IBN 56/2020 - Suspension of OASC

So IBN 56 has been released which brings the ATC into line with the CCF(RAF) and how things used to be back in the day!

So the IBN says this is an option until April, I wonder if OASC will actually return for us. This would certainly remove a roadblock that affects some in their decision making as now only a week at Cranwell, rather than 2 visits within 12 months and at least 7 days annual leave.

New breed of RCs now so the old plan spotting requirements have have gone!


I hope it can stay this way. From the CIs thread this was the kind of thing that was charging my mind towards the getting rid of CIs argument. (I still think they should stay though :wink:)

But it looks like a potential start. Remove the roadblocks and streamline the whole ‘getting into uniform’ process, and then you’ll get more people in uniform…

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About time.

The anti-argument is that they can be SNCOs without OASC :wink: however without derailing the thread too soon, I concur that the OASC & ATF requirement appears to be a major blocker for your volunteer who just wants to help out the local squadron a couple of evenings a week.

I think if the RCs can agree on a standard this will work well long term, and I’d actually go further and have Boarding Weekends where 4 Boarding Locations are run, each with 2 of the RCs + COS + OC 2FTS board candidates throughout the weekend.

This appears to be that we shall do a Wing Sift and then repeat the exact same as the Region Sift, although does open the scope for more RAFAC focused questions.

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This, imo, is a lot more important than how many RAF bases and what squadrons are there do you know. I get we need to know some information about the parent service, but if we’re going to go and make people memorise stuff for a ‘test’ make it useful stuff to memorise.


Notice they state that those who’ve been deferred from OASC can’t use this route - even if there deferment period has been completed in the last 9 months.

I think it’s a massive stride forwards for easing some of the burden on becoming a uniformed CFAV.

I have to disagree with those saying that this is a great step forward, or that they hope it will become permanent.

I understand why this has been done as a temporary measure to alleviate pressure on OASC and to prioritise regular selection - and of course this the right thing to do.

What I don’t find acceptable is that a board of two people interview (probably over Teams) and the Queen’s Commission is granted in that basis.

Our parent service should be the ultimate arbiters of who wears their uniform, additionally sending potential RAFAC Officers to OASC gave them an insight of what cadets will encounter if they join the RAF as a commissioned officer - In that regard it is very valuable.

The quicker this gets back to boarding at Cranwell the better IMHO.


I disagree.

Cadets get the wear the RAFs uniform with no more than a simple drill test. RAFAC SNCOs, do not have to attend OASC and they wear the same uniform.

I do not see any good reason why officers need to know anything about the selection process for regular officers. Yes it is a “nice to have” to be able to inform potential cadets, but it is not essential to the role as a RAFAC officer. Or that of a RAFAC SNCO…


It’s not like it’s a proper commission anymore. We get saluted, and when a regular WO tells us to foxtrot Oscar they will be more polite than with a RAFAC Sgt but that’s it really


P.s - I attended OASC last year. In the revised process, you only get interviewed by a single person…

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In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s not that useful. Especially with the very wide reach of RAF careers people on all forms of social media and numerous accounts available online of the process from recent applicants.

Potential RAFAC officers don’t sit the altitude tests, don’t sit the fitness tests, aren’t medically tested, and aren’t provided anything like the same amount of training. It’s not comparing apples to oranges, it’s comparing apples to blue whales.

Plus, given the rate at which OASC for regulars changes, any information one gleans from a visit would be obsolete in a year or two.


Imho the “Queen’s Commission” card is pulled all too frequently. You are a volunteer in a youth organisation. How that is administered is (almost) irrelevant.

The internet and/or AFCO will provide the same advice. Arguably the Airman selection process would be much more relevant as more people join non commissioned than do Officer. Why not make SNCOs do that? Because it’s irrelevant to the role.


May be so, but having that first hand knowledge and being able to talk with confidence to a cadet is of huge benefit .

What do you think is better - an OC that wishes the cadet best of luck but has no idea what they are doing, or someone who is at least able to give some idea of OASC, where it is, what the accommodation is like etc etc ?

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I disagree - the organisation of the RAFAC and our military ethos are all important and what makes the cadet forces stand out from other ‘youth organisations’ . If you don’t value the Commission then there are plenty of other options for you.

The military ethos part of the cadet experience will not suffer if we replace OASC with a more effective process.


We do value it, but let’s not pretend it’s a military commission. Even in the VR days that was pushing it, even if legally it was. We value the links and heritage but that doesn’t mean we need to use the same selection process for a fighting force and a military themed youth organisation.
As for the OASC guidance your experience may be slightly helpful for a few years, after which you need to be careful about giving out of date info. The AFCO will give guidance. I don’t think that point alone makes it worth the time or money to use OASC for cadet commissions.


Someone who can say “good luck, here are some resources you might find useful”.

The cadets don’t know we go through (one sixth of) the same process.


Thin end of the wedge. It won’t be long before we’re done with our links to the RAF :sleepy:

For many people in many parts of the country, other than wearing the same clothes, there is no link to the RAF. There are no stations in hundreds of miles, there are few camps, going gliding involves visiting an army camp and aef is just a rumour.

One member of squadron staff doing a pretty pointless two day course once in their staff career doesn’t change that.

And that ignores the 75+ years of ATC existence when we didn’t use the process and got by perfectly well.

I didn’t ‘suffer’ through my time as a cadet because my COs didn’t go through OASC. And I was able to pass OASC for regular service without their input.