Modernisation of Dismounted Close Combat equipment is a continuing process. The development and procurement of new capabilities and systems for the British Armed Forces involves a large variety of people and departments. Industry solution providers need to be able navigate their way through the UK MOD and engage with right people in order to provide their solutions to British Armed Forces’ most pressing infantry requirements.

Drawing on his extensive experience as the former Commanding Officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Rob O’Connor will share his knowledge of how to do business with the British Army in order to overcome the biggest challenges for dismounted close combat soldiers.

• Future Soldier System Programme Managers
• Industry OEMs
• Directors for Land Forces Capability
• Infantry Trials and Development Unit Commander
• Infantry leaders
• Soldier Systems Researchers


Workshop LEADER


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor

Former Commanding Officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, Pardus Defence and Security

Rob O’Connor is a retired Army officer. He was commissioned into the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (now the Yorkshire Regiment) in 1990 and has 26 years of experience as an infantry officer including command of a rifle platoon, close observation platoon, support weapons company and an armoured infantry rifle company. His last appointment was command of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit (ITDU). He has spent more than six years deployed on operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

After gaining a Master’s degree from Cranfield University (faculty of Military Science, Technology and Management) Rob spent two years in the Directorate of Equipment Capability – Ground Manoeuvre (DEC GM) in the Ministry of Defence. Key projects included the Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW), the New Light Anti Armour Weapon (NLAW), the Anti-Structures Munition (ASM), the Surveillance System and Range Finder (SSARF) and Grenade Machine Gun (GMG).

On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel Rob was employed as the Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) Programme Manager within Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). He was responsible for the day-to-day liaison between DE&S and Army HQ. His principle responsibility was to ensure coherence between the Army’s equipment aspirations, the financial profile available to fund it and industry’s capacity to deliver it.

Rob’s final role in the Army was command of ITDU. ITDU is responsible for the test and evaluation of military equipment prior to its acceptance into service. In addition ITDU runs an experimentation programme which looks at all lines of development including training, equipment, organisation and doctrine. Key projects included VIRTUS body armour and load carriage, Dismounted Situational Awareness (DSA), the Light Tactical Mobility Platform (LTMP) and the Platoon Combat Experiment (PCE).

Pardus Defence and Security

Pardus Defence & Security Limited is an independent consultancy. The company focuses upon enabling the relationship between government departments and their supply base through:

  • Understanding the requirements and their place in delivering an integrated
  • solution
  • Understanding the technology and supporting lines of development that
  • meet the customer’s needs
  • Understanding the acquisition business process
  • Stakeholder relationship management

Workshop programme

9:00 Registration and Informal Networking

9:30 The importance of engagement with the British Army – fitting the right solutions with the right requirements

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor, Former Commanding Officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, Pardus Defence and Security
View Bio

10:00 Understanding UK MOD Dynamics: Overcoming the implications of changes in process and organisational structure

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor, Former Commanding Officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, Pardus Defence and Security
View Bio

10:30 Coffee and Refreshment Break

11:00 Watching out for the right army directorates and military subject matter experts

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor, Former Commanding Officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, Pardus Defence and Security
View Bio

11:30 Case Studies and Discussions

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Rob O'Connor, Former Commanding Officer of the Infantry Trials and Development Unit, Pardus Defence and Security
View Bio

12:00 End of Morning Workshop


Holiday Inn Kensington Forum

97 Cromwell Road
London SW7 4DN
United Kingdom

Holiday Inn Kensington Forum

Holiday Inn Kensington Forum is perfectly situated in one of London’s most luxurious and beautiful areas within South Kensington. 

The hotel is just 2 minutes walk from Gloucester Road tube station for convenient travel to Hyde Park, London Eye, Tower Bridge plus more of London’s top attractions. There are also easy and direct links to some major transport hubs including Victoria, Kings Cross St Pancras, Paddington and Heathrow. 

This distinctive hotel in south London has so much to offer to make all guests really feel at home. The latest Holiday Inn relaunch is not just about the new look and feel for the hotel but to offer guests more benefits during their stay including a pillow menu for extra comfort during their sleep and a curved shower rail for more spacious feel. 

In addition to our 906 rooms, all business guests can take advantage of our meeting and conference facilities including High Speed Internet Access and unlimited Starbucks coffee at The Academy. Our hotel’s professional event planners are on board to help take the hard work and stress away from planning your next event. 

So whether you in London on business or pleasure, make the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum your first choice of hotel and book your accommodation for our lowest internet rate guarantee. 



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CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SMI Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

CPD Certificates

We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@smi-online.co.uk

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