Monday, 29 February 2016

Send-a-Hug with Little Troopers

As a charity Little Troopers have recently relaunched their new Separation Packs and Send a Hug Kits for military families. These are tangible resources to help the British Army through repeated separation periods from their service person.

You can see more at www.littletroopers.net


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Resettlement Support for Service Leavers


Resettlement Support for Service Leavers: Career Transition Partnership
The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Right Management Ltd, who are global career development and outplacement specialists and part of the ManpowerGroup. 
The CTP provides free resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of rank, time served, or reason for leaving, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support when leaving Service.

Resettlement support through the CTP covers three broad areas: Transition, Training and Employment. From creating a CV through to completing relevant vocational training, learning interview skills plus researching and applying for jobs, what the CTP offers can help Service leavers not just with their first civilian job, but throughout their working lifetime.

Additionally, specialist support is provided to Wounded, Injured and Sick personnel via CTP Assist, and to Early Service Leavers via CTP Future Horizons.

The programme is delivered at nine Resettlement Centres in the UK and one in Germany, along with the Resettlement Training Centre in Aldershot, and includes face-to face support, online resettlement planning via myPlan, the personalised area of the CTP website, and access to the CTP’s ex-military job board, CTP RightJob.

CTP RightJob lists thousands of live vacancies for Service leavers from local, national and international employers, with opportunities ranging from apprenticeship to executive. The CTP works with hundreds of organisations who recognise the benefits of recruiting from the ex-military talent pool, and value the experience and strong working ethos Service leavers bring with them.

CTP support is provided to Service leavers from two years prior to discharge, and up until two years after discharge. Click here to check eligibility.

It is vital that Service leavers register for resettlement with their Second Line Service Resettlement Advisor prior to discharge. Visit www.ctp.org.uk to find out more.

Friday, 19 February 2016

CAAS – GUIDANCE AND CLARIFICATIONS - CONDITION

References:

A.         JSP 464 Vol 3 Part 2.
B.         A Decent Home: Definition and guidance for implementation (June 2006 – Update).
C.        Implementing Decent Homes in the Social Sector (Maggie Davidson and Justine Piddington on behalf of the BRE, February 2007).
D.        Calculating the energy performance of buildings (Notice of Approval of the methodology for expressing the energy performance of buildings in England and Wales, June 2014, DCLG).
E.         Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings (A guide to energy performance certificates for the marketing, sale and let of dwellings, April 2014, DCLG).

Following review of CAAS Challenges, Appeals and queries issued by stakeholders, the following clarifications and information should be read in conjunction with Reference A.

Condition.

The condition standard is outlined at Reference A Chapter 3, and tabulated at Annex A, Table 1. The condition assessment is divided into 4 criteria; Hazards, State of Repair, Modernity and Thermal Comfort. In using the Decent Homes Standard, DIO have drawn on the guidance and reports issued by Dept for Communities and Local Govt (DCLG), notably References B & C.

Hazards – an SFA fails the Decent Home Standard (DH) and DH+ if it contains a Category 1 hazard ideintified through risk assessment (Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)). An SFA containing a Category 2, 3 etc hazard is still Decent, and therefore will not fail the standard.  Assessment for DH+ is the same as for DH.

State of Repair – this criteria has 15 components, of which 12 are classed as ‘key (k)’ and 3 as non-key. The over riding determining factor for this Serial is that a component cannot fail on age alone, but it can fail on condition alone. If an SFA was constructed in 1920, therefore over 80 years, it can still be decent (DH/DH+) if the relevant/repair condition is met. A single key (k) component not meeting the relevant condition/repair standard will result in failure, and 2 of the 3 non-key components not meeting the standard will result in a fail. The criteria for failure is a direct ‘cut from Refernce B, and in adopting DH, MOD adoted the conditions for failure.

Modernity – this criteria has 8 tabulated components, of which 4 are listed as ‘measured’ and 4 are guidance and data collection to drive lifecycle works programming. In addition there are 2 listed components; a kitchen with adequate space and layout, and adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem), with the former measured as part of the survey process and the latter through treating noise as a Hazard. This criteria does consider age as a determining factor for pass/fail, but 3 components drawn from the 4 tablulated and 2 listed are required to force a failure. The criteria for failure is a direct ‘cut from Reference B, and in adopting DH, MOD adoted the conditions for failure. The six components of which 3 ‘fails’ are required for over all failure against this criteria are:

            a reasonably modern kitchen (20 years old or less);
a kitchen with adequate space and layout;
a reasonably modern bathroom (30 years old or less);
an appropriately located bathroom and WC;
adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem);
adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats

Thermal Comfort – This criteria has a sole component for pass/fail; the SAP score. (The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is the UK Government's recommended method system for measuring the energy rating of new build residential dwellings, technically for built dwellings the calculation produces the RdSAP, SAP is the common terminology). CA are mandated to follow Referecnes D & E in calculating the SAP. The numeric SAP is banded to ranges to provide an alphabetic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band; the Band is quoted on the information provided to occupants. SAP is calculated using a fixed set of data against building components, but this does not include the condition of a component; for instance an SFA can have double glazed windows and measured as such, but if they are draughty with blown seals this is not considered. However, State of Repair considers this aspect, and it is incumbent on the occupant that if there is a failure of a component requiring a repair, it is reported through the CA Helpdesk. The list of components in Table 1 are provided for guidance and lifecycle programming purposes only. 
MOD licence SFA, therefore there is no legal obligation to register (at a cost) the SAP through NHER (The National Home Energy Rating Scheme (NHER)), which is why occupants when searching the NHER on line site cannot find the SAP/EPC.

SAP Componenets – the primary components ‘measured’ for the SAP process are attached.

SAP/EPC Bands as below:

Band        SAP Rating Points
 A              92-100 SAP points (Most efficient)
 B              81-91 SAP points
 C             69-80 SAP points
 D             55-68 SAP points
 E              39-54 SAP points
 F              21-38 SAP points
 G             1-20 SAP points (Least efficient)


The technical refernce document is The Government’s Standard Assessment Procedure for Energy Rating of Dwellings dated October 2013, available at http://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/SAP/2012/SAP-2012_9-92.pdf

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Armed Forces Childcare Voucher Scheme


You could be saving up to £933 in childcare costs – are you missing out?

Raising a family is demanding, and worrying about the cost of childcare is something that most parents could do without. As you work for the MOD, you could be saving money on your childcare costs by taking childcare vouchers.
What are childcare vouchers? Childcare vouchers are a government initiative, allowing working parents or guardians to save money on childcare costs until your child is 15.
How much can you save? Childcare vouchers are taken from your salary before your usual Tax and NI contributions are deducted so, each year, you could save £933 as a basic-rate earner, £623 as a higher-rate earner and £622 as an additional-rate earner. And if both parents claim, that can be over £1,800 a year – enough to pay for a great family holiday!
Where can you use them? Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for more than just nursery fees. You can use them to pay for childcare and kids activities up to 15 years old. This includes: Certain elements of Independent school fees Out-of-hours school clubs Sport, music and drama lessons Holiday clubs or schemes Activity holidays
Exclusive discounts What’s more, with the Sodexo childcare voucher scheme you can now make your money go that extra mile with exclusive discounts* on: Childcare – such as holiday camps, and Maths and English tuition Family days out – Legoland, Alton Towers and Sealife Centre to name a few Retailer discounts – at Toys R Us, John Lewis, Halfords and many more * Discounts are subject to change and availability

Get them while you can
In early 2017, the Government is planning to introduce Tax-Free Childcare, a new initiative for working parents which will replace the current Childcare Voucher Scheme. Many families will be better off with the current system – so signing up now puts you in a great position as it means that you can decide which scheme suits your family best.
How do I sign up? If you would like to find out more about our childcare voucher scheme, and how much you could save, please call 0800 066 5075 or visit www.MODchildcare.co.uk

For more information please click on the link below

Civvy Street - Job Vacancies for Service Leavers


If you are coming to the end of your period of Service or have recently left, CivvyStreet can help you to find out what you are entitled to, where to get expert help specifically for service leavers and provide information and information on settling back into civilian life.

Job vacancies for Service Leavers can be found on the Civvy Street website - please click HERE

There are also resources, news and events regarding resettlement and support to Service leavers on the main CivvyStreet website HERE


The CivvyStreet Partnership website is funded by The Royal British Legion who are the Lead Partner Organisation.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

DDS: HSS Hire Exclusive 40% MOD Discount

DDS are delighted to welcome HSS Hire to Defence Discount Service who are offering an exclusive 40% discount on the core range of equipment and tools.

For all the terms and conditions and how to claim please visit www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Monday, 1 February 2016

MOD Discount of 30% Off Mitre Sports

We would like to welcome Mitre Sports to Defence Discount Service who are offering members a huge 30% discount! 

For the code and link please visit www.defencediscountservice.co.uk

Combat Stress 24 Hour Helpline for Armed Forces, Veterans & Families

If you're currently serving, or have served in the UK Armed Forces, you can call our 24-Hour Helpline to talk about mental health. 

If you're a family member or carer worried about a loved one or are suffering yourself, you can use it too: 

0800 138 1619.
http://www.combatstress.org.uk/veterans/24-hour-helpline/?platform=hootsuite