It’s easy to forget that for the cadets to have fun, be challenged, be trained efficiently and safely there has to be an ongoing training programme for the Adult Instructors.
The bedrock of Army Cadets are the Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAV). Without their dedication, skills and enthusiasm, Army Cadets could not exist.
Once volunteers have had their Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure that they have nothing that would preclude them from working with youngsters they can apply to join, first attending a Familiarisation and Assessment weekend. If they pass they will be appointed as a Probationary Instructor (PI) and start taking an active role in a platoon.
They will begin a progressive training programme - the Adult Induction Training Package - to learn how to train cadets. The package has five parts comprising three induction courses: basic, intermediate and advanced, plus two short courses in First Aid and basic shooting and coaching. Most complete this within their first 12-18 months of service.
The range of courses open to them is vast, with all extending the range of knowledge and skills that will allow them to run training that challenges the cadets.
The Adult Leadership & Management Course (ALM), for example, trains them to run a platoon, giving them a full understanding of the ever growing range of paperwork that is required to do the job efficiently.
Everything from Exercise Conducting Officers (ECO) courses, Drill Instruction, Range qualifications, Ammunition Handling, safe use of Pyrotechnics and more are available for the enterprising instructor who wishes to learn new skills.
Many courses, such as the TIBUA and TIWAF (Training In Built Up Areas/Training In Woods And Forests), are also physically demanding, taking a great deal of time and effort to master. However all require adult volunteers to give up a great deal of their spare time.
Volunteers might then wish to develop leadership and management skills. They may also want to undergo additional specialist training. Many of our adult training courses lead to nationally recognised qualifications of real value in life outside cadets.
Adventurous Training at the Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training (CCAT) in Wales ensures we have enough qualified instructors to deliver a full range of adventurous training to cadets. The Expedition Leadership Management workshop covers the organisation of expeditions to far-flung destinations, visa applications, respecting local customs and even acclimatising to altitude.
The UK Level 2 Award in Community Sports Leadership (CLS) provides the foundation for those wishing to lead groups in sporting and recreational activities.
The First Aid at Work HSE-approved course covers the practical skills needed by a first aider in the modern workplace.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the leading development programme for young people, whilst the Army Cadets PR Training Team trains adults in public relations and promotional skills, to help them draw attention to the cadets’ activities in the local community.
But as any of our adults will point out, it is watching the cadets grow and develop and knowing that they have helped them along the way which is the most rewarding part of being in Army Cadets.