Master Air Cadet

Is Master Air Cadet still restricted to 16+ cadets? Checking AP1358C and the PTS documents there’s no mention of an age limit.

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As far as im aware the answer is yes.

I can’t find anything to say that there’s a limit…

The limit is still 16 years of age as stated in ACTO 001

I’m not convinced - that isn’t the document that rules on such things; rather it just repeats the information of ACTO 20 which has been amended since.

ACTO 20 does say that the syllabus should take at least three years to complete which would mean a suggested minimum age of 15, although it doesn’t explicitly order a minimum age.

I always thought it was 16. Everyone else l know thinks it is 16. I am sure it says on SMS that you have to be 16…

I’m pretty sure it was, I’m not sure it is.

SMS is happy to accept U-16s, having just tested it.

Correction - it’s a bit further down.

They can do all the exams, etc, but won’t receive the status until they’re 16.

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Well that’s just stupid!


You should be able to complete your masters, however, the badge will only be given to you when you turn 16.
Hope this helps :slightly_smiling_face:

I can think of absolutely no logical reason for this requirement. Seems to be a throwback to the old style Staff Cadet classification.


I think it links with maturity (due to Instructor being the next logical step) as well as academical potential. A lot of the physics involved in the courses are only highlighted in first year A-level physics - I think the course is designed in mind that the cadets can achieve their potential at a higher age.

By all means restrict Instructor but if someone is academically capable of passing it why should we discriminate? Bearing in mind you can have two people doing the an exam at master level and some doing the same thing at Senior level I don’t buy the point about A level standard work. Especially as you can take your A Levels early and they don’t withhold the certificate until you turn 18.

The age block came about as under the ultilearn free for all system with open book and unregulated retakes, cadets can / could complete the classification system in 3-4 months.
If people encouraged this, it’s what would the cadets do.
Whether it’s ethical or moral to prevent someone from getting the recognition if they pass, is another thing and open to a challenge, under equality legislation or similar.
However if it was regarded as one of the many so called ‘club rules’ that people speak of on here, HQAC can do what they like, regardless of it being ethically or morally right.

The problem goes back to when the online, open book system was initiated. If someone at HQAC had actually thought about it and tested the system properly and didn’t send it live until it was ready to go, the holes in the system wouldn’t have been exploited. But we had a system that was brought in and like so much of our online systems rushed, piecemeal and untested. I imagine many on here recall the nightmare of trying to do exams on parade nights, but finding the system couldn’t cope with more than 2 or 3 (or that’s how it seemed) doing it across the country at any one time.

I’ve always thought they could block it so that cadets has to leave 12 months between taking exams, which by a quick calculation, would mean that the vast majority of cadets would be 16 before taking the Master Cadet exam. If a cadet was 12 on 31 AUG and join a week or so after, if they passed the basic cadet after say 9 months and then all the others a year after, they would be under 16 by a few months.

There is another solution which is make Master Cadet two stage akin to the old Staff Cadet and make is so minimum age of the second stage is 16. IIRC to take Staff P1 cadets had to be over 16.

We have cadets who have done / doing Master Cadet who under the old scheme wouldn’t, as they’d struggle to pass the Senior exams. We used to have cadets do re-take after re-take and never pass, which sorted the wheat from the chaff. Now they pass exams first or second time.

I don’t see much that is requiring cadets to be working at A Level standard in the subject matter, and given how the exam system works, you can repeatedly guess or just look it up online for any ‘tricky’ areas. To be honest there isn’t much that requires a proven GCSE ability.


The BTEC can’t be awarded to U16s and is awarded on completion of Master Air Cadet

Maybe then there needs to a block on cadets completing (ie doing the last subject) until they reach 16. This must be achievable?

Somehow we managed to ensure cadets were over 16 for Staff Cadet exams, pre electronic wizardry and BTECs. How did we do that?

When doing my masters, I really struggled to learn the material due to the maths and physics involved. Obviously, different people work with different capabilities. However, I have spent many cadet nights explaining to younger cadets the maths and physics behind each topic for the exam and 14-year-olds find it hard to complete their leading or seniors, therefore, the constant re-take of the exams.
I do agree with waiting 12 months before taking the exam as it gives the cadets the ability to not just pass their exams with a distinction qualification but also understand what the topic is so they can apply to other exams further down in their cadet career,

Why not just give them the master cadet classification but not award the BTEC?


Or even better, just change the exam system so that the cadets actually have to learn the subject to pass the exam - which ought to slow them down a bit.


How interesting, that suggestion is exactly the system we had used for as long as I could remember. Shame that HQAC is so fixed to doing things on the cheap, except the basic log books.

The problem with that suggestion is we would have to have better resource materials for staff to use to learn from, base their instruction on and pass the knowledge on. Oh wait a cotton picking minute …

Probably OT … Would it be too much to ask that staff pass the exams in subjects before they instruct them?