I agree with Daws here, and the staff advising you may be wrong. I have found nothing in policy or documentation to suggest that Staff cadets need to be referred to as such. It is not a rank in itself, just a flag that the cadet in question is an adult. The Staff Cadet rank slide (as was the Instructor Cadet slides and white tapes before it) is solely an indicator of over-18 service.
“Staff Cadet” is a type of membership, as is “Cadet”, “CFAV”, “Civcom”, “Registered CivCom”
Rank is a different construct that runs beside that. Cadets and Staff Cadets share a rank structure, while Uniformed CFAV have a separate rank structure.
A Cadet FS is superior in rank to a Staff Cadet Sgt or below, though the Staff Cadet, as an adult, has the responsibility to intercede if there is a welfare concern.
In writing we may preface a cadet’s rank with “Cadet” or “Staff Cadet” purely for clarity, but this is seldom spoken and routinely ignored. For the most part it is not particularly relevant to what we do in the daily programme, but becomes handy when we need to worry about supervision ratios or accommodation.
This is a quote from ACP20 PI501 para 5 that implies that rank and staff cadet status are separate. My bold.:
Staff cadets should be given as much supervisory and organisational responsibility as their rank, individual ability, experience, qualifications and personal qualities allow.