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Air Scouting: RAF recognition scheme FS120707

(Published January 2017 replacing version July 2010)

Air Scout Troops / Groups or Air Explorer Scout Units may apply to become RAF Recognised, under an agreement between The Scout Association and the Royal Air Force, which can bring some benefits and a great deal of honour to your Group or Section.

The scheme is currently limited to 60 places, however there is currently capacity for more Troops, Groups or Units to become recognised.

The scheme is administered by the Education Department of The Scout Association (UKHQ) and Headquarters Air Cadets. Those sections or groups who achieve the necessary standard at their Initial Inspection are issued with a Certificate of Recognition signed by Commandant Air Cadets and a special Pennant. Active members of the Air Scout section or group are entitled to wear a special insignia on their Scout Uniform in accordance with Policy Organisation and Rules (POR) Rule 10.29.

To retain RAF Recognition, sections/groups are required to maintain their standard, which shall be assessed at a regular review normally at intervals of not less than every three years.

RAF Review Procedure

1. Initial Review

Air Scout sections/groups who consider that they meet the minimum standards required should contact the Education Department at UKHQ, to register their interest in becoming a RAF Recognised section or group.


The section/group should seek the approval of their District Commissioner and then apply to UKHQ. If the application is supported, it will then be forwarded to Headquarters Air Cadets who will confirm a suitable date for the appropriate ATC Regional Commandant to carry out an initial review.

This review is normally carried out by the ATC Regional Commandant, or his Deputy. The District Commissioner should be informed of the date of the review, so that they may be present.  

In addition the County/Area/Scotland Region Commissioner could also be informed, as they may wish to be present at the review, together with other appropriate members of the County/Area/Scotland Region team, such as the ACC/AAC/ASRC (Scouts/Explorer Scouts) or Air Activities Adviser.


2. Ongoing Review

The dates for re-reviews of RAF Recognised sections/groups is circulated by the Education Department at UKHQ every 6 months. The review may be carried out by an officer nominated by the Air Cadet Regional Commandant. To retain RAF Recognition the section/group must prove to the Reviewing Officer that it continues to achieve the minimum standard required, as well as showing progress.

3. Typical RAF Review Focus

RAF Recognised sections/groups are inspected approximately every three years by a designated Wing Staff Officer from the local Air Cadet Wing. There is no set programme for an RAF Review but the event could allow for the Air Scout Troop, Air Explorer Scout Unit or Air Scout Group to invite local civic dignitaries, parents, supporters and appropriate Scout Commissioners to be a witness to the achievements and standards of the young people and the leadership team. The RAF Review also often provides an ideal opportunity for targeted publicity and promotion of the section/group to the local community. 

During an RAF Review the following areas will be looked at by the Reviewing Officer:

The RAF Review should celebrate the achievements of the young people in the section/group. This could be a showcase type event highlighting some of the high points of the section/group’s programme over the past year or so. Ideally the Reviewing Officer would be hosted by one (or more) of the young people of the section/group.

4. RAF Recognition Approval

Initial RAF Recognition and the renewal of RAF Recognition is approved by the Commandant Air Cadets on the recommendation of the Reviewing Officer and The Director of Scouting Operations at UKHQ.


Applications for RAF Recognition

All applications for initial information should be made in the first instance to activities@scouts.org.uk.


RAF Review Process

1.   About 3-6 months before a review is due, a reminder is sent to the section/group contact along with a copy of forms RAF/AS1 and RAF/AS2.

2.   Section/group contact returns form RAF/AS1 with preferred dates and contact details (via email) to the Education Department at UKHQ .

3.   Form RAF/AS1 are sent by the Education Department at UKHQ to HQ Air Cadets.

4.   HQ Air Cadets sends the list of preferred dates to the local ATC Wing HQ who will confirm the date of the review with the section/group contact and the Education Department at UKHQ.

5.   A minimum of two weeks before the review the section/group contact sends form RAF/AS2 with parts 1-3 filled in and more details about the review to the Reviewing Officer.

6.   RAF Review takes place at the designated location and time.

7.   The Reviewing Officer sends the completed RAF/AS2 to HQ Air Cadets with a recommendation.

8.   HQ Air Cadets endorses the form and sends the completed document to the Education Department at UKHQ .

9.   The Education Department at UKHQ confirms RAF Recognition status and sends form RAF/AS2 to the relevant parties.


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