Not every cadet will be promoted to Corporal and beyond (see ‘Ranks‘ to learn more), but all cadets are able to progress through the training syllabus and attain various levels of cadet classification. A further scheme of progressive training was launched in March 2017, and information on this new scheme is available ton request.
- Master Air Cadet
- Senior Cadet
- Leading Cadet
- First Class Cadet
- Junior Cadet/Second Class Cadet
Junior Cadet/Second Class Cadet
Cadets are classified as Junior Cadets during their probationary period, once formally enrolled on the squadron they are known as Second Class Cadets. No badge is awarded for these two classifications, but a certificate of enrolment will be awarded noting the advancement from Junior Cadet to Second Class Cadet.
First Class Cadet
To qualify as a First Class Cadet you must complete training in 7 mandatory subjects and attain a basic standard of foot drill. This is designed to give you a good level of general knowledge about the ATC and the RAF, it will also introduce the key fundamental principles and skills you will need as an Air Cadet.
The topics studied at First Class Level are:
- The Air Training Corps
- The Royal Air Force
- History of Flight
- Basic Principles of Airmanship
- Map Reading
- Initial Expedition Training
- Basic Radio Communication
- Basic Foot Drill
There are no formal examinations at this level, however instructors will verbally check understanding during training sessions and assist Cadets in the completion of their training log book. Cadets deemed to have successfully completed the syllabus will be awarded the First Class Star Badge for their brassard, and a certificate of training.
To qualify as a Leading Cadet you must undertake further training in three key subjects. The training at Leading level is more in depth than at First Class, and is formally assessed by multiple choice examinations online, using the Air Cadet Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). These examinations will culminate in a graded pass for the cadet who can be awarded either a Pass, Credit or Distinction.
The topics studied at Leading level are:
- Principles of Flight
- Airmanship Knowledge
- Basic Navigation (Map & Compass)
Cadets successfully passing the Leading Cadet examinations are awarded the Leading Cadet Propeller Badge for their brassard, and a certificate of training. Achievement of the Leading Cadet classification is a significant milestone for a cadet, it is a prerequisite for promotion to Cadet Corporal, and many of the more exciting Corps courses stipulate a pass a Leading.
To qualify as a Senior Cadet you must study three subjects from the list below. The training at Senior level is more in depth than at Leading, but is formally assessed in the same manner utilising the VLE. Performance in the examinations will result in a graded pass for the cadet who can be awarded either a Pass, Credit or Distinction.
The topics available to study at Senior level are:
- Air Navigation
- Pilot Navigation
- Aircraft Handling
- Piston Engine Propulsion
- Jet Engine Propulsion
- Rocketry Propulsion
- Satellite and Data Comms
- Military Aircraft Systems
- Air Power
Cadets successfully passing the three Senior Cadet examinations are awarded the Senior Cadet Badge, which is a combination of the ‘First Class Star’ and the ‘Leading Propeller’, and a certificate of training. Achievement of the Senior Cadet classification is usually a prerequisite for promotion to a Cadet Sergeant, it is also the desired classification for Flight Staff Cadets on Volunteer Gliding Squadrons.
- Master Cadet
To qualify as a Master Air Cadet you must study a further three subjects from the Senior Cadet list. This aims to broaden your knowledge in a wide range of aerospace topics. These are assessed formally using the VLE as per the arrangements for Leading and Senior Cadet examinations. A cadet must be aged 16+ to be awarded the Master Air Cadet Badge
Successful completion of the syllabus represents the end of your academic training in the Air Training Corps. You will be awarded the Master Air Cadet Badge for your brassard, and a certificate of training. You will also be awarded with a BTEC Certificate in Aviation Studies, this is a nationally recognised qualification equivalent to 2 GCSE’s.