Promotions too easy?


But if either doesn’t consent why are they being kept? If they aren’t mature enough to accept or be offered adult responsibility why is this adult staying in this youth organisation?

I for one won’t be recommending the retention of a cadet who isn’t mature enough to take on the added responsibility which comes from being an adult.


Because the reality of it is that we are making impositions upon the cadet to fill in the gaps that we are incapable or unwilling to fill as CFAVs. Even I don’t immediately leap into a position where I am directly and solely responsible for a group of children on an excursion, yet this is what we may be asking of these teenagers.


I would hazard a guess at these measures were brought in to keep the risk of child protection issues cropping up as low ALARP. Not really anything to do with preparing staff cadets for being totally responsible for their peers behaviour and safety.

In your first situation, assuming it’s a cadet activity, the Activity Commander is legally responsible for the actions of the cadets. Morally, you could argue that any cadet, regardless of age should do as much as they can to stop any dangerous acts by other cadets.

In the second situation, having received the AVIP, any staff cadet should know the exact actions to take. Legally, I don’t know, but I’d take a bet that they police wouldn’t look at it the same way as if a CFAV ignored the situation.

The long and the short of it is that if a staff cadet isn’t the activity commander, then they are just another cadet. Albeit one with background checks


Because people develop at different rates?

Because whilst a cadet may feel they can deal with managing the cross country team at a wing event without having squadron staff present, they may not feel that they can deal with managing a bag pack?

Because each event is to be taken on a case by case basis. Dealing with members of the public, especially in the current security environment is daunting, more so if you are only 18?

Because a cadet that recognises their own limitations is vastly more mature than someone who blindly says “Yes, sir” because they think that they will be binnned off if they don’t?


A Staff are we offered the same freedom? I wouldn’t mind having the odd activity where nothing is expected of me…

(said somewhat tongue and cheek. there has to be a line of legal adulthood and perceived responsibility - unfortunately that line sits within the age bracket of our Cadets)

if that were the case - would the same attitude be taken with CFAVs who are not the activity commander? i’d be surprised if i had to answer to the Wing Commander why i let something happen i know shouldn’t and used the excuse “Sir, the responsibility is with the Activity Commander - thus I am not guilty”

why would in the same situation which needed adult intervention, should a Staff Cadet 19yr old (legal adult) be treated differently to a 29 yr old CI?

Legally the line is drawn, both adults, both equally “trained” (BASIC) and cleared (DBS).#

i kinda get what you are saying - but at the same time we (CFAVs) dont get the choice in which situations we are put in.
there are WOs and Flt Lt who are better suited running a range day with a dozen Cadets and the car full of staff required than they are running a bag pack - but that doesn’t change their responsibility.

The argument will be those Staff don’t put themselves in that situation but we never know what is around the corner. we never know when is the next night we are the most senior Staff at Squadron because work/family held up the OC.
if little Johnny or little Jane comes up to the Staff member with a Child Protection issue/we are aware, hear or witness something involving them we can’t claim sorry didn’t choose to see/hear that information i know how to do shooting and DofE thats it…it just won’t hold water.


I think that there is an element of mitigation of risk, but as part of the BAISIC/AVIP, course, the cadets responsibilities are made clear to them, which includes their responsibility to speak up in the situations i described earlier.

I think the risk of child abuse from an 18/19 year old cadet is very, very low - especially when compared with an adult instructor with no previous background.

Like security, child welfare is everybody’s responsibility - not just the OC, or the activity commander. They might be ultimately responsible, but everyone is still responsible. Failure to act or prevent abuse occurring is not excusable.

With regard to the second situation, it does’t matter whether they know the right actions to take or - it’s whether they do that matters.

I think your statement that over 18 cadest are just cadets unless activity commander is incorrect, and goes against the training that we and the cadets have been given over the last 5 or more years.


I think the big difference between Staff Cadets and CFAV is the role they play in the activity, and the level of responsibility they have in that activity.

It’s entirely feasable that a staff cadet will have no supervisory responsibilities (let’s not forget that they may not necessarily hold a rank), and may only be a participant in an activity, whereas every CFAV could be reasonably expected to hold a supervisory role (because that’s what we volunteer to do).

For example, if a cadet walks out of supermarket during a bag pack, and is hit by a car in the car park, the activity commander and supervisory staff could reasonable be asked why they let that happen. If you have a Staff Cadet present, of no rank, who is solely there as a participant, and who was packing bags at the time, it would be unreasonable to ask the same question to them.

But we do. I’ve had staff refuse to do things because they don’t feel they have the skills/ experience to do something safely. If your not happy, then you shouldn’t agree to take part.


No is a magic word; it can stop you getting into deep blue water when you don’t have the skills to do something which is being asked of you.


I know what your saying, but a 18 year old cadet has no extra legal responsibility to report abuse than your average citizen. Don’t get me wrong, we provide training for them, and I would hope they do the right thing, but if they choose not to, I’m sure they would be treated differently to say, a teacher who ignores a complaint of child abuse.

Unless a Staff Cadet agrees to be put in a position of authority for an event, and that is signed off by the OC, they are as responsible as any other cadet during an activity.


you misinterpret the point.

i may choose to attend a shooting event and choose not a village fete, but that doesn’t mean my responsibility towards the Safety and wellbeing towards those sub18 changes
nor does one situation over another mean a CFAV is more/less likely to get a CP issue.

We, CFAVs, don’t get to choose when a Cadet comes to us with a problem…we may choose the events we do and the responsibility we take at those events, but we do not get to choose what problems Cadets face us during those.

Just because a Flt Lt is happier doing a Range Day over a Bag pack doesn’t mean they get to choose their reaction when a Cadet comes to them with an issue…and the same should be true of a 18+ Cadet.
Irrespective of the event we choose to attend, we have to accept, as Adults responsible for Children, we have a duty to act accordingly


Following this thread, It is one thing to know how the ACPs should operate, but it is quite another to see what happens in practice. Despite the increasing influence of JSPs, there are those who will argue that the Royal Warrant provides a certain exclusively and flexibility of interpretation and application.

This enables all manner of excuses to cover up and protect the rump of Senior Ranks who bend the rules. What is there to say that in a Unit which suffers high Cadet turnover, and a dearth of Adult help, that you don’t offer the occasional promotion as an incentive, purely based upon age and seniority.

Someone mentioned a while back at the numbers of staff at Wing level; strange Iow of two Units who are struggling to field adequate staff support, (and therefore a full range of cadet activities) when not long ago you were talking a minimum of 10 staff with a wide range of skillset.

And whilst the discussion mentioned the importance of child protection, and contrary to what is written in ACP4, it is rather encouraging that some of our elite adopt that same flexible interpretation. As for maturity, I have seen obviously immature individuals, regarded as invaluable, top notch, CFAV worth protecting at all costs. Steve 679 referred to a duty to act accordingly - I can tell you I did, but the end result was well outside the rule book.

There is a Regional Commandant who is known to have stated ‘We are different’ It would be nice to believe that things might change, but the current incumbent appears to slotted into the same groove, even though such individuals are required to be ex Service, and in theory we all uphold the best traditions of the service. Evidently some more than others…



CCF are not DBS checked.


What seems to have avoided is the point that we don’t have any ‘worth criteria’ applied to adult staff when they join, other than a pulse. If they do have some extra things to bring that’s a bonus.

As for taking someone as staff if they weren’t allowed to stay beyond 17 as a cadet, yes, why wouldn’t I? There is little correlation between the two people.

I would suggest there are many older staff who at 17 wouldn’t have been asked to stay on and not come back. As it is I don’t see us keeping 50% of the 18+ as staff as it is, of those who do stay on past 18 anyway. Of the ones we’ve seen stay on have left before their 19th birthday to go to uni or work or before their 20th because the Corps isn’t offering them very much, other than expecting they do things for little return. As incubus says they are cadets we are here to ‘serve them’ not them us. My experience is more like 10% so one in ten. I’ve seen OCs invest a lot of time and effort in 16/17 yo cadets in the hope of keeping them on and they don’t want to and in the process losing others who were equally as good but ignored and they left as well. There is one recently who was groomed for a commission, took it and when wing started turning the screw about being an OC, did a smart turn to the right, joined the Scouts (he has a number of his family involved) and is loving it. Apparently he is a pack leader and doing lots of things the ATC hierarchy would have palpitations over without half a tree of paperwork.

I don’t understand the comment “without some idea of what they want to achieve having explained how they can get involved.”, as what they want to achieve doesn’t really matter until they’ve been around a while and decided what they want to do.

The cadets not staying on past 17 is directly correlated to the notion of tests etc for cadet NCO promotions, as being an NCO is one of those boxes to tick to stay on past 17. So put too many barriers in the way, reduce the number of NCOs and reduce the number eligible to stay. But being a cadet NCO has zero bearing on whether someone can be a member of staff, given there are many staff out there who have never been cadets, so setting arbitrary criteria to stay as a cadet past your 18th birthday and no idea or requirement, with respect to become staff at 20 or any point in the future, is a complete nonsense that could only have been drawn up by someone who was clueless. I see all the usual rubbish is being spouted about maturity of 18 yo and so on. I see too many former cadets in their 20s and older pratting around in uniform who act as childishly as any cadet below majority.

Given we have become a ever more inward looking organisation when it comes to recruiting staff we have to be careful that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have too many over-zealous OCs out there who are far too blinkered and cannot see the bigger picture.

Notwithstanding all of this, I am firmly in the camp of stopping cadet service at the end of year 13 and adult staff service starting after this point as 18 year olds. DBS unnecessary prior, as per CCF comment. I cannot understand why the ATC is so bogged down with the idea of keeping essentially adults and expecting to them to be adults sometimes and not at other times, as cadets beyond the age of 18. Especially in this day and age, when they are probably more adult at 18 than many of their forebears, due to in large part to the internet. Bring them in as staff when they are 18 and use that latent enthusiasm for a couple of years, before the potential drudgery of uniformed service, dulls them.


If you were to stop people being cadets at 18 and becoming staff what would you do with courses such as JL / QAIC - would these remain accessible to young CFAVs (Under 25) or would you end these courses?

I think that these courses do give us better CFAVs and for those that move on a really boost even compared to standard cadet service.


Going back to the original comment. I’m of the opinion that cadets promotions at lower levels should be done by the CO on the basis of the cadets skills. Not all cadets are up the front shouters, some are good teachers, or organisers.,

Doing lots of courses here , there and everywhere is fine if you have nothing better to do with your weekends But many cadets and staff have other responsibilities outside of the ACO. Is it fair to discriminate against these people?


When I was OC for 10 years I asked the staff for their reccomendations in writing and the reasons. I advised everyone to consider them as Cpls at camp or on another unit. Can we be confident of their good performance.

If we all agreed the allocated cadets, never more than one per evening, were sent to my office.
I always enquired “Do you know why you are in here” The answers were often enlightning to things I didnt know weher going on. If the answer was no I would tell them they were improperly dressed, paiuse, hand over the stripes. I also told them that they were carrying the stripes not the other way round and dont abuse the power as they were on 6 months probation. I then told a Sgt to mentor them (picking the right match)

My current boss ignores all our advice, does it when we dont expect on parade and chooses her favourites who usually crash and burn as they arent appropriate. I hate this scheme, I always had a CWO but we never have anyone higher than SGT at this unit.


Never judge a book by its cover. Although unusual there is occasions where cadets join at 16 for example and show superior leadership skills and are promoted before their piers. I want flexibility and choice not a dictated tri-service promotion matrix.


by this i mean - what has motivated them to get involved? ex service wanting to pass on skills? ex-Cadet in a previous life wanting to get back involved? (worried) Parent wanting to see what little Johnny/Jane are going to get up to?
someone with a specific interest or experience (pilot, shooter, radio amateur, first aider) wanting to pass on experience and knowledge…

I’d like to think as an OC i know what kinda of CI i would be looking at - someone who will be looking for uniform ASAP, someone who could consider it in 3-5 years, someone who is always going to be a CI and will be 100% dedicated to the Sqn, someone who wants to know more and needs to get involved to find out, someone who we’ll only see once a month but who comes with knowledge that fills a gap on the unit[quote=“glyncc, post:36, topic:3309”]
When I was OC for 10 years I asked the staff for their reccomendations in writing and the reasons. I advised everyone to consider them as Cpls at camp or on another unit. Can we be confident of their good performance.

this is always my criteria. a former OC would consider “favourites” but not consider the impact of them on a Wing Weekend event or even an annual camp. not only would they be out of their depth but it looks poorly on the unit[quote=“Stevieboy02, post:37, topic:3309”]
Although unusual there is occasions where cadets join at 16 for example

i joined at 15yr9months and stayed until i was 20 reaching FS
I have been in long enough to gain a CFM now…
Age was not a barrier, i feel it was my attitude which got me where i did


Why not do something radical like oh I don’t know let adults do them. I know it would mean some not being able to ‘compute’ as many of the staff would be CIs, so not be in uniform and might be able to think for themselves and better critique what is going on. I’m sure many of wannabes out there would love a JL type course.

On the whole many courses like those mentioned are wasted on cadets and I’ve always doubted the Corps gets the real return that you allude to. I know 2 squadrons where they have had cadets do QAIC and 3 JL and the COs, as far as they’re concerned, have not got the benefit of them as the cadets have been too busy with school and part-time work, or, they have left.

If staff did them the return would be 100 fold over what we get now, as staff generally hang around longer than the cadets the courses are aimed at. What would you sooner have, a cadet aged 17/18 doing a course and gaining the knowledge knowing that you might get 2ish years or a member of staff doing it and the cadets getting 5, 10 plus years benefit and staff who feel better able to contribute.

Even when I was a cadet I don’t recall being put upon, even as a CWO, as much as we would seem to like to now, instructor for this and that and being in an odd half-way house of cadet when it chooses and staff when it chooses.


since when were these courses training Cadets for the Corps benefit?
These are not BASIC or MOI courses where there is a more than tangible benefit to a Squadron if they have Cadets with said skills/knowledge/understanding.

Why can’t these courses be seen in the same light as a radio course or first aid training weekend? As a training course to benefit the Cadet, to broadened their skills and experience, to allow them to better understand and approach a scenario?
Why is there a constant argument from disgruntled Staff that 18+ Cadets are getting opportunities? – opportunities which are a USP for the RAFAC against other youth groups and to a lesser degree Cadet Forces.

It is no wonder we see a lack of 18+ Cadets staying on if there is a constant belief it should only be for the benefit of the organisation!