As part of a cadets' development, they will undertake classroom training and exams in a variety of aviation and military based subjects. The purpose of this is two-fold; Firstly it gives each cadet a good understanding of how the ATC and the RAF work, plus some basic skills applicable to a lot of what we do, like principles of flight and map reading. Secondly, it goes on to broaden their knowledge and understanding of more advanced aviation-related concepts like airframes, aircraft propulsion and radio & radar, which is of particular benefit and interest to anyone considering a career in the aviation industry, a branch of the military or any other career of a technical/engineering nature.
The training is grouped into tiers, known as 'classifications', of which there are four and together they make up the classification syllabus. Each classification comprises of 3-6 subjects and once a cadet has undergone training and completed the exam for all the subjects in a classification, they are said to have obtained that classification. For example, the four classifications are First Class, Leading, Senior and Master - a new cadet will begin training in the First Class subjects, and once they are all complete they will become a First Class Cadet. From here they can begin working on the Leading subject with a view to becoming a Leading Cadet and so on.
A cadet's classification is not to be confused with their rank, though they are linked. In order to obtain the rank of Corporal for example, you need to be Leading Cadet or higher. For Sergeant of Flight Sergeant you need to be Senior or Master respectively.
Upon completion of the whole classification syllabus each cadet claim a BTEC in Aviation Studies, which is an excellent recognised qualification to show prospective employers, particularly in the aviation industry.