...technically makes being an MSA a requirement for a Tech rating in Safety...
That's not in question. Having to be an MSA before you can be a Tech rating in Safety doesn't make sense. I think this is an e-services issue.
What is in question, is that while the regulations simply say you must have started training as an MSO (and I've definitely done that...in fact I've completed 13 out of 26 requirements), e-services gives the following error when I am submitted for a tech rating [see pic]. E-services won't consider me to have started training until I meet the prerequisite MSA.
If you do not mind me adding this. I have come to the conclusion that MSA should be the first ES qual to get since it will assure that person will be doing something when on a mission or SAREX. Ever since I became Emergency Services Officer I try to groom members to attain MSA first. Even if they tell me they only want to be GTM or UDF, I evaluate them for MSA and try to conduct them to that qualification. This is the approach I followed, and probably it was why I did not encounter what the OP did. When I went for my MSO, I was already MSA qual.
You do not have to "turn off someone from a [preferred] qual..." It can be done concurrently. There are many common tasks. And before you can get even near to the two required missions.
If there are about 45 or 50 GTM trainees and only 2 or 3 GTL members not all of those wishing to go as GTM will be able to go either. Or only two vans. So what you are advocating is that some be left at base, and leave without a sortie, not able to do any training. We cannot have all we wish every time.
... it takes all of 5 minutes to turn on someone's MSA trainee status when they actually need it, rather than forcing them through a qual they don't presently want "just in case".
So you are telling me is that I have wasted all 15 years preparing personnel for an alternate task... That they will get there for a UDF or GTM3 trainee...Only to disappoint them when they find out they cannot do what they wanted to do, instead of preparing them mentally for the possibility they may have to do something else. Fine way to think about your members needs.