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The Second Report of the Independent Monitoring Group
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Introduction

The Report is a review of progress made by the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) since the publication, in September 2004, of Response to the Challenge of a Workplace. This Report in 2008 represents the unanimous views of the IMG and includes observations and recommendations for future consideration and implementation.

The IMG reviewed the PDF in its totality; what emerges applies to the Army, the Naval Service and the Air Corps. However, some specific references in relation to the Naval Service and the Air Corps are included in recognition of their differing workplace contexts.

The Reserve Defence Force (RDF) forms part of the Defence Forces. However, the IMG agreed that it was not feasible to include consideration of the RDF in this review. The RDF has been engaged in a comprehensive process of re-organisation and phased improvement in training, equipment and capability. The structure of the RDF now mirrors that of the PDF. Of course, the RDF retains its status as a voluntary organisation. The IMG is aware that since 2004 the Human Resource Management (HRM) Section of the Defence Forces organised an awareness campaign, bringing various groups from the RDF together for a full briefing with relevant information and materials on the challenges of the Dignity Charter.

Much has been written in the last twenty years about ‘the learning organisation’. Such a workplace would provide a supportive learning environment, with relevant strategic processes for learning and leaders and managers who model and reinforce open, learning attitudes. Such a workplace would attract and keep personnel of excellence with the ability to create, acquire and transfer knowledge and skills.

The Defence Forces, especially in the last four years, score very highly on the benchmark as a ‘learning organisation’. Their concrete strategic approaches challenge other businesses and organisations in Ireland. In a recent interview the Chief of Staff stated:

‘These periods of concurrent change have proved that our people can cope admirably and are not afraid of the challenges currently in process, or of what the future will bring.’1

The IMG set out to consider all material and evidence available as to the impact of the changes introduced. Developments in the wider environment were also to be assessed including, for example, EU requirements in the areas of Health, Safety and Welfare.

The IMG notes that organisational developments within the PDF since 2004 are a tribute to the vision and work of senior management. At the same time no significant or lasting change happens without the commitment and input of all personnel. Whilst acknowledging the contributions of all members of the Defence Forces, the IMG
wishes to encourage continual growth and development in the context of the challenges of military life.

Full report can be downloaded above


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