The RAFAC in 2019


Currently doing my level 3 education and training through moodle and as much as it can be a bit of a pig to navigate it provides real structure to learning.

I know my wing are looking at putting any course pre work on to it so that we can ensure cadets actually complete it instead of a tick box exercise and then its an audit platform to ensure those cadets are ready to attend.

I think we are now in a culture where we spoon feed cadets to progress them. I think a culture change needs to happen where the ownership is on the cadet to develop and push themselves because thats how it is in the real world…you want a promotion at work you need to push and develop yourself for it.


100% agree that we spoon feed cadets. The current exam system is a huge factor in this. If a cadet can use Google, they can easily reach MAC.


However, before we can stop spoon feeding our cadets, we need to start supporting our volunteers better. In order to deliver the training material properly our volunteers need to know it.
Our Regions (or maybe Wings) should be hosting regular training weekends for cfav’s to attend and learn subjects that they are interested in, so that they can teach them properly.

Once we have a system in place that supports our cadets being taught the material, then we can make the exams harder etc etc.


The ACPs are so far out of date in some cases as to be useless.


well ACP’s haven’t been the provided training material for many years now . . .

for training to be improved we need to:
A) Implement a system that keeps our training material up to date and relevant.
B) Implement standardised Region/Wing training for CFAV’s and encorage people to attend.
C) Improve the current e-learning system.


Agreed. What squadrons can teach, depends on the skills of the staff available. Some squadrons are luckier than others in this aspect.

We have quite a young staff team, so we can teach from what we remember. However, we used the old paper based system when we were cadets a few years ago and things have changed since. Often, I find that the SNCOs are better suited to teaching the senior/MAC syllabus.

I don’t know how someone could come in off the street and become a staff member, then be expected to teach our syllabus. There definitely needs to be some corps training for CFAVs.


You are 100% right, During the L3 course we have learnt that the teacher needs to know the subject they are teaching, or there really is no point teaching it at all as it will ruin the learning environment for the learner. The whole class (which is a RAFAC course) keep flagging that some of the Senior & MAC courses that the cadet need to learn can no be taught properly by 80% of CFAVs as they do not have the understanding.

A CI at my Sqn is running a train the trainer course for principles of flight within SW region, not sure what the uptake is on it. Because he has realised this gap exists and being an ex BA Captain and CFI he wants and likes to share that knowledge but the question is surely this should of been available through the Corps anyways. We are dependant on one of cadet SNCOs to teach some of the subjects as he just knows the stuff anyways through personal interests! It should be we as a staff population are able to teach it.


I’d argue that even First Class and Leading can’t be delivered properly without actually knowing the content, at least a vauge understanding that allows you to “wing it” on the night -_-


I did think that!


With this location is key and where it starts falls over. Even within many Wings people attending is not without its problems. Too far say an hour plus drive, note drive not distance, and when this has to be done early doors and later on, especially in the winter months, it loses its appeal. I’ve had this discussion with several Wing TOs and even offered a hall (it used to be an old school so has several rooms) near to us which free, plenty of parking and in the middle of a town, not backside of nowhere and it never happened as it essentially meant those instructing would have drive, ignoring the fact it’s no more than 15 miles from 11 squadrons.


Oh absolutely and there is no real solution to this, but if we are to improve the ATC for the Cadets, then we’ve got to do something, rather than nothing. We can continue delivering mostly mediocre quality training, (yes some staff will be SME’s etc etc) or we can encourage each other to do the training to improve our own knowledge and understanding.

You don’t expect an RCO or a SAAI to run a range or teach how to use a weapon system safely, without having gone on a training course. You don’t expect a Mountain Leader to have not gone out on the mountains, gained experience and the ML.

Why should we not enable cfavs to deliver classification training to a higher standard. Its not a safety requirement so shouldn’t be a mandatory training course in order to teach the subject, but strongly encouraged to those who need it.

The best option I see is Region Training teams, like the SATTs that travel and deliver courses all over the region.


Or like i previously suggested a residential facility like ATF but not at ATF needs to be a separate entirety, A great venue would be these Aviation Colleges there was lots of PR about earlier in the year.
Or…im going to be controversial here, bin of the QAIC course and use the RACs. It would be more impactful and beneficial to the rest of the Corps to, rather than teaching a few selected cadets who learn to teach whilst wearing flying suits and get a new those SMEs training the cadets into training members of the CFAV population this will spread the knowledge even further than teaching a small percentage of our senior cadet population. Surely this is the easiest option?

For me id rather and it would be easier go away for a week and learn how to teach Principles Of Flight, Air Nav, Pilot & Aircraft Handling (This is an example not sure if its achievable) instead of spending odd day or weekends having to learn


It depends how much content we want to cover in a single sitting doesn’t it?
Top up / interest day/weekend training course for individual subjects, or as you suggest, a week away to cover an entire category.

The RACs would be a good location for that, but I don’t see the need to bin QAIC.


If you look at my RAC. QAIC Basically own it. Getting in there resembles fort knox. Those staff teaching QAIC are fully capable of teaching CFAVs but they wouldn’t to commit time to both would they?


This suggests the failing of the e-learning environment.
I can recall many new staff being given books with the intent they read it, learn it, sort out lessons and go. The books provided all the info required that could be embellished on as staff became more proficient. This is how I imagine the vast majority of older CFAV learned and because the exam system wasn’t so mamby pamby you had to learn the stuff and then if you stayed in you were properly equipped to instruct and just got on with it.
The problem with classification subjects is they aren’t as exciting as weapons or FMS and many older cadets turn their noses up, despite it being the bread and butter of the Air Cadets.
One of the ironies about knowing the subject is that many teachers are not qualified in the subjects they teach. I recall speaking to our kids science teachers at parents’ evenings and other things and from what I could ascertain out of the 9 science teachers, there were only 5 with degrees in a traditional science, although there was only one chemist. one physicist and 3 biologists, the others had degrees in sociology, psychology, maths and geography yet they all taught all 3 sciences. Asked why and they said money. Apparently science, because it is more difficult than other subjects, being 3 different areas, attracts a premium on salaries.

The something that should be done is for those tasked with training people is the expectation, to go where the people are.
Although if we had proper books covering the subjects (not online / electronic files) people could read them and pick up sufficient information to instruct in them and today with the WWW there is plenty of stuff around to pick more info.


Many years ago there used to be week courses dealing with Radio and Radar at Cosford and Weather and Air Nav at at the Nav school at Finningley.


Problem is with long courses like that is staff finding time to attend them. Weekend courses will be a push also, but more suitable.

I think the way forward will be teaching cadets in bulk at a set venue from qualified staff, for example, as we do with first aid courses etc.


Or embrace Skype, pod casts etc and use video conferencing like universities do for distance learning.


That is a great idea. Although, again depends on what resources the Sqn can utilise. Some Sqns are miles ahead of others in terms of technology.


Things like skype are free and interactive so not particulary difficult. The RAF use video conferencing so why not the ATC??