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Defence Training Undergraduate Scheme

The students said:

"This event has inspired me to try harder with my self development."

"The actors were very engaging, the element of realism helped to convey the points being talking about"

"Being able to examine behaviours demonstrated in the scenario enabled us to explore the reasoning behind the behaviours themselves"

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The Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) is a university sponsorship programme for students who want to join the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force or Engineering and Science branch of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Civil Service as technical officers after they graduate. The Garnett Foundation was approached to provide a bespoke interactive intervention that would engage Officer Cadets to explore the values and behaviours paramount to progressive, inclusive leaders in preparation for students’ onward journey into the services. 

What we did:

After conducting thorough research with staff and students we were able to design a programme consisting of a bespoke scenarios and monologues to reflect common themes around attitudes and behaviours. The workshops provided a platform to explore personal values and boundaries; emotional intelligence, the qualities, and responsibilities of future leaders; standards of behaviour, challenging unacceptable behaviour and bystander responsibility.


Through professionally crafted facilitation, supported by experienced actors, The Stepping Up Programme created an opportunity for students to explore and unpack their perspectives and opinions regarding their personal value base and lived experience.  This was then aligned to the values and standards of the services they are entering.  Through practical exercises and forum theatre students examined the areas that they need to be aware of in themselves, exploring emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience, vulnerability.    The characters in the scenarios helped explore the qualities of an inclusive leader and how they fit with creating a healthy, operationally effective culture.   The dramatic scenario offered considerable material from which students could identify their personal leadership styles and aspirations, providing the opportunity to consider the importance of role modelling.   Through frank, open dialogue students shared their views, fears, and perspectives, helping to challenge mindsets, reflect on their personal strengths and identify gaps for development.


  1. Exploring self-awareness around personal values and boundaries.

  2. Identifying the impact of language and behaviour, and crossing the line

  3. Challenging inappropriate behaviour and language

  4. Understanding the difference between bullying and banter

  5. Active bystander training

  6. Inclusive Leadership

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The Stepping Up Training Programme was delivered to a total training cohort of 167 participants from three locations.


The training provided not only a valuable experience for students, but also a consultative platform, facilitated by The Garnett Foundation, an independent company, to gather perspectives, issues and ideas. By facilitating a ‘safe space’ for students they openly and honestly expressed their aspirations, concerns and perspectives of risk and learning, knowledge surrounding attitudes and behaviours, challenging those that cross the line and important role of the active bystander.


A detailed evaluation and feedback report was produced to provide a benchmark for each area of DTUS with recommendations and improvements they could embrace to positively progress the curriculum and student experience.


Agreed that they are able to identify the impact of unacceptable behaviour and the role of the bystander.


Thought the training built their confidence and skills to challenge unacceptable behaviour and language.



Agreed that the training helped them recognise their responsibility to promote inclusive behaviours.

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