Opportunities with the ACO are not just open to cadets, with a wide variety of roles available for adults. If you are interested in volunteering with us then here are some common questions. The SQN Commanding Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, would be pleased to answer any further queries or guide you through the application process.
What options are available for adults? Do I need to wear a uniform?
There are 3 options with the ACO as a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer (CFAV):
- Civilian Instructor (CI). A non-uniform role as an instructor in the ATC and the typical starting point for new members of staff. After the initial induction courses run by Wing you assist the uniform staff on a SQN to provide instruction & activities for the cadets.
After a suitable period as a CI and subject to passing selection interviews you may consider a move into uniform as either a:
- Commissioned Officer. A uniformed position in the RAF Volunteer Reserve Training Branch. After attending a course at RAF Cranwell officers will take on a management role on a Squadron with future progression to command or perhaps taking on duties at Wing.
- Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). A uniformed position as an ATC Sergeant initially and especially involved with dress & discipline in addition to your other specialities. Prospects include future promotion to Flight Sergeant or Adult Warrant Officer, commanding a unit or perhaps taking on a Wing role.
Are there age restrictions?
The minimum age for a CI is 20. There is no maximum age, although officers typically retire at 55.
How much time will I be expected to commit?
All roles are voluntary. Staff members are expected to average 12 hours a month (around 5 parade nights). However a degree of flexibility can be applied for shift workers etc…
Am I paid?
CIs receive no payment and Officers/NCOs can claim pay for a limited number of days each year. All members of staff can receive fuel/travel expenses for most activities.
What checks will I need to go through? How long will the process take?
After making contact with the SQN OC the process starts with an induction with a member of the Wing staff. This includes filling in the necessary paperwork. Since we work with young people, adult staff must have an enhanced criminal records check (DBS). Once this comes through you can join our SQN & attend a set of Wing training courses over your first few months with us.
What training will I receive?
After the initial training/induction courses there are plenty of opportunities for further training depending on the activities that you wish to specialise in. As an example for shooting there are military instructor qualifications and approval to run a range. For adventure training courses are available to attain civilian qualifications such as Mountain Leader, Single Pitch Award or Trail Cycle Leader.