Training officer role

So ive been offered to take on the training officer role and was wondering from others who have done this before. What things does this role involve doing exactly and what are they expected to manage?

There are a broad, generic set of Terms of Reference for the Sqn Training Officer role on Sharepoint. There are the standard “CFAV things” (Child Protection, H&S compliance, blah, blah) but the bread and butter is…

1. Squadron Matters.

a. Preparation of an annual Sqn training programme

b. Development of a policy for academic training and training standards within the Sqn.

c. Provide and maintain a Junior Cadet and First Class Training system.

d. Ensuring all cadets are prepared for the examination syllabus.

e. Assist in administering and monitoring progress in BTEC in aviation Studies and the Public Services Diploma.

f. Act as focal point for all BTEC, City and Guilds and ILM issues.

g. Keeping conversant with the Air Training Corps syllabus

h. Liaising with the Wing Training officer on a regular basis.

i. Ensuring they are conversant with all requirements and regulations pertaining to staff development, training and progression and that staff attend all relevant training and development courses.

f. Ensuring all new staff and cadets over the age of 18 complete BASIC and ensuring they hold all the certificates of completion.

g. Assisting the Sqn Cdr in ensuring the Sqn staff and cadets comply with any training policy issue or directive as directed by HQ RAFAC, Region or Wing.

What you will actually do, however, will vary from Squadron to Squadron, and OC to OC!!! It’s very dependent on the staff team around you as to how much work you have to do! As, after the OC, the Training Officer role is one of the easiest roles to burn out giving it 110% all the time!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an intensely rewarding role - it’s one of the best roles and you literally get to shape and mould the evening by evening training programme; you get the enrich the cadet experience by delivering a fun, interesting, varied and exciting training programme.


You have a lot on at the moment - attempting to blast through your AVIP requirements, possibly taking on Trg Off role, considering a commission, and a few other things you’ve asked for advice on.

Your initial period of learning the organisation and admin is a lot of work too and will take time to fully understand and become efficient at.

Training Officer is a very involved and integral part of the unit running smoothly and cadets being happy - it will take time to learn the role and find your style and what does and doesn’t work, as well as forming the necessary relationships with the other instructors and learning their skills and interests. Even once the ball is rolling, you’ll always have work to do that will need to be prioritised.

Taking a commission requires learning and revision, interview processes, and a week away, plus learning drill and how to prep your uniform.

Many of us spin multiple plates. Some of us spin too many too early, but most of us built up gradually and ensured each plate was stable before spinning up another. Then many of us ended up spinning too many anyway.

If you take too much on too soon, you won’t be able to build the deep knowledge and efficiency to easily perform a role. You will be more effective and less stressed doing 1 thing well than 4 things barely scraping by. You have plenty of time available ahead of you, so there’s no need to rush.

Please speak to your OC, agree some priorities, and allow other things to be “happy to work towards, but let’s focus on priorities and then see if there’s the time and capacity to do more”.

For example(s):

Cadet of the Year is a great “nice to have”. But a system of points scoring is an added complication for you to track, when ultimately a nomination from staff at the end of the year will do the job for now. “But a points system is fairer” - yes, but you are currently potentially overhauling the training programme, fundraising methods, and adding new subjects to what is delivered on unit. What good is a points system if those things aren’t solid?

Blue leadership - I’ve said it’s something that you can deliver. But if you don’t have experience with the content, if you haven’t built up your leadership experience using those skills, how effective can you be at assessing it? Instead, get yourself on someone else’s course at the back of the room, learn it, and watch the assessments. Then get yourself a bit of practice of delivering briefs to the cadets when you have tasks you want them to do.

And for recruitment… if your training and activity programme isn’t effective, however much you recruit you will struggle to retain. It’s worth considering accepting smaller intakes in the beginning while the programme is beefed up and fine-tuned. A few, hardcore, interested, and engaged cadets are easier to work with and worth more in the long term than lots of half-interested that will just drop out later - you create a programme and plan activities for dozens of cadets, and then that programme and those activities struggle to work when you suddenly have a reduced group size.

…and when your plans fall apart or aren’t as popular as you hoped you will question your life choices and wonder why you bothered. That’s a rollercoaster we’ve all ridden at some stage, but the successes answer the cry. Set yourself up for some simple successes before riding the helter-skelter.


Don’t get me wrong, we love to see enthusiasm, but more than that we hate to see it wasted and withered.

Personally, having an engaging programme which is thought through in advance (2 months min) and doesnt repeat over and over again.

My team has worked hard to create a programme that allows our cadets to step up at each classification. I.e. we will do leadership exercises for each classification to help develop key skills but First Class we will instruct at blue level, Leading (depending on competency) we will then instruct at Bronze level but we may hold off until Senior cadet level.

I also want to make sure that my training officer has a handle on where each cadet is upto with their classifications and ensures everyone is giving the opportunity to progress.

Other areas like exeternal events can be done by anyone liaising with the TO to ensure it fits nicely into the programme.

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