Not all cadets who join the ATC can expect to receive promotion. However, all cadets can progress through the training system and, by passing exams, achieve different classifications.
The classification levels are Second Class Cadet (this is automatically achieved on enrollment), First Class Cadet, Leading Cadet, Senior Cadet and Staff Cadet.
For each of these qualifications cadets study a variety of subjects. An overview of the required standards is shown below, some units may also add further criteria such as first aid qualifications before allowing a cadet to complete all of the exams.
These subjects are studied using tuition from Civilian Instructors, Adult Staff and Staff Cadets, and self-study from Air Cadet Publications (ACPs). Each successive qualification generally allows a cadet greater participation. For example, cadets must be First Class before they can take part in some activities such as UK annual camps, while Leading Cadets can participate in overseas activities.
Cadets who have achieved the Staff Cadet classification have completed their academic training and can attain a BTEC Award in Aviation Studies. Staff cadets wear a yellow lanyard over the left shoulder.
Part 2 is a to test the candidate's instructional ability and general service knowledge, taking the form of an interview assessed by a member of the Wing Staff.
For a cadet to become a Staff cadet, they must have already gained Senior Cadet status, be at least 16 years of age and have attended an Annual Camp.
The 8 subjects you can choose from are: Air Navigation, Pilot Navigation, Satellite Communications, Propulsion, Airframes, Advanced Radio and RADAR, Aircraft Handling and Operational Flying.
All exams are multiple choice and consists of 25 questions. The pass mark is 13 on each exam.