Becoming an Adult Volunteer in the Air Training Corps

The Air Training Corps offers great challenges and rewards to its Adult Volunteers. Little compares to seeing a cadet's face after their first flight or the first time they get to sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet. Don't worry if you have no military or cadet experience as the ATC thrives on the mix of background and skills that its staff bring. You also shouldn't worry if you don't have any skills that you think would be useful, the ATC is able to give you training in any of our activities to allow you to train the cadets.

Being an Adult Volunteer allows you to help develop young people's skills and confidence which benefits both the individual and the community as a whole. Adult Volunteers in the ATC also have the opportunity to develop their own skills through National Governing Body qualifications and Vocational qualifications. Many find that their work with the ATC is recognised by their employers.

There are currently over 10,000 Adult Volunteers working with cadets across the country every week. Adult Volunteers can take up four different roles within the ATC which are explained below. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the Squadron or drop in on a parade night to speak to the Commanding Officer.

  • Civilian Instructor
  • Adult Senior Non-Commissioned Officer
  • Officer
  • Civilian Welfare Committee Member

  • Civilian Instructor

    All Adult Volunteers will spend some time as a Civilian Instructor. Civilian Instructors (or CIs) are non-uniformed members of staff who usually help out with subjects and activities that are of interest to them (for example shooting, teaching or adventure training).

    CIs are the backbone of the ATC, making up over half of all the staff. CIs do not have a minimum time commitment and many only attend the Squadron when they are involved in activities. CIs are able to attend many weekend activities and camps, which allows them to get experience in many of the aspects of the ATC.

    Although CIs are not eligible for paid training days, they are paid home-to-duty costs for travelling to the Squadron and for travelling to many weekend activities.



    Adult Senior Non-Commissioned Officer

    After a period as a CI, you may want to go into uniform. As an Adult SNCO you will take responsibility for dress, drill and discipline on the Squadron and work with the Squadron Officers to run the Squadron efficiently.

    To become a uniform member of staff you must first complete a pre-uniform course run by the Wing at RAF Brampton. This course helps prepare you for uniformed service and includes talks by existing uniformed staff on what is required as well as practice interviews.

    Once you have completed your pre-uniform course you will be put forward by the Squadron for consideration as an SNCO. Before you are appointed as a SNCO you will undergo a Board to determine whether you are a suitable candidate. The Board is similar to any interview, but you well be asked about your Corps knowledge as well as run through role plays to find out about how you would handle situations. The Board is chaired by the Wing Commander with the Wing Executive Officer (a Squadron Leader) and a Wing Staff Officer (also a Squadron Leader).

    If you are successful you will be appointed as a Sergeant in the ATC. This appointment is confirmed after you have attended a week long course at the Adult Training Facility at RAF Cranwell.

    Adult SNCOs receive 28 days paid training days a year on top of home-to-duty payments. They do have a minimum commitment of 12 hours a month. This equates to four parade nights, but can also include weekends.


    Officer

    You may feel that you would like to go into uniform as an Officer. As a Squadron Officer you will be responsible for ensuring the Squadron runs efficiently, planning and running events and ensuring the staff and cadets are occupied at all times. You may even be asked to take command of a Squadron.

    To become a uniform member of staff you must first complete a pre-uniform course run by the Wing at RAF Brampton. This course helps prepare you for uniformed service and includes talks by existing uniformed staff on what is required as well as practice interviews.

    Once you have completed your pre-uniform course you will be put forward by the Squadron for consideration for a commission. Before you are commissioned you will undergo two Boards to determine whether you are a suitable candidate. The Boards are similar to any interview, but you well be asked about your Corps knowledge as well as run through role plays to find out about how you would handle situations. The first Board is held at Wing level and is chaired by the Wing Commander with the Wing Executive Officer (a Squadron Leader) and a Wing Staff Officer (also a Squadron Leader).

    If you successfully past this Board, you will have a second Board at Region level. This is chaired by the Regional Commandant (a Group Captain), with the Deputy Regional Commandant (a Squadron Leader) and a Wing Commander form another Wing within the Region.

    If you successfully pass this Board you will be appointed as an Officer Cadet. Once you have completed the week long Officers Initial Course at RAF Cranwell you will be commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training Branch).


    Civilian Welfare Committee Member

    The Squadron has a Civilian Welfare Committee made up of parents. Their role is to help with fundraising for the Squadron, control the Squadron's funds and to ensure that the welfare of the cadets is considered in a major decision.

    The Civilian Committee meets for a few hours at the Squadron on a parade evening every 6 weeks. If you would like to know more, please contact the Squadron.