a) Harmony Guidelines
31. Harmony Guidelines are designed to ensure harmony
between competing aspects of Service personnel's lives: operations,
time recuperating after operations, personal and professional
development, unit formation and time with families.
The guidelines help the MoD manage the effect of operational tempo
on Armed Forces personnel and their families. Professor Dandecker,
of King's College London, told us that:
the Harmony Guidelines have been well constructed
because the evidence suggests that if you stay within them they
[Service personnel] do not suffer; if you go beyond them there
is a 20-50 per cent likelihood that they will suffer in terms
of PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder].
32. Two measures of harmony are used: Unit Tour Intervals
and Separated Service. Unit Tour Intervals measure the frequency
of deployment. Separated Service measures absence from normal
place of duty or lack of freedom to enjoy leisure at the normal
place of duty. Separated
Service includes activities not captured by Unit Tour Intervals
like pre- deployment training, exercises, public duties, recruitment
activities, and other duties which result in personnel not sleeping
in usual accommodation.
The MoD began consistently reporting Unit Tour Intervals and Separated
Service in 2006, although some data was collected before then.
Each Service has different criteria for Harmony Guidelines, reflecting
different operational requirements and practices.
i. Unit Tour Intervals
33. As expected, given the nature of the Navy's basing
structure and its work patterns, the Royal Navy has met its targets
since 2006. Unit Tour Intervals appear to have steadily worsened
in the Army since 2006, with the Royal Logistic Corps, the Infantry,
the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers, and the Royal Signals
all falling below target, although the way the data is presented
prior to the MoD's Annual Report and Accounts makes it
difficult to fully assess the situation.
Similarly, the RAF's reporting of Unit Tour Intervals makes it
difficult to identify clear trends.
The Service guidelines for Unit Tour Intervals, and the MoD's
assessment of achievement against those guidelines are shown in
ii. Levels of Individual Separated Service
34. The Royal Navy broadly meets targets for levels
of Individual Separated Service with less than 1% of personnel
exceed the targets for levels of Individual Separated Service.
 The Royal
Navy is able to meet its targets through front line gapping.
The Army has the highest level of Individual Separated Service,
13.4% of personnel exceeded guidelines as at 1 April 2007. At
1 April 2007 6.2% of RAF personnel exceeded guidelines, an increase
of 1.6% on those exceeding guidelines during 2005-06.
The Service guidelines for levels of Individual Separated Service,
and the MoD's assessment of achievement against those guidelines
are shown in Table 6.
35. Professor Strachan, of Oxford University, cautioned
us against placing too much weight on the MoD's failure to meet
Harmony Guidelines: "how do you meet Harmony Guidelines when
you are sustaining two operations concurrently as well as other
He went on to say "do we think we are in a state of war,
in which case Harmony Guidelines would seem to be less relevant,
or do we think we are not in a state of war but in a state of
peace, which underpins much of the expectation driven by Harmony
Guidelines? In which case, of course, there are real issues to
discuss these issues, and the impact of Harmony Guidelines on
retention further in Part 4 of our Report.
Table 5: Performance against Unit Tour Intervals
(UTI) guidelines by service