"Train in, not select out?: Bangor leadership training model decreased the high wastage rates in British army recruits and improved training practices
Submitting InstitutionsCardiff Metropolitan University,
Unit of AssessmentSport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services: Business and Management
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences: Psychology
Summary of the impact
Because of the arduous nature of recruit training, high wastage (due to
failure or withdrawal) has
always been a problem for the Armed Services. A ten year programme of
research funded by the
Ministry of Defence (MoD) led to changes in the delivery of training
across the three Armed
Services (especially the Army), the formation of a new Army training
establishment, a new tri-service
monitoring and training body, better mental health in military recruits,
reductions in wastage rates (up to 15%). The model developed by this
research has also
informed training in the Canadian and United States Armed Services.
The initial study in 1999 was a collaboration between Hardy L and the
Institute of Naval Medicine
(INM) which investigated the reasons for wastage in Royal Marine recruits.
The findings suggested
that the training environment could be enhanced by developing the
transformational leadership and
coaching skills of recruit trainers (mostly non-commissioned officers on
two year postings) .
Hardy L was subsequently invited to lead a programme of interventional
research [2, 6] which
demonstrated that: (i) trainers use of transformational leadership
behaviours significantly predicted
training outcome (e.g., pass/fail) and the training experience of Royal
Marine recruits (e.g.,
confidence, resilience, self-esteem, satisfaction with training); (ii)
training recruit trainers in
transformational leadership and associated coaching skills significantly
impacted these training
The above findings aroused considerable interest in military settings.
Consequently, Hardy L was
invited to extend the research to the British Infantry, a much larger
organisation. This research 
confirmed the Royal Marines' findings and also showed some regimental
differences in key
leadership variables (for instance, an appropriate role model was more
important for Guards
Regiments, whilst inspirational motivation was more important for the
Furthermore, the research demonstrated that training recruit trainers to
leadership and coaching skills could bring about long term change within
the organisation that was
sustainable beyond the period of the trainers' postings [3, 7].
As a result of this second success, Hardy L and Arthur were invited to
conduct similar research at
the Infantry Battle School, Brecon, where all non-commissioned officers
receive their training prior
to promotion , and at the Initial Training Group, where recruits for
non-Infantry Regiments (e.g.,
Tank, Artillery, Engineers) receive their initial training . This
research confirmed the
generalisability of the previous findings.
In summary, this ten year programme of research demonstrated that
training the non-commissioned
officers who deliver training in transformational leadership and coaching
reduces wastage in training, and enhances the soldier-in-training's
performance and mental health.
These findings were confirmed across different arms of the British
military services, different
training establishments and at different levels of training. The Bangor
model of transformational
leadership focuses upon providing an inspirational vision of what
training will lead to, helping
trainees to understand the challenges that must be overcome, and providing
to help them overcome those challenges. The coaching skills utilised by
the model are: developing
a coaching relationship; setting appropriate goals, giving and receiving
feedback, and asking
questions that help soldiers-in-training to find their own solutions.
A feature of this research was that the researchers worked with a team of
(typically, one commissioned officer between two and five warrant
officers) from within the
organisation. This ensured a legacy was left within the organisation after
the research had been
completed. These teams were coached to design and deliver bespoke
leadership and coaching
interventions to trainers within their organisation. The teams sat outside
the normal Chain of
Command (something of a precedent in the Armed Services) so that recruit
trainers could receive
additional coaching without jeopardising their annual reports and
The key researchers involved in this research are Hardy L
(appointed in 1978 now a Professor)
and Arthur (appointed as a research assistant in 2004 and then as
a Lecturer in 2009) who left in
References to the research
The selection of underpinning research includes two international
peer-reviewed journal articles.
The first is in Leadership Quarterly , one of the top peer
reviewed leadership journals, and top
10 organisational psychology journals — it has a 5 year impact factor of
4.295. This output had
been cited 24 times by September 2013 and is being returned in present REF
Hardy L. Based on collaborative research that received £30,000 funding
from the INM (contract
number CB/FLT1B/1103), the results were initially reported in research
The second journal article  was based on research that received
£135,000 funding from the MoD
(contract No. AG1a/1337). The results were initially reported in research
reference 3. Two other
references are from research commissioned by the Ministry of Defence.
CTLBC/158 was for £90,000 , and Tender Number HQLF2/1712 was for
£73,417  and
included Wagstaff as a research assistant who had previously been a
doctoral student at Cardiff
Metropolitan University. The remaining reference  is to the initial
collaborative qualitative study
which received £7,000 funding from the INM.
In this section, external collaborating researchers are identified by *
for the INM staff, and # for
Royal Marines staff. The other researchers were members of the Institute
for Research Excellence
in Sport and Exercise.
1. Hardy L., Shariff, A.*, Jones, G., & Allsopp, A.* (2001). A review
of the psychological aspects
of Royal Marine recruit training. Institute of Naval Medicine Report No.
Access), 31 pages.
2. Hardy L., Shariff, A.*, Munnoch, K.*, & Allsopp, A.* (2004), Can
positively influence the psychological environment of military training?
An interim evaluation
of the Royal Marines Coaching Advisory Team leadership initiative,
Institute of Naval
Medicine Report No. 2004.005, 43 pages.
3. Hardy L. & Arthur, C. (2006). Report on Study into the Infantry
Training Centre Coaching and
Leadership Initiative. Research report to the Army Recruitment and
Upavon, UK, 45 pages.
4. Hardy L. & Arthur C. (2008). A Study into the Section
Commanders Course at the Infantry
Battle School (Brecon). Research report to the Army Recruitment and
Upavon, UK, 71 pages.
5. Arthur C., Hardy L. & Wagstaff, C. (2010). Report on Study
into Values Based Leadership,
Transactional Leadership, and Coaching on the Internalisation of the
Core Values of the
British Army and Attitude in Phase 1 Army Training. Research report
to the Army
Recruitment and Training Division, Upavon, UK, 56 pages.
6. Hardy L., Arthur, C., Jones, G., Shariff, A.*, Munnoch K.*, Isaacs I.#,
& Allsopp A.* (2010).
The relationship between transformational leadership behaviors,
psychological, and training
outcomes in elite military recruits. Leadership Quarterly, 21,
7. Arthur, C. & Hardy L. (2013). Transformational Leadership: A
Leadership and Organization Development Journal, in press.
Details of the impact
The research had impact by enhancing the training facilities of the
British Army, reducing wastage
in training, and enhancing the mental health and performance of
soldiers-in-training. From 2008, it
benefitted the organisation, and all recruits, as evidenced by the
specific impacts that follow.
Numbers in superscript refer to particular sources to corroborate the
impact (in section 5).
In 2008, informed by the above research, the Army Recruiting and Training
established the Army Staff Leadership School (ASLS) with the remit of
training all non-commissioned
officers that received training postings in transformational leadership
skills. The British Army uses non-commissioned officers to train
approximately 10,000 new recruits
each year. These non-commissioned officers are trained to deliver that
training by ASLS. All Army
trainers get posted back into active service after two years. Thus, by
enhancing the coaching
and leadership skills of trainers, the whole organisation has been
influenced 1, 2, 3, 4.
In 2010, Arthur and Hardy advised on revisions to the ASLS programme.
Arthur also led a group of
IRESE staff (Arthur, Beattie, Hardy J, Roberts, and Lawrence) who
subsequently delivered staff
development training to enable ASLS staff to deliver their revised
The original research was widely reported — in particular in a Lead
Article in the Times Higher
Education Supplement on 4 November 2005 5, and in the
August 2005 issue of The Soldier
magazine 6, which has a circulation of 100,000. The Bangor
model of leadership and coaching
also holds a central position in the Army Recruiting and Training
Division's booklet `A
Guide to Leadership in the ARTD' published in 2009 1, 8.
In 2011, Hardy was invited to review and comment on the Army's new
document which was being prepared by the Royal Military Academy. The
Leaders: A Sandhurst Guide (2012), references the Bangor model of
leadership in paragraphs 502
and 518 1, 9.
The Royal Marines adopted the Bangor coaching and leadership model
for the delivery of
training to their recruits prior to 2008 and still use it to the present
day. Consequently, it impacts
1250 Royal Marines recruits each year 1, 2, 4.
The 2006 tri-service review of the use and effectiveness of coaching
across the UK Armed
Services [Patrick, J., Ahmed, A., Hodgetts, H., Hutchings, P., Morgan, P.,
Scrase, G., Tombs, M. &
Watts, H. (2006). Effectiveness of coaching techniques in military
training. Ministry of Defence,
Contract No. RT/COM/4/008] used the Bangor model as a cornerstone for its
found that 92% of the critical incidents they examined could be mapped
onto the Bangor
model. In 2007, the Tri-Service Defence Centre of Training and
Support (DCTS) was established
to define and validate the standards that training organisations in the
three Armed Services in the
UK have to meet. Since 2008, DCTS has also adopted the Bangor model for
the delivery of
coaching and leadership training across the Armed Services 1,
Phrases now in common use across training establishments in the Armed
adopted directly from the research and associated reports — for
instance "Train in, not select
out" (encouraging trainers to focus on training rather than testing
recruits), "Vision, Support,
Challenge" (summarising transformational leadership) 1, 4.
Hardy presented the results of the initial research to: the Director
General of the Royal Marines'
Board (2002); the Annual Conference of the ARTD (2003 and 2004); the
Director General of
ATRD's Board (2005 and 2007); and the Deputy Adjutant General for the Army
(2007). During the
current REF period, impact has also been reinforced via presentation to
the Adjutant General for
the whole Army (2008); and the DCTS Tri-Service symposium on Coaching and
He also delivered keynote addresses on the research at: the Infantry
Battle School's annual Cross
Brief (2008, 2010 and 2012); the Annual Conference of the Initial Training
Group (2010); and the
ASLS Commanding Officer's Conference on Coaching (2011). Arthur gave a
keynote address to
the ASLS Commanding Officer's Conference on Coaching in 2012. These
underpin and underline the impact 1, 2, 3.
The posts of the key influencers utilised in the research were converted
into permanent positions at
the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines Lympstone and the Infantry
training centre at
Catterick when the research was completed 1, 4,. The level of
knowledge of these teams has
surprised independent observers 7.
Indicators of extended impact include: (i) The British Army trains
recruits and non-commissioned
officers from a number of other Commonwealth countries using the Bangor
model. (ii) British Army
trainers have presented invited workshops to the Canadian and United
States armed services on
the delivery of the Bangor model 1, 4.
Four further PhD studentships in IRESE funded by external sponsors have
made use of the
Bangor model in high level sport (Sports Council for Wales, 2009), outdoor
Economy Skills Scholarships, 2010), and higher education delivery (the
Drapers Trust, 2009 and
Higher Education Academy, 2013). Thus the reach of the research is now
extending beyond the
original populations of study.
Sources to corroborate the impact
- Letter from the Senior Officer in command of the G7 Training Division
at the Infantry Training
Centre, Catterick from 2009 to 2012, when he retired from the Army. He
was awarded the
MBE for his services to training.
- Letter from the person that was the Senior Scientific Officer for the
Army Recruiting and
Training Division from 2001 until 2010 (now head of Sport Science at
- Letter from the Commanding Officer of the Army Staff Leadership School
at Pirbright from
2010 to 2013.
- Letter from the second-in-command at HMS Indefatiguable, the
Adventure Centre in LlanfairPG, Anglesey.
- Times Higher Education Supplement 4th November, 2005.
Attention! Top brass agree new
manoeuvre. Available from: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/attention-top-brass-agree-new-manoeuvre/199538.article
The Soldier, August 2005. From track to battlefield:
Catterick's cutting edge coaching and
leadership techniques modernise training, p. 43. (This magazine has a
- Independent Advisory Panel (2007) Report on Infantry Training Centre
- The Bangor model of leadership and coaching also holds a central
position in the Army
Recruiting and Training Division's booklet "A Guide to Leadership in the
- Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (2012). Developing Leaders — A
Camberley, Surrey, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Available from: