as of April 2013, the AIT WTS is also now part of the DTTT course and will require the same management). It is only when an instructor has completed both the Training Performance Statement (in this case training at ASLS) and the WTS elements of the Formal Training Statement that they may be considered fully trained. It is therefore crucial that that the WTS is completely effectively and efficiently within the workplace.

5.0     The Coaching Process

Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick (2011) further state that more than 70% of training failure comes after training is completed and the major factors contributing to this are:

  • Employees not getting a chance to apply what they have learned soon enough; and
  • An ineffective culture of follow-up and coaching existed.

Coaching is a useful tool which aides ‘evaluation’ instructors get the most from the student instructor, and there is a general consensus that there is ‘no wrong’ time to use it.

There are a number of tools to assist with coaching, such as the performance profile and using the Goal Reality Options Will (GROW) model (as utilised by the Royal Navy) and the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Repeatable, Time bound, Exciting and Recorded (SMARTER) principles to set goals, but the fundamentals that are taught at ASLS are found within the coaching process and there are three core skills to appreciate:

  1. Raise awareness;
  2. Generate responsibility; and
  3. Facilitate performance.

5.1     Raise Awareness

The core coaching skill employed in order to raise awareness during Stage 1 of the coaching process is effective questioning. In order to question effectively, a coach must employ a wide variety of questions and questioning techniques, including:

  • Open & closed;
  • Broad & narrow;
  • Rhetorical & hypothetical;
  • Leading and interrogative;
  • 50/50; and
  • Scale of 1–10 questions.

These questions can only be considered effective, however, if they raise awareness and start to generate responsibility in the individual. The purpose of raising awareness is to promote self education.

5.2     Generate Responsibility

The core coaching skill employed in order to generate responsibility during stage 2 of the coaching process is active listening. In order to actively listen, a coach must first be silent, and then actively engage in the listening process as opposed to passively doing so.

This is most easily achieved by a process of ‘whole body’ listening; in other words employing the eyes, ears and heart in order to make sensory judgements about the individual’s levels of confidence and motivation.

5.3     Facilitate Performance

The core coaching skill employed in order to facilitate performance during stage 3 of the coaching process is empathic responding. Responding with empathy requires that a coach have a true understanding of the individual’s needs before choosing the best response to meet these needs.

Meanwhile, in order to respond with empathy, a coach must employ both constructive feedback and validated praise appropriately. In order to be constructive, feedback must be positively-presented and build self-image and confidence. In order to be validated, praise must be evidence-based, develop self-esteem and motivate.

By guiding the coaching process and employing the core coaching skills in this way, the coach provides the individual with vision, challenge and support (key elements to VBL) helping them vision their goal, challenging them to take the necessary action to achieve it, and supporting them throughout the process of doing so.

For some perspective, imagine that you have been told what errors you made, told do not do make them again and then told what you should have done. This would probably leave you ill-motivated at best.

That style may have had its place in bye gone of the British Army, but it is generally accepted that that method is not conducive to the learning environment and what, as an organisation, the British Army is trying to achieve.

It reads in the Initial Training Group Leaders Pocket Book, Issue 3 Jan 2012 (Gratton, 2013):

“This transactional style will produce a “follow” mentality and will restrict the team or Individual. Coaching uses mostly a non directive manner, focusing the coachee on self development, raises awareness and generates self responsibility for their learning.’

6.0     Accreditation

The ASLS was re-approved in 2013 as an Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) centre and now holds permanent ILM status.

The ASLS has also managed to receive accreditation for the AIC programme of courses:

  • AIT course: TBC
  • AIS course: ILM Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring
  • AIL course: ILM Level 7 in Executive Coaching and Mentoring

The above qualifications are well rated within the civilian environment and can be used as part of the Standard Learning Credits (SLC) scheme (with 80% of the cost covered).

All accreditation will be dealt with during the course. However, students can claim retrospective accreditation, for AIC courses only, by contacting ASLS on DII: ASLS-0iHub-GroupMailbox.

The point of contact for further detail on the AIC qualifications is SO2 Instructor Development, D Ed Cap: DII Army EdCap-InstrDev-SO2 or

7.0     References

Kirkpatrick, J. & Kirkpatrick, W.K. (2011) The Kirkpatrick Four LevelsTM: A Fresh Look After 50 Years 1959 – 2009. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 15 February, 2014].

Gratton, J.I. (2013) The Army Instructor. Man-At-Arms: The Small Arms School Corps Journal 2013. 2013, pp.16-17.


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