What is a Classification?

There are four different cadet classification (or grade) badges that show what stage of training a cadet has completed. The training is progressive and is designed to give you the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to more fully take part in the other activities available to you. Training will vary between formal lectures, hands on projects and plenty of outdoors ‘actually doing it’ activities.


First Class


A cadet is certified 1st Class on passing examinations in first aid, the history of the RAF and ATC, weapons handling (.22 No.8 rifle), basic airmanship, initial expedition training, and communications. All of these examinations are set within the Squadron. On passing their 1st Class, a cadet will receive a four pointed star to wear on their brassard.



On becoming 1st Class, a Cadet will become eligible to begin his or her Leading cadet training. During this training, Cadets will learn about Advanced Airmanship, Basic Navigation and Principles of Flight. After passing all three subjects, cadets will receive a badge with an embroidered four-bladed propeller. After qualifying to be Leading, a Cadet may start his or her Senior Cadet Training.



After gaining the Leading Cadet qualification, cadets are eligible to start training for the senior classification. This takes the form of training in two subjects, one from the set of compulsory subjects, the other chosen by the individual cadet.



The next classification you study for is Master Air Cadet. Continuing from Senior, you will study a further 3 subjects, from the 12 available to you. Once you have completed the 3 assessments, you will become a Master Air Cadet. Again this should take about 1 year after you become a Senior Air Cadet. Upon completion of your Master Air Cadet training you will be eligible for a BTEC Certificate in Aviation Studies.

Instructor Cadet


The final classification you can achieve is Instructor Air Cadet. This does not involve formal examinations, but does require attendance upon a Method of Instruction Course, followed by a consolidation period and assessment. This will qualify you to teach other cadets various aspects of the Air Cadet syllabus. Unlike the earlier classifications, you obtain a lanyard as opposed to a badge. This makes instructor cadets very distinct and shows they have completed the full level of academic training available to them.


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