If you want to become an RAF Officer, you will need to undertake a tough and challenging OASC, which includes a series of tests, assessments, tasks, and interviews. This blog will aim to provide you with essential tips, help, and resources for passing your RAF OASC, which will take place at RAF Cranwell.
RAF Officer Jobs & Roles
There are numerous RAF Officer jobs and vacancies available, all of which will require you to pass the selection process and the Officer & Aircrew Selection Centre (OASC). A list of the more popular RAF Officer jobs is included below:
- Air Operations Control officer.
- Air Operations Support Officer.
- RAF Pilot (Aircrew).
- Engineer Officer (AeroSystems).
- Medical Support Officer.
- Dental Officer.
- Logistics Officer.
- RAF Regiment Officer.
- Weapon System Officer.
- Personnel Training Officer.
- Legal Officer.
Of course, there are many other RAF Officer Jobs available for you to apply for; however, the above list is some of the more common types of role within the Royal Air Force at Officer level.
RAF Officer Selection Process (OASC Cranwell)
The Wing Commander has the overall responsibility and command of the RAF Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre. As part of the selection board, other officers will be present. These include:
- Board President;
- Board Chairman;
- Board Member;
- Interviewing Officer.
The officers who make up the OASC selection team are highly experienced and they follow a strict set of rules and criteria to ensure the recruitment process is fair and appropriate.
During the RAF OASC at Cranwell, you will have to undergo a series of tasks, as follows:
- Hangar Familiarisation.
- Group Discussion.
- Planning Exercise.
- Leaderless Exercise.
- Command Situation Exercises.
In order to ensure fairness and transparency during the RAF Officer selection process, there will be closed circuit television cameras monitoring all of the interviews and also some of the exercises. This also serves to allow the Wing Commander to ensure everything is carried out in line with procedures and policies and that the process is fair.
RAF Officer Selection Criteria (What the Board Officers are Looking for)
The RAF Officer medical, the fitness assessment and also the educational standards will not be deviated from. There are a strict set of guidelines that will result in either a pass or fail in regard to these selection elements.
In respect of the interview and the leadership tasks, which you will have to also undertake at Cranwell, there is another set of criteria that the Board Officers will follow. It is vitally important that you try to match the competencies required to become an RAF Officer, and a sample of those is detailed below to help you during your RAF Officer OASC preparation.
During the practical leadership tasks and exercises, all candidates will be given a different task to lead and complete. This is so that no one candidate gains an unfair advantage having seen the exercise being tackled whilst working as part of a team when they are not the designated leader.
Leadership Potential Competencies for RAF Officer
Your ability to pass the RAF Officer selection process, and in particular the OASC, will very much rest on your ability to show the Boarding Officers you have the Leadership Potential and competencies needed within the role.
It does not matter if you are applying to become an RAF Pilot, and RAF Logistics Officer, or a Medical Officer, you will still need to show ‘leadership potential’.
Let’s take a look at some of the competencies that will be assessed:
Communication – Able to communicate accurately, logically and concisely both orally and in written format.
Teamwork – Can work effectively as part of a team to achieve common goals or tasks.
Influence – Can influence other people to take a particular course of action to complete a task.
Problem Solving Competencies
Appreciation – Able to gather, disseminate and extract useful information and data, and put it to effective use.
Reasoning – Is able to think logically and coherently to solve difficult and challenging problems.
Organisation – Can allocate resources effectively and in a timely manner to achieve the task.
Capacity – Can work under pressure and take on lots of information, tasks and messages whilst still focusing on the task in hand.
Decisiveness – Is capable of making sound and accurate decisions and judgements in the best interests of the RAF.
Self-motivation – Is totally committed to achieving the task.
Self-analysis – Able to analyse and look at his or her own performance with a view to improving and developing continually.
Integrity – Has a strong sense of integrity and moral compass, being guided by the rules, regulations, values and ethics of the Royal Air Force in everything he/she does.
Throughout the RAF Officer Selection Centre, make sure you focus on demonstrating the above competencies as they will help to improve your performance and increase your chances of success!
RAF Officer Interview Questions
The following is a list of interview questions we recommend you prepare for at the RAF Officer OASC:
- Why do you want to join the RAF and not the Royal Navy?
- Why do you want to become an RAF Officer?
- What contact have you had with the Royal Air Force during your preparation for OASC selection?
- Tell me what you know about RAF Officer training and which parts you will find the toughest?
- What qualities are needed to become an RAF Officer?
- What newspaper do you read, and how have you been keeping up to date with current affairs from around the world?
- Choose three continents from around the globe and tell me a news story from each?
- What do you know about the history of the RAF?
- Talk to me about the different types of aircraft we have in the Royal Air Force?
- Tell me whereabouts the different RAF bases are, both in the UK and overseas?
Top Tips For Passing RAF Officer OASC Selection
- In the build-up to RAF Officer selection, we strongly recommend you carry out lots of Planning Exercise practice. Perhaps the toughest part of the OASC at Cranwell is the Planning Exercises, and you need to be able to solve problems quickly by assessing and disseminating information before putting a plan of action in place.
- In addition to practising lots of planning exercises, make sure you get fully conversant with speed, distance and time. It is very important you are able to work out speed, distance and time (SDT) calculations quickly, both whilst writing them down, and also in your head. Here’s a great website to help you practice speed, distance and time test questions.
- Whilst it is really important you can show leadership during the RAF Officer OASC, especially during the leadership exercises, you must also show you can work as part of a team. Don’t try to compete with others when carrying out team tasks. Instead, show you are a natural leader and that you can work effectively as a team to complete the tasks.
- Make sure you focus on urgency when carrying out all of the assessments during the OASC. This includes the fitness assessments, the planning exercises, the leadership exercises and also the Command Situation Exercises. Getting things done as quickly as possible is really important within the RAF.
- If things go wrong during any of the leadership exercises, command tasks or planning exercises, do not look to blame anyone. Instead, take ownership and responsibility for the situation and look to resolve problems that occur. It is times like these that you are really being assessed against your leadership potential!
- One of the best ways to show leadership potential during the OASC is to communicate effectively with your team. Make sure you speak up, encourage the men and women under your command, praise them and also motivate them.
- If you have to undertake any of the technical aptitude tests when applying to become an RAF Officer, for example as Aircrew or a Pilot, make sure you carry out lots of psychometric test practice before you attend the OASC.
- Finally, make sure your current affairs are up to speed! We strongly recommend you subscribe to The Economist and The Week in the build-up to RAF Officer selection, as these will give you an overview of what’s happening from across the world at the time of your particular RAF Officer selection at Cranwell.