ACF instructors

Just a pondering, is it allowed for RAFAC CFAV to engage as ACF CFAVS

Sounds like something quite interesting, does anyone else do it? Or know anyone who does it?

I know a few who take part in ACF activities but aren’t on the books as an ACF instructor. Would depend on what you want to do and at what level you want to engage with them.

It’s a pity there’s not a formalised system allowing cfavs to be registered on different services systems (Westminster & Bader)

It would then make if a lot easier to utilise & share skilled staff ( am thinking mainly shooting, AT & minibus drivers)

I have good links with both my local SCC & ACF but planning to do anything more enhanced like a kayaking session means they have to be counted as external instructors.

Perhaps something similar to the service instructor process where if they have permission from their CO, they can assist as a secondary duty provided they maintain their home service hours).

We can then add them to Bader and it make it easier on ratios & events as well as being a bit more resource efficient.

(It also should reduce one of my pet hates where newly commissioned pilot officers list their rank as APO!)

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Is that not correct? That’s what SMS lists it as.

It’s correct according to the RAFAC but that doesn’t make it correct in the real world.

You don’t abbreviate Pilot Officer as PO it’s Plt Off so why would you abbreviate an Acting Pilot Officer as APO?


You don’t abbreviate Sergeant as S it’s Sgt so why would you abbreviate a Flight Sergeant as FS?


With the advent of tri-service opps it was agree there would be a standardised abbreviation of all ranks across all three services. PO was for Petty Officer and Plt Off was for Pilot Officer. APO for RAFAC is plain wrong and goes against policy.
It was agreed that FS is use and not Flt Sgt, probability to avoid confusion with Flt Lt.

PO is already a rank, you can’t just stick an Acting on the front of it and take someone else’s abbreviation. Try booking a accommodation at a Tri-Service facility with a rank of APO and see what mess they will stick you in.


As others had said The correct abbreviation for acting pilot officer is A/Plt Off

Bader has all the tri-service ranks hence why it’s listed.

APO is Acting Petty officer the Sea Cadet equivalent of Acting Sgt (I.e. pre-course SNCO).

Unfortunately knowledge of tri-service ranks within RAFAC is woeful (amongst both adults & cdts) but I digress.

I would still like a process/policy enabling CFAV to register on the books of another of the cdt forces without doubling up paperwork too much & double hatting.

Going back to the OP I think such a policy would make it easier & formalise volunteering with other cadet forces & help share resources particularly as we are all likly to struggle in the near future regarding the return to face-to-face.

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This is where having 1 management system across all the Cadet Forces would be useful.


Purple Alert! Purple Alert!



Slightly off topic, but Speaking to my SCC & ACF colleagues they have been told the air cadets have been instructed to move to Westminster. I fed back that wasn’t going to happen due to all the investment & they’ve probable just been told someone’s wishful thinking.

Have heard talk about a potential brand new single cadet management system but I imagine it’s still in the bun fight stage.

There’s been talk about this for donkeys years since Bader first came into being.

i can’t say i know of an occasion when someone double hats, but several years ago we had a ACF Officer regularly join us on our Wing Shoots. He came with SAAI and RCO tickets so wasn’t just along for the ride but useful to the day.
this was during the time of Bader although I am not sure how he was marked on the SMS activity. He was a CO of the ACF Detachment which shared accommodation with an attending ATC Sqn - he was invited along and seen fairly regular, although never brought any Cadets along

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This is quite common, if he’s exercising his qual then the SPO will likely want to see some form of proof of qualification which could be uploaded to SMS but otherwise we have a real issue tracking external people attending RAFAC things on SMS.

SATTs have instructors from SCC and ACF come along as it’s all the same tri service courses and there are continuous issues with this lack of external visibility.

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This isn’t happening #rumourcontrol


I had a friend who was a CFAV in both the ACF and the ATC however the organisation effectively made him choose when he went for his WO with the implication being that if he wasn’t fully committed to one organisation or the other he wouldn’t be promoted.

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I swear there used to be an “external instructors” tab or similar

I know most of the SCC HQ training team and they’ve long been under the impression that we’re moving to Westminster instead of SMS.

God knows where this has come from.


There is but they can’t tick or take responsibility as IC of an activity which doesn’t make it easy for auditing purposes or accountability let alone oversight from the paid staff.

I know it’s asking a lot but all it needs is an agreement in principle from top level & a guidance policy with a slight tweak to Bader SMS.

Those of us on the ground will then make it work. Even just an IBN just clarifying the use of SCC & ACF CFAVs in RAFAC activities would be helpful as a starter for 10.

Provided we maintain & deliver our core volunteering role, There should be no reason why we can’t help out other cadet forces if we are able to and vice versa. The cadets are young people regardless of service.

@james_elliott - thanks for the rumour control, I should have added it was muted long ago & not likely to happen before 2041 if ever. :slight_smile: