AUSTRALIA | Commonwealth Ombudsman releases report on unacceptable behaviour training in the Australian Defence Force

On 13 July the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Michael Manthorpe, released a report relating to unacceptable behaviour training in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The report "Inquiry into behaviour training for recruits" reviews Defence’s framework for administering training to new recruits about Defence’s required behaviours. The report considered the courses taught by the Army, Navy and Air Force recruit schools which are designed to teach Defence’s newest members about the rights and obligations of all ADF members in relation to required behaviours.

We found Defence’s overarching framework used by the recruit schools to administer recruit training was sound, however, the training that specifically teaches recruits about required behaviours is not included in all parts of this framework” Mr Manthorpe said. “While the findings in this report are positive overall, we identified some areas for improvement.”

The report made five recommendations aimed to support Defence to strengthen its ability to provide assurance that recruit behaviour training is effective in addressing issues related to unacceptable behaviour in the ADF. The report also highlighted the need for closer collaboration within Defence.

The Office continues to receive reports of abuse, which reinforces the importance of continued vigilance. While training alone cannot eliminate all instances of inappropriate behaviour or abuse, it is an important preventative tool and helps build a culture where incidents are reported and appropriately dealt with appropriately.

The Ombudsman welcomed Defence’s response to the report, which supported all five recommendations.

The report follows on from the Ombudsman’s 2019 reports into "Defence abuse, Defence’s policies for receiving and responding to reports of abuse", and "Overview of the Defence abuse reporting function by the Defence Force Ombudsman".


Source: The Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australia

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