RAFAC Medical exclusions for cfavs

It’s the unknown ones with a cardiac condition that are the problem, fortunately teenagers are being screened more and more by people like the Oliver King Foundation and CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). Professional Rugby League for years have been screening their young players. The Isle of Man last year IIRC offered screening to all teenagers.

Which is much higher than the BGA who require the DVLA class 2 professional driver standards for their instructors without seeing an AME iirc


Its not the VGSs idea they think its stupid too, especially as DPHC cant provide enough medicals!

Its a 22 Group/DPHC thing

This exact situation resulted in the loss of one exceptionally talented, potential gliding instructor. White coat syndrome - documented in their medical records - normal BP until they encounter a doctor or nurse…!

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I had a new Sgt once due on SSIC. They had a knee injury so were planning on taking trainers to do the drill, as without them they would have been in horrendous pain.

ATF said no way, can’t do it in dress shoes then you won’t complete the course.

They turned up anyway, deflated and resigned to not being able to pass.

On the first day, they discovered another participant had 1 leg and couldn’t do drill at all.

What a stupid system.


I assume they passed…

Of course they did. They were a perfectly good SNCO, some stupid rule about walking in time with people, surprisingly, didn’t actually mean anything in the real world.


That’s good though. Does seem like some common sense has been applied.

Given RAFAC won’t be exempted from the equalities act as the RAF is that just won’t fly anymore. Not withstanding the ridiculousness of it in the first place!

Really we should be actively looking to recruit those who might be put off by their disabilities. How can we be welcoming to cadets from all backgrounds if we’re not with our staff?

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Reading this is a bit worrying for me when I want to leave the service :rofl:

Absolutely no way the service would ever take me on again, and if RAFAC seem to have the same standards for those in uniform…

Yep. Me too. I’ve seen uniformed CFAVs with all sorts of mobility and health issues (including ex-regs). They are simply given duties that they can perform. Only time a CFAV needs a medical is if he’s aircrew on a VGS.


As a follow on question, how many RAFAC facilities are not accessible? I know of several squadrons locally that can only be entered via steps, have internal stairs or only have 2 small toilets. I don’t believe for a second RFCAs are prepared to ensure every building is modified to meet the legal standards, until a case is raised for an individual site and even then could be a challenge to retrofit a wooden hut or listed building! CFAVs can be asked to join a unit with proper access, but cadets may not be able to.

If a cadet in a wheelchair (for example as I know other disabilities will have different requirements/limitations) wishes to join their local unit, I’d hope we’d all make every effort to enable this, but there are numerous activities that maybe unavailable or prove virtually impractical. If they can’t do drill can they pass 1st class drill assessment, can they attend camp (the coach would need to be specialist or an additional vehicle provided), flying & gliding - entry/exit from aircraft especially in an emergency, marksmanship, Fieldcraft & first aid require the adoption of different positions etc? Some of these are easier to solve than others or just involve additional costs but compared to their peers how much of the “cadet experience” is available to them, how many of us can honestly say we wouldn’t advise them to think of another organisation or at least warn them of the limited scope we can realistically offer?

I really think we should be as inclusive as possible, but where is that line drawn?

Due to the nature of volunteers the bar for providing reasonable adjustments is a lot lower. Paid employees you have a legal obligation but volunteers it’s just where practicable & minimum costs.

So ramps would be fine, maybe a stair lift, but nothing structural to the building.

It’s down to Sqns to adapt the activities to the staff/cadet.

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One of my previous units was on a TA Centre, their was no way the building could’ve been converted to make it accessible for someone in a Wheelchair. Fortunately it was never an issue at the time, but they say will come and their is nothing that can be done except get a new building.

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It’s not always possible to make adjustments and in those situations you just have to say goodbye. I worked in an office on Fleet Street a few years back and there were steps to the front door and then stairs or a lift inside. In a fire you had to go out a door on the top floor. Up a ladder onto the roof of next door and then down their staircase. We had to turn down a great candidate as they were in a wheelchair and there was no safe way of evacuating them. The firm won the subsequent tribunal case as there were no reasonable adjustments which could be made. Probably wouldn’t work now with home working being more prevalent but we can’t expect a cadet to join a normal parade night from home.

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Weve had to turn cadets away before for similar reasons. We are upstairs in a ta building. However rather than just saying sorry no bye, we help them get in touch with another surrounding sqn that does have access


I would hope it would be looked into slightly more in depth before an outright no, so some examples where you might think it would be a no but actually there are opportunities if the right person is asked (that’s a whole other conversation on how to push it out that it’s available)

Safety in the Tutors rules out a lot of cadet regardless of their severity of a condition it’s the condition that rules them out. However, there are a number of approved (even with the current regs on civil aircraft) companies/charities that specialise in giving disabled youngsters the opportunity of flying.

Shooting is another one which might be ruled out, but down south their is a cadet who has only one limb but they w got them shooting based on prosetic attachments etc, if your blind there are tools that uses lasers and sounds - which will be funded.

Buildings will always be the most difficult - it has to be safe for an individual to evacuate from, this could mean they can’t use some of the buildings facilities. HQAC are generally really good with doing what they can within the realms of the building. Even building an outside toilet block as the toilets were on the top floor.

Some may require additions which aren’t structural but can really change someones ease - such as if you have round door handles there is a attachment to make them rectangular. Anyone who has muscle weakness (going through Chemo, autoimmune disorder, has a stroke etc) won’t be able to use a round door handle but would a rectangular one.

The key is what can we facilitate that allows not only them a cadet journey, but also won’t impact the rest of the cadets. And that can be a really hard balance - for example the on a Cranwell course they talks about if someone needs a one on one carer then if they are to join someone will need to join as a CFAV to enable that whilst the staff on the Sqn carry on. Cadets on medication must have the maturity and responsibility to take that medication themselves.

The Air Cadets is a very accessible organisation - but more is needed to get information on how to make it accessible because as staff we won’t know it all, and its unlikely wing will either


The thread is aimed at restrictions on CFAV and most of your response seems to relate specifically to cadets. However, at risk of continuing to drag this away from the CFAV angle I need to mention that the above isn’t strictly true because of the 6424 process.

Luckily I guess, in this case, the medical issues relating to flying cadets remain, for the wider cadet population, largely theoretical anyway…

Bit late to the party on this one, I suffer from partially service related CTPSD and quite frankly the corps makes no exceptions or allowances for mental health.
I have been to ATF/Command and Leadership School twice now, first time my on the Friday on debreif the Flt Lt McGavigon suggested they were going to send me home on the monday when I struggled a little with the icebreaker (Obviously I made the grade after they “gave the benefit of the doubt”) Second time I recived comments I was not prepared for the course after struggling Pshycologically.
Both times I mentioned my issues before I attended.

That is atrocious and I’m so sorry to hear you were treated like that