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Utilisation Study for RAF Cosford

Utilisation Study for RAF Cosford
Ministry of Defence
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EventMAP’s utilisation study expertise supporting the possible increase in capacity for RAF training delivery and potential estate savings.

The MoD provides the defence capability for the UK and acts as a specialist training supplier for service people across all of the three armed services. RAF Cosford provides military technical training. The site is home to a number of schools: The HQ Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering, RAF No. 1 Radio School, Defence School of Photography, RAF No. 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Aero-systems Engineer & Management Training School, School of Physical Training and the University of Birmingham Air Squadron. The site also houses a number of lodger units and is also one of the sites for the RAF Museum.

The Challenge

This utilisation study was undertaken to understand the use of built teaching assets at Cosford, and to determine if these expensive estates were being utilised within benchmarked standards. The site incorporated a significant number of teaching rooms, and given demand, a very high ratio of rooms to trainees. Lack of transparency on the part of the individual schools made it difficult for Front Line Command (FLC) staff to ascertain the level of utilisation of teaching resources.

The Solution

The survey covered 100% of teaching rooms. It equates to approximately 4.5% of the sites total built area. Cosford is broken into four sites divided by public roads, and is located over 275 hectares of land. The utilisation survey was undertaken over the course of an agreed ‘typical’ week for training delivery in additional other supporting data was supplied with the assistance of individuals from RAF Cosford Front Line Command (FLC) staff.

The Benefits

This utilisation study highlighted that the built academic teaching rooms were being utilised below benchmarked standards across all teaching room categories. When considering both actual utilisation and any peak utilisation over the surveyed period, the site achieved low utilisation across the week. Even the peak average for a week was only marginally higher than the average, indicating that utilisation was low even at peak periods of use. As the week surveyed was accepted as typical of activity at RAF Cosford. With the low levels of utilisation observed across all asset types, the site could take considerably more activity.

The lack of transparency, and the parochial nature of the individual schools on site was found as a key cause of poor levels of utilisation of office space. EventMAP recommended breaking down the culture of ownership, introducing more centralised control of resources and introducing a more flexible system for managing and forward planning of scheduling of the timetable. Doing this would deliver significant capacity to increase training provision.

The large size of the site was found to allow for the site to absorb more activity without impacting delivery, and as the site was divided by roads into a number of standalone areas, it may allow (as part of the wider estates strategy for the MoD), for some land disposal to raise capital to fund any necessary improvements to the teaching estate without impacting the main site and the museum being used for use as a training school.

Images: Ministry of Defence (OGL)

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