Individual training occurs using a variety of methods. The decision on how to deliver individual training depends on such things as the best environment in which to learn, or the complexity of the skills to be taught.
Individual training includes:
- Formal courses
- On the job training and experience
- Distance education
- Personal study
Formal courses take place in Army trade and officer training institutions, in Army units, at civilian institutions, and within military and civilian institutions overseas. Most formal courses are required for promotion, to ensure that personnel possess skills appropriate to their rank and corps.
Use of civilian institutions for formal individual training most often occurs in the area of trade training. For example, telecommunications technicians will attend an appropriate NZCE course at a local polytechnic.
NZ Army personnel attend formal courses overseas when the degree of specialty offered by the course is unavailable within NZ Army and civilian institution resources.
Some senior officers attend staff college courses run by a variety of allied nations, which exposes personnel to allies' doctrine and organisation. Attendance of soldiers and officers at corps-related courses overseas exposes them to equipment and standard operating procedures of allies.
The flexibility such overseas training instills in NZ Army personnel also helps prepare them for operating in UN missions alongside personnel from a wide variety of military backgrounds.
Army seeks to recognise or cross credit military courses with NZQA standard or qualifications if appropriate.
On the job training and experience
Having attended a formal course, skills are developed, maintained, and tested through on the job training and experience. This occurs during day-to-day activities at small group levels such as infantry sections, or communications detachments, or during unit exercises.
The conduct of on the job training and evaluation is the responsibility of unit commanders.
Assessments of competence are recorded in Job Log Books. Training Audit and Evaluation Teams periodically audit units to ensure they are meeting individual training responsibilities.
At times, on the job training and experience may by acquired through secondments of Army personnel to civilian organisations. For example, from time to time medical personnel are seconded to an Accident and Emergency Department at a local hospital to practice trauma skills. Trauma cases are the bread and butter of Army medical units on operations, but within a peace time Army such as New Zealand's this sort of training opportunity is extremely limited.
Distance education is an individual training method that is being used more and more in today's Army. This trend is due to both the availability of suitable communications technology and to the need to use human resources more wisely. It is simply not efficient to remove personnel from their normal work and training environment for extended periods of time to attend a formal course if the same material can be presented as distance education.
As a method of delivering individual training, distance education does have its limitations. For example, it is not suited to the teaching of practical or team skills. In such cases, however, a mixture of methods can be used, with theoretical skills being taught at a distance but the practical component of a formal course being taught at a formal training institution.
For some years now the NZ Army has emphasised the importance of tertiary education. Through tertiary education personnel can broaden their skill base as well as their minds. In the case of more senior personnel, tertiary, especially post graduate, qualifications give them skills and knowledge to contribute to operations at a strategic level.
Once personnel have decided on a proposed course of study, they are able to apply for Army assistance with tuition fees. Applications are considered according to criteria such as existing qualifications, value of the proposed study to Army, and rank.
This page was last amended on 01 April 2015