Reserve Forces and Cadets Association
for North of England

Are you an Employer of an Adult Volunteer in the Cadet Forces?

Adult Volunteers in the Cadet Forces do a tremendous amount of work with the young people in our communities. How can you find out more about what your employees who are adult volunteers do in their spare time, and what can you do to support them and the Cadets they serve?

What are the Cadet Forces?

The Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps are youth organisations which aim to develop life and leadership skills in young people through challenging adventure activities and the teaching of basic military skills in safe yet exciting learning environments, underpinned by the standards and ethos of the Armed Forces.

Who are Cadet Force Adult Volunteers?

Adult Volunteers are the youth leaders who plan and deliver the training. Some may have a military background, some are former cadets, and many have no former association with the military at all—they simply have a desire to help young people to do something positive.

Do I really have the skills you need?

You don't need any military knowledge to get involved with Cadets. Do you have first aid skills? Are you handy in the kitchen? Do you enjoy a challenge? We all have useful skills and you can volunteer and help in many ways.

What do CFAVs do?

The Cadet Forces could not exist without the support of over 25,000 adults who volunteer to help train cadets, run meetings, activities and events. These dedicated people give cadets the chance to get involved in activities ranging from canoeing to rock climbing, map reading to flying, and first aid to The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. For those less keen on the more physical activities, there are also opportunities to use practical skills and help with administration, fundraising or local management groups.

What training do Adult Volunteers receive?

All Adult Volunteer Instructors undertake a rigorous programme designed to develop the qualities of a good instructor, to equip them with the knowledge necessary for their role and to ensure they understand and can fulfil their responsibilities for the young people in their care. This involves instruction from both experiences ACF Instructors, as well as regular army staff from specialised Cadet Training Teams. Volunteers can go further and obtain Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications, or gain City and Guilds accreditation to Master’s degree level.

How do employers benefit from having an Adult Volunteer as a member of their team?

Cadet Force Adult Volunteers are highly motivated, clear-thinking people, who are prepared to learn. That’s why increasing numbers of employers recognise the value they can bring to the workplace.

What skills do they learn in their volunteering that will help them at work?

Here are some examples of the kind of skills Adult Volunteers gain from their training and the advantages to an employer:

Ability to learn

Organisations want employees who are quick to grasp new ideas and techniques. Adult Volunteers’ on-going training and development specifically prepares them for any challenge.


Employers like people who get things done. Adult Volunteers are trained to take action no matter how difficult the task.

Handling pressure

Working with young people is incredibly demanding, and Adult Volunteers learn to handle this pressure.

Planning and organising

Planning is vital to every Cadet activity so you’ll have plenty of experience of deciding how to achieve objectives as effectively as possible, within time and resource constraints.


Employers want staff who can resolve problems for them. Adult Volunteers learn how to look at a problem from all angles (taking into account the resources available, risk factors)

Team working

Organisations look for employees who can work constructively with others. Adult Volunteers have experience of working in teams as well as with people from all walks of life.

Practical skills

Adult Volunteers develop a whole range of practical skills, such as health and safety, first aid, instructional technique and many more.

Personal qualities

Adult Volunteers are expected to demonstrate attributes including determination, positive attitude, self-motivation and enthusiasm; all of these are qualities that are valued in the workplace.

Find out more about the Cadet Forces in the North East here: