Timings for new cadet progression


What are the current guidelines for timings from joining to second class cadet, first class cadet enrollment, uniform?

Thee was a leaflet apparently sanctioned by HQAC as it was at the time…induction handbook?

…is this still current? I have found some cadets 6 months + after joining who have no 3822, have not been enrolled, nor gained their first class classification! Subsequently they haven’t been off the Sqn premises since they joined.

Well, it’s possible to have events that don’t require First Class, depending on what it is.

Enrollment… Whether or not you hold enrollment “ceremonies” or have gotten around to it with your latest intake, it’s nothing more than a digital “paper exercise” to be SMS compliant to send a cadet somewhere.

No 3822 is poor, although, in a pinch, we will throw one at cadets just before an event.

Our main recruitment effort is start of the school year, so by the time the next year’s first flying comes around they should have completed Airmanship/PoF. For overall completion, as long as they’re done by summer camp season we don’t see much of a problem. I think there’s more content now than when that induction handbook was first created, but believe the ACTO states 6-9 months (off the top of my head).

Our region has the Cyber Awareness Course (the one run by an outside body) in a few weeks. Requirement …enrolled cadets. Our new cadets 8 months in won’t apply as they (and I had this from a parent) are recruits, so aren’t eligible.

8 months in! “Gotten around to it”? After a couple of months you should be sworn in as a member surely? Should be doing all sorts and enrolled 6 months ago no?

Is there an official line written in an acp?

So, is this your unit? I’m confused at your complaint.

Mark them enrolled, send them to wherever then book a night for whatever festivities you want to hold.

It’s not like uttering an incantation is going to affect a cadet’s ability to not spontaneously combust on an activity.


The obstacle I find for getting cadet 3822s issues is that the training people fail to tell the admin people that the appropriate sections are complete (and forget to update SMS too), so we don’t know that they are ready for a 3822. When we prepare the 3822 for issue we also enrol them on SMS - we do not (and never really have done as far as I recall) an enrolment ceremony.

Any timing guidelines need to be taken with a pinch of salt as they may depend on cadet availability and how the training programme is organised - if you don’t want all your newbies sitting in classes while everybody else is doing some practical activity like sports, leadership etc, then the programme can drift. Just try not to forget about it.

Oh i envy you having different people :laughing:
I just forget to tell myself!


This is my unit. I’m not a very regular attendee these days and was surprised to find this group still sitting in a UT First Class lesson so I asked them some questions. Are you enrolled? No. Do you have a 3822? Well we wrote our names on the front of one and they were taken away again. Are you a recruit or a second class cadet? We have no idea…etc

They are all on sms.

I have no sway over what goes on these days, but to me, over six months as a probationer as we used to call them, is too long.

ACP36 is the document I referred to. Is it current or has it been superseded does anyone know please?

This is the cadet induction booklet. I don’t think I have ever seen it updated so assume it is still current (though it would be an ACTO that defines the requirement)

I have a more useful, custom version of ACP36 that I use.

Personally, I aim to follow this timeline:

First 1 - 2 months: complete ATC, RAF, Security and Basic Drill
If you’re lucky, get them into uniform
Enrol them
~4 months: complete rest of First class training.

Walking in the door to enrollment shouldn’t take more than 4-6 weeks.
If you push through it’s done in 4 easily.
If you accidentally schedule an intake over the Easter standown it might take 6. Cough.

We take longer to get to enrollment just to weed out the ones who don’t last. On average we get 10-15% wastage during the probationary period, so we schedule the enrollment to happen after about 4 months of the 6 month intake programme.

That’s just about what used to happen. I take it someone has dropped the ball then, rather than the guidelines having changed…?

I find that 4 weeks of “basic training” (albeit with a couple of joint ‘fun’ command task activities with the rest of the Sqn) is usually sufficient to weed out those who realise that the ATC isn’t for them. I usually find one or two drop from a intake of a dozen or so.
Usually it’s either because they have other commitments and find two evenings a week to be too much, or it’s because they thought it was going to be a chilled-out youth club. When they realise that we have a disciplined structure and it’s not just playing silly buggers with their mates every night some of them look elsewhere. That’s fine.

Now, each to their own I grant you but given that we are supposed to enroll cadets within one month and that all they are required to complete prior to enrollment is “the ATC” and “basic drill” I can’t help but wonder how you manage to drag that out over a period of 4 months?

I’d also question whether an increased drop-out rate during a 400% prolonged probationary period could have anything to do with them feeling as though they’re simply not progressing.

It can’t feel good to be “just a probationer” for 4 months before being enrolled as a “real cadet”.
I’d say get them in, keep them active, and get them enrolled. So what if you lose another one or two over the coming months post enrollment?
If they drop out, they drop out… What difference does it make whether they drop out as a probationer or as an enrolled cadet?
I’d question whether it’s fair to hold back the keen cadets for an additional 3 months just to “weed out” one or two prior to enrollment.

From the outside looking in, I’d say no and it looks pretty poor. My (ACF) policy has always been to get cadets enrolled and into uniform as soon as possible. After seeing if they return for a couple of weeks, they get the form and go straight on the system. Some may drop out but that’s life.

We’ve got a squadron of 60+, one of the biggest in the wing, with intakes of 15-20 every 6 months.

Our intake programme also brings in exposure to most of the blue badges, as well as the full first class syllabus, while making sure they spend a good amount of time mixing with the rest of the squadron.

We’ve been doing it for 6 years and it works for us.

It also takes an age to get uniforms in the first place for us, so while we order the kit as soon as they pitch up (or rather, they bring back the form…) we’re waiting 3/4 months for uniforms.

It’s also fair to say that for the last 6/7 weeks of that they’re full members of the squadron in all but the badges on the brassard.

Any chance you could share what your programme looks like over those 6 months ? Having just taken up the Training Officer role it would be good to learn what works.

Seems like someone on the unit has screwed up.Those cadets will be voting with their feet before long.

PM me an email address and I’ll dig one out for you

1 Like

It takes twice as long as that for uniform to arrive.

Yes, you’re right.
But a lack of uniform, whilst not ideal, shouldn’t be a bar to enrollment.

Over the years I’ve managed to acquire enough stock to equip most new cadets, which is then replaced when the next order arrives.
However for the first few weeks of training my guys are in coveralls and I’d have no qualms about enrolling them in those if uniform looked to be still some way off.
Alternatively if they had all suitable No 3 kit I’d let them wear that routinely until blues arrive.