There are many levels of communications qualification available to cadets, not all of them are radio, communications now involves networking, wifi and Cybercrime protection and prevention.
Basic Radio Operator.
This is the first level that cadets can achieve and gives them the competence to use a radio for general administrative duties and small exercises around their own unit. It can be completed as part of 1st Class classification training, if suitable equipment is available, or as an additional short course at any time afterwards. Completion of this level results in the awarding of a Blue badge by the Wing Radio Communications Officer.
This level of qualification gives a cadet the skills required to be a radio operator for a flight of cadets on an exercise. A good example of this is a flight radio operator at RIAT. Completion of this level results in the awarding of a Bronze badge by the Wing Radio Communications Officer.
The first module of this qualification covers advanced radio operating procedures which gives a cadet the skills required to run a network control station for controlling a radio led exercise. A good example of this would be a net controller at RIAT, a field exercise or Region Field Day management.
The second part is an additional communications skill which is away from the normal cadet radio operating. It can be one of the following;
Amateur Radio Foundation Qualification. This is a nationally recognised civilian certificate in radio operating and basic radio engineering.
- Radio Data Communications. This module teaches cadets how to transmit data long distances over the radio, not to be confused with WiFi.
- Local Area Networks. This teaches cadets how to build and configure a computer network for a home or small office. This module is compulsory for cadets that wish to follow the Cyber route at Communication Specialist level.
Cadets may complete more than one if they so wish.
Completion of this level results in the awarding of a Silver badge by the Region Radio Communications Officer.
4. Communications Specialist.
At this level cadets can chose either to become a Radio Specialist (annex E) or a Cyber Specialist (annex O).
Cadets following the Radio Specialist route learn the skills required to build a complete radio station, either in a building or in the field. The two modules that they must complete are Technical Skills and Radio Deployment. Completion of this level results in the awarding of a Gold badge with blue lightning bolts by the ACO Radio Communications Officer.
Cadets following the Cyber Specialist route learn the skills required to protect networks from intrusion and to test those networks using Penetration Testing techniques. Cadets must successfully complete an Advanced Networking course which acts as a selection process for attending the Cyber course. Completion of this level results in the awarding of a Gold badge with gold lightning bolts by the Corps Cyber Communications Officer.