Advice for future RAFVR(T) process

Good evening, everyone.

I’ve been a CI for a year now and after earlier discussions with my CO, I’m beginning the formal process of going into uniform in the Summer with the aim of completing OASC in early 2017. I have my first uniform candidate training day at my wing HQ in May.

Is there anything I can be doing now to begin preparing myself for OASC and the whole process in general? It can’t hurt to begin preparing early. I currently teach basic cadets on the unit and also manage the SQNs stores.

Becoming commissioned has been a goal of mine for a long time and I’m very excited to begin the process! Thank you in advance!

You could do worse than buying one of the OASC preparation books that go on sale to help with questions and planning and stuff.

Otherwise speak to someone in your wing about their experience. See if your wing do practice days for leadership etc.


Thank you, I’ll have a look. I’m attending a training day in May, but I was just wondering if there was extra responsibility I could be taking on within my unit or anything that may be useful.


How does this differ from the booklet that is/was on s/point?

Yes. I didn’t say anyone had to, I suggested they could do worse.

To the best of my knowledge that is a guide. The books I’ve seen for sale allow you to practice the planning exercises and other tests. I don’t think the sharepoint one does.

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There is one on Sharepoint which does feature examples, one of them was almost identical to the one I was given at OASC, doing your homework is definitely worth it :slight_smile:

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But this is “only a hobby”, doesn’t it come across as odd that we even felt we needed a guide to help get through the process, free or not? I didn’t need one when I commissioned, answered some questions and got the nod. I always felt the OASC process was taking us to somewhere that many experience to gain paid employment. I’ve never seen (although I’ve never looked) books to get you through the ‘high street’ job interview processes, but then if you lack confidence in yourself and a couple of quid are going to get you a job paying £?,000 it is probably worth it. I’ve never felt people where I’ve been involved in ‘interviews’ have used a guide.
Paying for something to get through something that means you can to pull on a specific uniform a couple of times a week, with no real financial gain, does seem somewhat odd.

No it doesn’t seem odd to me. You seem odd to me with your antiquated ways and your nostalgia for the perfect past.

Things have changed. We have OASC now, yes you didn’t do it and neither did I but I wish we had. It lends more believability to our officers and removes the chance that idiots and inappropriate people can just walk through.


Thank you, I’ll take a look!

Thank you, I’ll have a look around.

I don’t think it’s odd at all. OASC is totally different from a “high street job interview process” - yes there is an in-depth interview, but there is also a full day of tests, some of which are pretty specialised. Who in their right mind would not do as much as they could to study beforehand? Especially when commitment is one of the things they are looking for…

I think you’ve missed the point entirely about OASC. You aren’t applying to “pull on a specific uniform a couple of times a week”. You are applying to be a representative of Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force. Granted you’re not going to be flying planes or fighting wars, but to Joe Public who don’t know the difference between a uniformed youth worker and the regulars you need to be at least somewhat credible. The reason we moved to OASC is because, quite frankly, some of those who “answered a few questions and got the nod” simply couldn’t cut it, whether that’s down to having friends in high places or being able to bull**** their way through an interview. (It goes without saying that of course some fantastic officers were selected in this way)

I for one am glad that OASC was introduced and think it was a move in the right direction. I’d also be interested to see how some of my commissioned colleagues would get on if they were to attempt it, but that’s an entirely different argument…


Hi Guys, as my name suggests being a teacher means in depth interview days for a job. Not just a simple interview. Preparation is key for this OASC process. I purchased a book for OASC and found it extremely helpful. Why would you not buy something to prepare you as best as you can? I guess it depends how much you want it. I think my book was £4.99. Money well spent. And here’s a fine example of why. I teach Maths and yet had no real regular experience of Distance, Speed and Time calculations. The book explained it easy and a good job too; as I was interrogated on my Individual Planning Exercise on DST as the OASC staff tried to catch me out.
I agree, VR(T) is supposed to be a hobby. It’s also an obligation to meet the needs of our mother service.

I beg to differ.

After 33 years in Uniform, and almost as many years in the corps I would say the quality of staff getting through both VRT & SNCO had declined. Yes the odd duffer got through under the old system, but generally they were a better quality.

I think that there are more walts than duffers getting through now.

I think that’s more to do with society than the system.

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I have known a significant quantity of people ranging from a bit unsuitable to full-on oxygen thief in my time in the corps - but I can’t think of a single person who’s gone through the OASC system who I didn’t think suitable. Granted I don’t know that many, but judging by the proportions under the old system I should have met a few knobbers by now.

From what I’ve seen to have lost the balance in terms of age of new officers or locally at least.

In the old system there used to be, or it always seemed, that we had more older new officers who weren’t so in awe of people wearing a rank (doesn’t mean they didn’t respect them) and were quite confident in questioning and challenging what was put in front of them. I remember some of my first COs meetings and they were quite lively and things fully debated.
I think the proper OASC system is more attuned to taking ‘youngsters’ who need to learn and make them into officers. But in the ATC we need people coming in who are a bit more worldly wise and experienced who can bring that experience and knowledge from their work into the organisation, which I don’t see the OASC system catering for as by design it doesn’t look for experience in it’s throughput.

I thought the system we had now was meant to weed out the ‘duffers’ and ‘walts’ even if that is what society is producing. What society has produced is a mindset of mistrust when people volunteer or get involved in things.

Maybe it’s the duffers and walts who have the time to spare to volunteer. But then again look at all groups and organisations which rely on volunteers, all are struggling to keep going as people either don’t want to or feel they don’t just have the time to spare (due to work, family and other interests), then wrt youth organisations and groups the suspicion (more so for men) that their reasons aren’t entirely honourable. We seem to have become a society that views people who volunteer and or have altruistic intent with suspicion, despite that if were not for these people, things would just stop and then there would be moans. My Legion branch came close to closing 3 years ago as we couldn’t find people willing to be Treasurer and or Secretary, a husband and wife said they would do it and we have avoided closing. I was approached but the president said I was doing enough already.

So do we get reasons for this? Surely you have to evidence your argument? I spent 25 years in the Army, two tours of which were at Sandhurst; one as a Squad Instructor. I have not only trained and help select Officers, all of whom follow the same criteria guidelines for Leadership, Administration and Management as the RAF and RN officers. The testing for RAFVR(T) is clearly at a lower standard, but it does maintain one element, consistency. It would be easy for me having just completed OASC to say that the new Officer is better than the old. But I wouldn’t, because a.) I have never carried out a study which looks at numerous demographics or sustained locations and b.) I don’t feel that all my time in uniform really provides me with an inalienable right to pass comment on such a complex, challenging topic which is of great enormity.

Other than the general opposition to any change that’s been instigated in the ACO in the last 30 years or so, I have literally no idea what that post is about.

I asked for some advice on preparation for the OASC process for early next year and got some excellent replies, but it seems to have descended into a discussion about quality of VR(T) officers and the like. I feel quite bad that I’ve started this now. :confused: