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PETC Pioneering Design to Support Mission Objectives


This blog examines the trailblazing demonstration of Platform Enabled Training Capability (PETC): Phase 1, that QinetiQ and Inzpire developed for the Royal Navy – resulting in complex live and simulated training scenarios delivered via a ship’s own combat systems, and virtually indistinguishable from live warfare.

This blog highlights the Design of PETC: Phase 1. Our first blog, ‘QinetiQ and Inzpire – Partnering for Innovation’, provides a general overview of PETC: Phase 1. To discover how the training was deployed and to find out about the all-important debriefing process, Blog three: Immersive PETC in action, will follow.

Fact finding

From the outset, the QinetiQ and Inzpire training team liaised with the Royal Navy customer to understand what needed to be achieved from a training perspective. This typically resulted in a list of four or five high level objectives. Having identified what the focus was, the team took the customer’s training objectives and designed an end-to-end exercise that will deliver against those objectives.

Initially, the scenario is looked at; for example, if it involves an individual ship, exercises that resonate with day-to-day activities and are linked with the ship’s operational moves, will be designed – whether this be escorting military vessels or conducting surface warfare.

From there, the team scrutinised the training objectives and decided what was needed to inject into the scenario to make it realistic for the training audience. This involved the creation of approximately seven or eight complex vignettes – for delivery within a two-and-a-half-hour period.

At each design stage, QinetiQ and Inzpire engaged with the customer - reviewing and refining the content to ensure they were happy with the training solution being proposed.

Setting the scene

While the design of the scenario for the demonstration and the associated vignettes is essential, equally important is providing the training audience with the information they need to gain optimum value out of the exercise.

The pre-exercise briefing materials created during the design process closely replicate the intelligence documents the trainees would be given if they were being briefed by their own military training organisation. Typically, these materials will include:

  • Information about the area the trainees are going into
  • What the current situation is
  • What support is available to call on should the need arise

The goal is to ensure the participants understand what they are likely to encounter when they go into theatre. Experience tells us that this step helps to guarantee better training outcomes as well as make the training experience more meaningful.

Working as a team

Not only is each vignette carefully designed to rigorously test the trainees, but its constituents also ensure that all operations room personnel are working together throughout the exercise. A meticulous thought process underpins the creation of each vignette, to ensure every member of the ops team has an involvement in the training. This is achieved by injecting information into the ops room via multiple sources – typically pulling up information on the trainees’ screens via the simulation ground system and through voice and/or data communication networks, where intelligence can be injected at specific times by our skilled instructors.

The aim is to build up the trainees’ situational awareness (SA) around an event that is about to take place. The vignette design will build SA up really gradually to begin with, but provide the capability for the training team to increase the tempo during the exercise, depending on how quickly or slowly the trainees are responding.

There is a fine balance between providing trainees with a realistic and memorable training experience and overwhelming them. Our experience in training design ensures that balance is maintained by providing the training team with the ability to ramp up activity – injecting different aspects if the trainees are performing particularly well – or slowing everything down a little if they are not performing as well as anticipated.

Measuring impact

Having provided trainees with the capability to increase their situational awareness, the next element built into each vignette focuses on observation, to determine how the trainees opted to utilise that knowledge. For example, QinetiQ and Inzpire may be called in to assist a customer in testing a specific drill or a particular process. In this case, the scenario the team builds will navigate the training audience to a place where they are confident and well-informed enough to make the decision to apply that drill or process.

The scenario design will enable the training team to determine how the trainees responded, whether there was any breakdown in communication, and whether they achieved accurate situational awareness – and, if not, why that was – and whether the decision they made was the correct one.

The Design Process

PETC Design Process
PETC Design Process
Contact us at TMR@QinetiQ.com to learn more about our Platform Enabled Training Capability (PETC).