CDS DS adds Enhanced Instructional Techniques to its RAF training catalogue

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CDS Defence & Security has added to their impressive RAF training catalogue with the introduction of Enhanced Instructional Techniques (EIT) training for the Central Flying School.

Designed to support the RAF’s training transformation programme, SOCRATES, this six-month programme aims to introduce performance coaching techniques into all aspects of flying training at the various Flying Training Schools nationwide through the franchised design and delivery of Enhanced Instructional Techniques to selected B category aircrew instructors prior to their elevation to A2.

The course looks to upskill and develop the knowledge of aircrew instructors to use coaching techniques and an awareness of psychological factors to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their training delivery. EIT focuses on a more individualised and learner-centric approach to training, blending civilian and military expertise. Working on the assumption that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to training has its limitations, EIT evaluates the interactions between different personality types, underpinning neurophysiological factors to behaviour and motivational theories. It looks at how an effective instructor can utilise this knowledge in the transformational leadership role. Coaching techniques are woven through the course and EIT looks specifically at goal setting, relationship coaching and psychological skills training (visualisation and relaxation techniques). Barriers to successful learning are also explored in some depth, most notably the fear of failure, ‘imposter syndrome’ and issues with mindset.

The EIT course is a six-month programme incorporating pre-learning, a two-day face-to-face course and a post course journal that allows the instructors to develop self-reflection skills to ensure continuous improvement of their approach and technique. Throughout the programme, the previous experience of the instructors is called upon to add value to the training and enable all those doing the programme to learn from each other. Designed to be delivered to instructors who will have had several years’ experience of instruction in the demanding world of flying training, it offers the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned, hold discussions with other instructors from other flying schools and look at how to develop further and fine tune the knowledge, skills and behaviours that a role model of an instructor could have.

Jim Potts, Head of Training & Learning Development at CDS DS says of this project:

“RAF pilot instructors are highly skilled, highly professional individuals, so this programme isn’t designed to ‘fix’ something which is broken, it’s designed to enhance the skills that are already there.

By employing a coaching mindset, instructors can create a training experience which is attuned to each individual – looking at areas such as human behaviour, how we react to stress, how self-doubt and our inner critic can impact performance and how a coaching mindset can address this. But this course also looks at the very practical side of instructor training such as effective sortie management to really maximise the potential for student learning.

CDS DS has worked with performance psychologists, performance coaches and ex-military personnel to ensure this course has a real impact, not only on the aircrew instructors themselves, but also on the development of their students”

Debbie Sims, Senior Training Consultant and EIT Project Lead says:

“It has been a privilege to work alongside CFS staff to develop and now deliver a programme that is thought provoking, challenging and contextualised. Having recently delivered the first course, it proved to be a valuable opportunity for all attendees to take some time to look at what they are doing well, but also identify what they could potentially do better, from the perspective of training the individual. The coaching techniques covered throughout will enable the instructors to put the student firmly at the centre of the training, and potentially lead to the best experience possible for instructor and student.”

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