Do you need to do a NCO course?

Do you need to do an NCO course to be, “officially” an NCO? For example, if I get promoted to corporal, am I only a proper corporal when I’ve passed a JNCO course? And do I need to pass a JNCO course to be able to become a sergeant? I know in some ACP it does say you need it, but does anyone actully care.

Depends on the squadron… You don’t need to go on one but it is usually a very good idea.

If you were on my squadron you would be expected to have been on a JNCO course either before or as soon as practically possible after promotion. Our OC is a stickler and you wouldn’t get Sgt before having been on a course apart from in exceptional circumstances.

I would turn this question around though, as it sounds as if you are asking as you are trying to get out of going on one… So if you are wanting to be promoted, why would you not want to do a helpful and informative course that would make you a better NCO?


That’s a great point. Me trying to get out of an NCO course would be a combination of me trying to get the most out of life with the least about of effort and the fact that I don’t want to fail and then having me and my OC second guessing are selves on how good I am.

Generally speaking, these two terms in life are exclusive. You usually get what you put in. Minimum effort will rarely be rewarded.

OK, so this sounds more like why… Your OC wouldn’t put you on the course if they didn’t think you would do well. And a little bit of nerves around the responsibility of being promoted is healthy - your OC wouldn’t be putting you forward for the course if you were not ready.

OC’s have a good nose for this sort of thing - if they think you are ready then I’m sure you’ll be fine. If you come back with a few notes on areas of improvement then this is normal.

You’re probably over thinking it. Get on a course and enjoy the training.


Certainly in my Wing NCO courses aren’t Pass/Fail any more, just advisory.

(Apart from the leadership badge stuff).

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Each wing has their own way of dealing with this. In my Wing JNCO with Bronze Leadership and a 1 day Cadet Drill course must be passed for Sgt and SNCO with Silver leadership for FS.

I know its all being reviewed at a Corps level so wait and see if that changes any thing l

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You should really be looking at every opportunity to learn and get involved as much as you can enhance your Knowledge and be the best corporal you can be, someone who can then pass on this knowledge with the experience to back it up and be able to help mentor younger cadets.

this is so true about all activities in the Cadets

i can only talk for our Wing, but there is no pass/fail score…

there is “room for improvement” on the areas marked against but you cannot “fail” and as indicated you’d not be nominated for the course if it wasn’t appropriate for you to go…

There is a lot to be sad about failing - it isn’t always a bad thing and can teach you far more than a pass…that isn’t to say don’t try, but it isn’t something to be worried about. the results which come back shouldn’t be a surprise, your drill, uniform, or whatever aspects shouldn’t be known to you already - the course just confirms what you should already know about yourself and help steer you towards a better understanding and expectation of the NCO role…

give it a go and you might surprise yourself

In addition to the comments from others I’ll add that your promotion to Cpl is ‘proper’ from the moment that your OC promotes you… Despite the alternative reality that some Wings have tried to create in the past.

So, whatever policy your Wing may apply, the regulations say that your OC has promoted you - therefore you are a substantive Cdt Cpl; and that all cadet NCOs should receive Region-approved NCO training.

You’ll learn a lot on the course and begin to develop yourself to be a better NCO. You’ll probably have some fun too and make some new friends.


To add to all the great advice, this is an awesome reason for attending a JNCO course that your wing offers.
You can often gain some ideas from other Squadrons that might solve a problem you didn’t know you needed to solve at your own squadron!

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Yeah, the best part of my JNCO and SNCO that I remember was sitting together at the end and just talking about what we do on the squadron, asking the WSOs that were there any questions etc. It led to some good ideas to bring back to the unit!

Get yourself on a course. When I was a sqn OC it was nt a prerequisite for promotion but I usually found most cadets wanted to do one anyway. So off they d go. I did work on the staff at NCO courses in my Wing for a bit and the cadets on these courses covered just about every point of experience in the cadet ranks. The main thing was they all enjoyed the course. I know i enjoyed staffing them. I only ever knew of one cadet who “failed” but that was nothing to do with his ability he just worked his ticket and was sent home.

We have it as a prerequisite for the next rank up. So to get Sgt you must have done your JNCO course, and to get FS you must have done your SNCO course. I think this is common across the wing here.

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For us it’s a definite “nice to have”, not having one won’t exclude you from being eligible for promotion, but there would need to be a reason why you’ve not been.

Although, for obvious reasons, the ‘requirement’ will be relaxed for a while as we get back into such courses being run.



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