The RAF Air Cadets relies on its cadet forces adult volunteers (CFAV) to support our cadets, help our squadrons around the UK and allow us to offer a wide-range of activities and opportunities. There are lots of ways you can join us and make a difference.
Benefits of being a volunteer
Being a volunteer is rewarding and has a lot of different benefits.
- learn skills in a range of areas
- develop leadership qualities
- personal development
- gain qualifications in areas like mountain leadership, first aid and NVQs
Whatever you decide to focus on, all volunteers gain a huge sense of achievement from helping young people realise their potential.
Different types of adult volunteers
There are plenty of ways our volunteers help and support our squadrons and cadets. From admin and finances, activities, emotional support, health and well-being,
Join as a civilian instructor
If you can spend time at least one night each week with your chosen squadron, we can offer lots of opportunities for you to help our cadets and gain your own skills and experiences too.
Most of our squadrons meet twice a week and we’re always looking for volunteers who are willing to try their hand at anything. You could find yourself teaching skills, running activities, or providing encouragement and moral support. If you have specialist skills, we can use them. If you want to learn new skills like rock climbing or gliding, we can train you.
Join as a gliding squadron instructor
Our gliding hubs around the UK need volunteers for a range of tasks. If you want to be a gliding instructor, it takes around 18 to 24 months to go through all of the required training to gain your instructor wings. You don’t have to have an aviation background as our ground schools need volunteers for admin tasks, teaching ground aspects of flying, helping with immersive tech like virtual reality headsets and driving transport around the airfield.
Join as a chaplain
We encourage chaplains to be from any religious denomination. Our cadets represent diverse backgrounds and we welcome everyone who wants to be involved.
Our chaplain volunteers must attend a minimum of one meeting a month and help to run activities. There are other ways you could get involved too, including supporting events and occasions with religious meaning, help induct new cadets and offer emotional support, pastoral care and moral guidance to our young people.
Civilian Committees help with the running of the Air Training Corps (ATC) from squadron level through to representation at National Level. Each squadron has a committee that is made up of parents and friends. Its role is to assist the squadron’s Commanding Officer, raise funds and ensure the squadron maintains direction.
Committees meet to their own timetable, usually once-a-month, under the direction of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Most squadron Civilian Committees will be very pleased to accept offers of extra help - even if you can't commit to regular or long term assistance.
Joining the RAF Air Cadets as an adult volunteer
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, find the squadrons nearest to you, submit expression of interest and someone will be in touch to arrange a visit to the unit.
A typical joining process will be:
- Submit online application
- Visit your chosen Squadron
- Have an informal interview (usually when you make the first visit)
- Get access to the RAF Air Cadets online system to complete the final forms
- Have a DBS check
After your DBS is successful, you’ll be able to attend your chosen squadron and help with activities on a 6-month probation. During this time you’ll complete our mandatory Adult Volunteer Induction Course. After your 6 months you can then attend external activities too.
The time from initial enquiry through to starting as a volunteer with your chosen squadron will vary, but on average it takes around three months. This is due to the enquiries that need to be made, including a DBS, as part of our safeguarding checks.