Cadet Training Section

Syllabus Training

Syllabus Training

The Air Cadet’s Training Syllabus is designed to ensure that the training Cadets receive is both progressive and helps to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to enable full participation in the other activities that are available. The Training that Cadets receive will vary between practical demonstration, formal lectures, hands-on projects and outdoor activities.

The technical training is based around providing training in preparation and support of the flying and gliding activities. Many Cadets find that the training syllabus is one of the more interesting and useful aspects of their overall training. Most Squadrons now offer a BTEC in Aviation Studies to Cadets who successfully complete the training syllabus. This is a nationally recognised qualification (that can be used as the science requirement for RAF entry) and can be a great addition to a Cadets CV.

At the First Class cadet stage and above, practical projects enhance academic study to stimulate interest and clarify theory. Project training is compulsory and cadets are must complete a minimum of 25 hours working on one or more practical projects before taking the written examination. The scope and nature of these projects will vary with the instructional and financial ability of individual Squadrons but many low cost projects are possible. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Handbook lists nearly 250 projects in the Skills Section, many of which are suitable for the ATC.

The syllabus training is broken down into specific areas of studies and content. These are known as Classifications.

First Class Cadet

When a new cadet joins the Air Training Corps they become a Junior Cadet and work through ACP 36 which is an Induction Handbook for New Cadets. As a Junior Cadet they will complete First Class Cadet Training – Part One which covers the following:

  • ACP 31 Section 1: The Air Training Corps
  • Basic Drill and Saluting (ACP 19 – Drill and Ceremonial)

Both the Junior Cadet Induction and the First Class Cadet – Part One training programme should take approximately one month to complete, provided that attendance has been consistent and factors like attitude and behaviour have been to an acceptable standard.

Upon satisfactory completion of the First Class Cadet – Part One Cadet training programme, the Junior Cadet is then enrolled as a Second Class Cadet and is issued with a uniform.

Second Class Cadets then complete the First Class Cadet – Part Two training programme which is intended as a foundation for future subjects. The First Class Cadet – Part Two training programme covers the following:

  • ACP 31 Section 2: The RAF
  • ACP 33 Volume 1: History of Flight
  • ACP 31 Section 4: Initial Expedition Training
  • ACP 31Section 6: Basic Radio Communications
  • ACP 32 Volume 1: Map Reading
  • ACP 34 Volume 1: Airmanship 1

The First Class Cadet – Part Two training programme should take no longer than three months to complete.

Both parts of the First Class Cadet training is delivered through practical demonstration by instructors within and around Squadron premises, rather than desk-bound instruction and there are checks of understanding for those cadets completing the training rather than written examinations.

Cadets who have any form of learning difficulty, especially dyslexia, should ensure that the Staff are made aware. The Air Cadet Organisation will do its best to help all Cadets succeed, regardless of ability.

Leading Cadet

First Class Cadets undertake training towards becoming a “Leading” Cadet. During this training they will learn the principles of navigating using map and compass. This training covers how aircraft fly and what makes helicopters stay in the air, and Airmanship II covers the Highway Code of the Sky. To be eligible to sit the Leading Cadet examinations, a cadet must have been appointed as a First Class Cadet and have completed the appropriate syllabus training which includes at least 25 hours of project work.

The syllabus content is as follows:

  • ACP 32 Volume 2: Basic Navigation
  • ACP 33 Volume 2: Principles of Flight
  • ACP 34 Volume 2: Airmanship II

Senior Cadet

To be eligible to sit the Senior Cadet examinations, a cadet must have been appointed as a Leading Cadet and have completed the appropriate syllabus training including a further 25 hours (or more) of project work. Drill and extra-curricular activities are also required.

The syllabus content is any two of the following subjects:

  • ACP 32 Volume 1: Air Navigation
  • ACP 32 Volume 4: Pilot Navigation
  • ACP 33 Volume 3: Propulsion
  • ACP 33 Volume 4: Airframes
  • ACP 34 Volume 2: Aircraft Handling
  • ACP 34 Volume 3: Operational Flying
  • ACP 35 Volume 3: Advanced Radio & Radar
  • ACP 35 Volume 4: Satellite Communications:

Staff Cadet

Senior Cadets will undertake training towards becoming a “Staff” Cadet. This is the highest classification a Cadet can complete. This classification is divided into two parts, Staff Part 1 and Staff Part 2, either part can be taken in any order but both parts must be completed to pass out as a Staff Cadet.

Cadets will also need to undertake at least 25 hours of “Project” work, drill and extra-curricular activities are also required.

Staff Part 1

The syllabus content includes any two of the following subjects not taken at Senior Cadet level:

  • ACP 32 Volume 1: Air Navigation
  • ACP 32 Volume 4: Pilot Navigation
  • ACP 33 Volume 3: Propulsion
  • ACP 33 Volume 4: Airframes
  • ACP 34 Volume 2: Aircraft Handling
  • ACP 34 Volume 3: Operational Flying
  • ACP 35 Volume 3: Advanced Radio & Radar
  • ACP 35 Volume 4: Satellite Communications

Staff Part 2

To successfully complete the Staff Part 2 examination, cadets will undertake an interview conducted by a Wing Staff Officer. During this interview, the WSO will ask questions to ensure an in-depth knowledge of:

  • The Organisation and operation of the Air Cadet Organisation at all levels
  • The structure of the Corps, its aims and training requirements
  • Squadron administration and supply procedures
  • Instructional ability

In addition, to be eligible to sit either Part 1 or Part 2 of the Staff Cadet examination, cadets must have:

  • Been appointed as a Senior Cadet
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Completed at least 2 years enrolled service
  • Attended at least one Corps annual camp
  • Completed the Staff Cadet syllabus including approved citizenship training and a further 25 hours (or more) of project training.
  • Completed the First Class Shot Test within the last 12 months