969 Squadron RAFAC | Training & Education

Training & Education

Aside from all the great experiences and new skills you'll gain as an air cadet, you can also take away real qualifications that will set you apart from the crowd when you head to university or begin your chosen career.

For starters there's the Duke of Edinburgh Award that employers everywhere recognise as a great achievement. You can take on the challenge as part of your adventurous training, working your way up through the levels all the way to Gold - something to be really proud of.

But did you know there's also:


Our partnership with CVQO (formerly the Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation) means we are able to provide a huge amount of internationally-recognised qualifications to our cadets.

BTEC Certificates and Diplomas, as well as leadership and management qualifications, from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) are available at no cost to the cadet. Here is a selection of what’s available:

BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Teamwork, Personal Skills and Citizenship (SCQF Level 4)

The CVQO-led BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Teamwork, Personal Skills and Citizenship (SCQF Level 4) is intended for learners aged 13-15 and provides recognition of early cadetting skills that are often transferable into the world of work.

ATC Cadets who achieve the rank of First Class Cadet are eligible to receive the Certificate - it provides recognition of the steps taken to reach this milestone and a pathway to further CVQO-led qualifications.

BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community (SCQF Level 5)

The CVQO-led BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community (SCQF Level 5) is achieved by thousands of Air Cadets each year

Learners develop a wide variety of skills including effective communication, career planning, the value of volunteering and character development.

It’s aimed at 16-18 year old cadets and is an ideal qualification to help strengthen higher education or job applications – it also looks great on a CV alongside school and college work.

BTEC Level 2 in Music for Practical Performance (SCQF Level 5)

The CVQO-led BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Music for Practical Performance (SCQF Level 5) is a qualification that focuses on particular aspects of employment within the music sector. As well as recognising your performance ability, you will learn a number of skills including event planning, research and presentation.

You will also learn a variety of employability skills such as teamwork and communication. Like the BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community, this is also aimed at 16-18 year old cadets.

Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications

Through our partnership with CVQO, a number of ILM qualifications in leadership and management are available for ages 14-18. If you’re interested in enrolling for one of these, why not visit the CVQO website here?


    As you become more experienced as a cadet you'll take on extra responsibilities and have further opportunities to develop your self-confidence and leadership skills. Formal leadership training is provided at the following three levels - they'll test your mettle but this is where you can really get noticed!

    • Wing and Regional Leadership Courses
      Typically two or three days long, aimed at training potential Junior NCOs (Corporals) and Senior NCOs (Sergeants and above). This will sort out the natural leaders and if that includes you, you could improve your rank.
    • Cadet Leadership Courses
      There are three sets of Cadet Leadership Courses, which are aimed at 16 and 17 year olds. Each course lasts a week and ends with the award of the Cadet Leadership Badge if completed. The Army Cadet Force (ACF) runs three courses over the Easter period at Nesscliff in Shropshire and three courses in July at Frimley Park in Surrey. Sea Cadets also take part along with Army Cadets, so be ready for some serious competition! The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) runs an Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell each July which is open to air cadets from both the CCF and the ATC.
    • The Air Cadet Junior Leaders Course
      Not for the faint-hearted, the Junior Leaders Course is physically demanding and requires real commitment and determination. The course, which runs from September to Easter, involves nine weekend training camps and an assessment week. A big step up from the Cadet Leadership Courses, the Junior Leaders Course is aimed at older cadets - you must be 17 or older in the year you begin the course. It's also open to Sea Cadets and Army Cadets and culminates in the award of a Level Two Certificate in Team Leadership from the Institute of Leadership and Management. This is the toughest but most rewarding of our leadership courses - make it through and you'll have the makings of a very successful leader...

    In addition to those formal leadership courses, we sponsor Personal Awareness Courses at the Joint services Chaplaincy in Hampshire. These courses are aimed at you if you're 16 and over and have demonstrated leadership potential and are designed to develop good citizenship skills. Although they are set against a background of the Christian faith they are open to everyone. A similar course, Leadership for Life is held annually in Scotland.

    The challenge of teamwork and leadership is the ultimate test for a cadet and could be the greatest achievement of your time with us. If you aspire to be the best, we'll help you achieve it.