When to start CFC process

Hi, I’m a staff cadet flight sergeant and looking to become an officer. It feels like I’ve barely finished all the AVIP work but simultaneously 20 doesn’t feel that far off.
I’m aware of a lot of logistical problems with others looking at becoming officers in my local area (one has been waiting nearly a year for their interview with rgn despite being needed fairly promptly to take over as an OC) and was wondering when is the right time to approach the current OC and begin the process of applying for a commission and “staying in uniform” so to speak. I don’t want to jump the gun and do anything horribly far ahead but simultaneously if it’s taking over a year to process things I don’t particularly want to delay any longer than I have to. Thanks in advance.

If you’re already a staff cadet then I doubt you’ll be jumping the gun! Do you know if your wing/region runs ‘uniform pathways’ courses or a similarly named course? If I were you I’d be trying to get on one of those ASAP.

Do it now! And ask about the above courses.

I’ve just had a flick through ACP 20 and I can’t actually see a guide-line age on when the process should start, but AFAIK, the earlier the better!

I would start the conversations now both with your CO & through then your staff officer or sector Cdr. Both will appreciate being able to plan ahead & probably have it done to have a chat with you at some point about your future plans anyway.

It then means that your two years as staff cadet are geared to that role & workload & the types of stuff adult officers & staff do. Work out a mentoring plan & then get yourself through it.

You may need to be prepared for sometime as a CI (say 6months) due to admin. this is fine you can still train for the role, give you an idea of the people you will be commanding & leading and is quicker than going SNCO then officer. If it is commissioned that you are most suited to & the role that you will eventually end up no point in wasting time.

Hope this helps

Due to the unique way that HQAC works, you should have started the process at aged 13 years and 3 months to avoid being suspended at age 20.


The question I would ask, what are my future plans regarding employment or further education including moving away from home for education, relationships, accommodation etc. Be honest with the answers you give yourself. Life is not just the RAFAC as many on here in particular in the past two years and with the impending financial tightening will tell you, changes in work and work dynamics plus family time.

I’m not trying to put you off, but future planning is vital.


What?! There are other things?!

Unlike RAFAC, and that is not sarcasm.

In my wing, we advise starting the process/application by 19y 6 months. The conversations, personally, I start at 19 asking what their plans are post cadets. I normally recommend they chat with lots of uniformed personnel around the area to get a feel for which role they think suits them best and then start coaching them through the process with the aim of appointment on their 20th birthday.

I also strongly recommend putting in a CI application at the same time just in case there are delays with interviews/appointments so they don’t get booted out at 20