Frequently Asked Questions

These questions apply to uniformed courses held at theAdult Training Facility (ATF) only.

How do I apply for a course?

Once you’ve established with your Wing (Wg) HQ that you are available and eligible for a course, you should submit an application form through your Squadron Commander (Sqn Cdr). Your Wg will phone the Air Cadets Training Centre (ACTC) to determine if there is a vacancy on the course you have requested and if possible, book you a place. If you are a Volunteer Gliding School officer, you may book direct with ACTC. You will receive written Joining Instructions, (JIs) approximately 5 weeks prior to the course. These will cover learning details, what to bring and an outline programme. Make sure that you advise your Wg HQ of any change in address after your initial booking so that your JIs are sent to the correct place.

What books or publications should I read in preparation?

All attendees should be familiar with our most commonly used publications - AP 1919, ACP 20A and ACP 20B. Students should also be conversant with ACP 19, the ATC Drill Manual. Anyone who has very little practical experience at drill is advised to seek assistance from experienced staff on their Sqn as it is essential to be capable at basic foot drill before coming to ACTC. Copies of these publications should be available on your unit.

What kit or equipment should I bring?

All kit and dress requirements will be included in your JIs. Also included will be a list of accessories, i.e. yellow duster, iron etc, which might help to make your life easier whilst you are here.

Are there any medical requirements for attending?

Attendees should be medically fit to take part in all aspects of the syllabus. All courses include drill training and the Officers’ Initial Course involves practical leadership exercises. If you have any doubts, please ring the training staff prior to the course to discuss any doubts about your ability to attend.

What time should I arrive for the briefing on Sunday evening?

The briefing time will be in your JIs, but it is advisable to arrive in time to settle into your accommodation and, if you wish, have a meal prior to the brief. Course briefs last for about an hour and take place in your Mess. The main aim is to get course members together for a “meet and greet” and to receive information regarding the start of training on Monday morning.

What should I wear for the briefing?

As accommodation is not assigned until shortly before the course you should be prepared for any eventuality. It is advisable to pack a jacket and tie for men and a dress or skirt and blouse for ladies.

What mode of travel must I use, my own car or train?

This decision is made by your Wg HQ. You should discuss transport with them prior to the course. Sometimes more than one person from a Wg will attend each course; in such cases some economy of travel will be encouraged.

Where is the nearest train station?

Grantham is about half an hour from Cranwell and the only permitted pick-up point for RAF transport. You should endeavour to arrive at Grantham and use the shuttle service that operates between Grantham and RAF Cranwell. Times for this service will be detailed in your JIs. If arriving outside these times, you should request motor transport from MT Control RAF Cranwell on arrival at Grantham (this number will be detailed in your JIs). Only if you are told that MT is unavailable, may a taxi may be taken, for which you will be reimbursed on production of a receipt. Make sure that you acquire the name of the MT Controller who stated that they were unable to pick you up.

Where should I go when I arrive at RAF Cranwell?

You must report to the Guardroom. The duty staff there will tell you where you are accommodated and direct you to your Mess. If travelling by car, your vehicle must be registered at the Guardroom and a vehicle pass displayed at all times. Please note that you may not be accommodated in the first place you are directed to - you may be accommodated in a Barrack Block but need to be directed to the Mess for keys. The reason for going to a Mess initially is that you will be using that building for dining and socialising and the staff need to book you in. Should you not have a personal pass, the duty staff can issue you with one, but you must produce some form of identity such as a passport or driving licence.

I live locally, can I live at home?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. All courses are residential and in addition to the training gained by living in the Mess, there is some evening study required.

Must I be conversant with computers to attend these courses?

No, you should not bring any of your personal computers/laptops for coursework. Computers are provided on-site. Personal computers could conflict (and therefore not work) with the security necessary for Service-owned computers.

How many people attend each course?

Each course has a maximum of 20 students.

Will my training be affected if I have learning difficulties?

Not at all. Staff at the centre are very experienced and can accommodate many different learning abilities. What is essential is that you advise them of such issues on the first morning of the course so that consideration can be given to individual circumstances. Again, any doubts you have can be discussed with the staff prior to the course.

How much money do I need?

You will be required to pay a Mess bill. Messing charges vary, but all costs will be listed in more detail in your JIs. The NAAFI/Spar shop has a cash machine, (£1-50 charge to use). Some Messes have cash machines that have no handling charge. There are also banks in Sleaford, (6 miles away), with cash points.

As an Adult Warrant Officer (AWO) attending a course, I have heard that I have to teach a 10-minute lesson. What preparations do I need to make?

During your course, you will be expected to give a 10-minute lesson on a subject of your own choice. The purpose of this is to improve your teaching skills. You will be given ample training regarding lesson techniques so no experience is necessary, although it may help if you chat to another AWO from your Wg who has recently completed the course. It is not advisable to plan a lesson in detail as you only have 10 minutes, which limits the material you can use. However, you may wish to bring any maps, diagrams or models that you wish to use.

What happens if I become ill during the course?

There are emergency medical facilities on the unit, so a doctor can be seen if you suddenly become ill. If you are too ill to continue training, you can withdraw and re-book through your Wg to complete the course when you are feeling better.

What happens in the evenings?

Once training is completed for the day (at around 1700hrs) you can return to your Mess to change and have dinner. Your uniform should be prepared for the next day, along with any project work that has to be completed. Many course colleagues meet socially in the evening.

What happens if I fail the course?

This is not a question that you should be considering. However, it is appreciated that some people, especially those on initial courses, may find their training and indeed coming to RAF Cranwell, somewhat daunting. The staff are well aware of these factors and will strive to get you to obtain the standard required. If you should encounter difficulties, the staff are very approachable and will do all they can to assist you. However, even if all fails and training has to be suspended, your Wg will work with you to develop any shortcomings, allowing you to return at a later date and hopefully be successful in completing the course.

What feedback can we give to ACTC staff?

There is an open appraisal and de-brief at the end of each course to ascertain how you and your fellow course members felt about the training. In addition, on the AWO and OIC courses, each student is given a personal debrief on their individual performance. Your comments are always welcome.

What feedback is given to my Wg regarding my performance?

A written report is sent to your Wg or VGS about 2/3 weeks after your course. The content will be known to you as you will have been appraised at your debrief.

Can I get uniform items at Cranwell?

Issue of RAF uniform items through the supply Squadron at RAF Cranwell is not available. However, there are several private military tailors on base, where you can purchase items.

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