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RFA Cadet Deck Officer or Comms Apprentice

ZXC53

Midshipman
I am 17 years old and currently studying three A-Levels in French, Law and Politics. I've always wanted to join the Military but since I can't due to medical reasons I really like the look of the RFA as an alternative. However, I am torn between going for the Deck Officer cadetship and the comms apprenticeship, I would rather be much more hands on and doing the work which is what attracts me to the apprenticeships but I know I have the qualifications to join the cadetships.

Some advice from anyone who knows their stuff as to what you would do is greatly appreciated.
 

tree_doctor

Badgeman
Speaking for the Cadetship route, I am currently in Phase 1 at Fleetwood. I haven't been to sea yet but have completed Dartmouth and have a taste of what nautical college is like.

If you have previously had military aspirations the cadet route involves a course at Dartmouth that has become more militarised in recent years, and gives you the opportunity to do some very enjoyable and challenging activities as well as gain an appreciation of what your RN counterparts will get up to.

Nautical college is completely different and for myself as a 23 year old graduate has been a pisstake so far to be brutally honest. That said, everyone will make something different of it; be open minded and find your own studies to get on with and you will be fine.

One thing to be aware of is that the recruitment process for cadets can be very long; mine was more than a year and a half.

Hopefully someone more progressed than me will be along to give you another insight!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

ZXC53

Midshipman
One thing to be aware of is that the recruitment process for cadets can be very long; mine was more than a year and a half.

Wow, I was told by others to wait until 3 months before you have no commitments before you apply!!

Is it possible to apply now and still finish A-Levels which wouldn't be until June 2018?
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
Wow, I was told by others to wait until 3 months before you have no commitments before you apply!!

Is it possible to apply now and still finish A-Levels which wouldn't be until June 2018?

If you scan the posts for those going for apprenticeships, you will note some of them have been waiting for a while as well. There are loads of reasons for the delays, but the big two are:

Security Clearances: These can take a while as they get all the info together to make a decision, plus the MOD department that does the checks tends to be more than a little overworked, so there is often a backlog.

Availability of course spaces: You are not the only one going through the process, spaces on the initial courses tend to be handed out on a first come first served basis, from those with security clearances, who have passed the application processes.

Honestly whilst a year and half sounds a long time to wait, if this is something you want to do for the rest of your life then its probably worth the wait. I wouldn't make your career path decision based on what gets you in faster.

Yes you could apply now, but you will be judged on your merits as you are at the moment, not the qualifications you may get in 2018. On that note, there is no harm in trying and if successful asking if they will defer your offer of entry until you A-levels have finished.

I know of two now former (as in since promoted), Cadets who turned up a week late for their Dartmouth intake because they were still sitting their A-levels. Plus there is a 2nd trip deck cadet on my ship at the moment who joined at 16.
 

tree_doctor

Badgeman
Why has it been a piss take?
I assume that question is directed at myself? Either way, I'll answer anyway!

While at BRNC I found out that to follow the FD cadetship route one needs to have science or maths based A-Levels or above. For myself who has a BA Archaeology degree which contains scientific modules, but no actual science A Levels this apparently meant I had to follow the HND route. No one seemed to know whose rule this was.

Upon being at college for 2 weeks (I only found out I was going to Fleetwood a few weeks before) I discovered that the course itself consists of an L3 Diploma (an A Level) to "prepare cadets" followed by an HNC, followed by a 6 month HND top-up, all in all coming in at more than 6 months longer than the Warsash HND course. None of this was explained beforehand.
To add insult to injury, the L3 seems to have made itself obvious as a moneyspinner, with too few lectures and a number of other issues that aren't really appropriate to bring up here!
For someone like me who wants to get ahead with his career and qualify as soon as possible it really hasn't been ideal so far.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

Matt247

Badgeman
My understanding is that the HNC/D route is meant mostly for people with GCSE. Due to not appropriate A level subject you have fallen into as well. Did you look at otber shipping cadetships? Im sure they would have said you need the math/physics A levels to do FD. Fleetwood currently has the highest pass marks in nautical colleges. Warsash is currently falling out of favour with its move to city college Southampton site.
 

ZXC53

Midshipman
That's insane, I thought that only applied to the Marine and Systems Engineering Cadetships!!!! That just makes me all the more sway towards a Comms or a seaman apprenticeship
 

Matt247

Badgeman
HND is same level as a FD. It's the nautical colleges that set the academic standards for entry on each course.
Check out Warsash or Fleetwood website for details.....have you been to.one of their open days?
 

Matt247

Badgeman
That's insane, I thought that only applied to the Marine and Systems Engineering Cadetships!!!! That just makes me all the more sway towards a Comms or a seaman apprenticeship
Check the GSCE requirements... different for Deck..B grade in English
 

Klanky67

Lantern Swinger
I initially applied for a cadetship (deck) but because my "0 level" English from way back in 1983 was only a D (I already had my start date to join the RN so as a spotty 16 yr old I didn't need to revise for exams!!!!) therefore I couldn't apply. Despite going to the Warsash open day and getting the Principle to confirm that my subsequent qualifications were acceptable and showed a capacity to learn (NVQ 3, Level 4 Diploma in Fire Safety, NEBOSH, Level 7 Dip in investigative practices, amongst other quals!), the RFA still said I needed a GCSE 3 in English. At my age I didn't want to waste another year so I'm joining as an app Seaman in April!
 

Matt247

Badgeman
RFA are not very flexible re grades....most if not all commercial Cadetships will let you do deck with what was GCSE C...RFA its a B...its exactly the same course...sat in tbe same classroom next to each other
 

zombie

Midshipman
Although I have a foundation degree and A level equivalent in a science based subject, My GCSE's are average at best due to me missing my last year at school. So I just applied as a rating, if I really wanted to be a Cadet I would of study to retake my GCSE's. But its more about the life and career in the RFA so im excited and feel lucky about my interview for Comms apprentice next month.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
RFA are not very flexible re grades....most if not all commercial Cadetships will let you do deck with what was GCSE C...RFA its a B...its exactly the same course...sat in tbe same classroom next to each other

The RFA's standard is informed by their institutional experience.
 

ZXC53

Midshipman
Can anyone tell me what the seaman apprenticeship Level 1 BTEC Diploma in Functional Skills Maths, English and ICT qualification is and whether or not that is the only qualification you gain from it?
 

Prop1910

Midshipman
Hi there.
I have an application going through for RFA Deck Officer Cadet, and am presently (and patiently) waiting for AIB.
Do you have a choice as to what Na
 

York lad

Midshipman
Can anyone tell me what the seaman apprenticeship Level 1 BTEC Diploma in Functional Skills Maths, English and ICT qualification is and whether or not that is the only qualification you gain from it?

If you have an A*-C GCSE in a subject and you pass a level 1 screener youll be exempt from that subject
 
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