Australian Defence Force Officer Aviation
What is the Officer Aviation (OA) Family?
In the Australian Defence Force (ADF), personnel who perform similar jobs are grouped together in families. Those personnel who fly in or controlling aircraft are part of the OA Family.
What are the different Australian Defence Force Officer Aviation Job Types?
During the recruiting process, we use the term “OA Job Type” to help us understand what type of aviation environment that you have a preference for. While all three Services have pilot as a job type, Navy also has Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer, and Air Force also has Mission Aircrew and Mission Controller. Therefore the job types by Service are:
Navy: Pilot and Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer
Army: Pilot only
Air Force: Pilot, Mission Aircrew and Mission Controller
What are the different Officer Aviation working environments?
The working environment for a Pilot, regardless of Service is in the cockpit of an aircraft and flying the aircraft.
The working environment for a Maritime Aviation Warfare Officers is in the cockpit of a Navy Helicopter, performing the duties of a mission commander, as well as other cockpit duties.
Mission Aircrew perform their duties as part of the crew of a RAAF aircraft, but do not fly the aircraft.
Mission Controllers do not fly as part of the crew of an aircraft; they perform their duties in the ground environment.
How should I list my preferences?
Regardless of which job type you prefer and regardless for which Service, most of the screening activities you do will be exactly the same, however the Services give this guidance.
Navy. For Navy, if you wish to be considered for both Pilot and Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer you must list both job types as preferences.
Army. If you list an Army OA job type as your first preference, we may ask you to attend an Aviation Screening Program at Royal Military College – Duntroon, instead of travelling to East Sale.
Air Force. Regardless of which Air Force OA job preference you list, you will go through exactly the same selection process. Therefore you may want to only list one Air Force OA job type in your preferences therefore leaving your other preferences for other non-OA job types or for Army and Navy preferences. Of course you are welcome to list three Air Force job type preferences if you wish to.
What are the different ADF Officer Aviation (OA) streams?
Within the job types there are streams. The following is a very quick description of the different ADF OA streams in each Job Type:
- Pilot. Navy pilots fly either the front-line combat MH-60R Seahawk helicopter or the MRH90 Maritime support helicopter.
- Maritime Aviation Warfare Officers (AvWO): AvWOs fly in the MH-60R Seahawk in the role of Mission Commander, responsible for the tactical employment of its navigation, weapon and sensor systems and tactical communications.
- Battlefield Rotary Pilot. Army pilots fly one of a number of helicopters; often as part of a Joint Task Force. This includes; the ARH Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter which role is to find, fix and destroy targets; the MRH90 Taipan Troop Lift Helicopter which role is to conduct Air Assault and Aeromedical Evacuation missions; or the CH-47F Chinook which role is to conduct Air Assault and Combat Support missions.
- Fast Jet Pilot (FJP). Pilots who fly fast-jet, combat aircraft including the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, E/A-18G Growler and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
- Fixed Wing Pilot (FWP). Pilots who fly transport, tanker and maritime aircraft including the KC30A Multirole Tanker Transport, CL604 Challenger, 7X Falcon, C-130J Hercules, C-27J Spartan, C-17 Globemaster, E-7A Wedgetail and P8 Poseidon to name just a few.
- Remote Pilot (RP). Pilots who control Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).
- Weapons Systems Officer (WSO). WSOs conduct their mission from the back-seat of F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircraft.
- Maritime Patrol and Response Officer (MRPO). MPRO conduct their mission from aboard the P8 Poseidon and other specialist surveillance aircraft.
- Air Mobility Officer (AMO). AMOs conduct their Mission from about the KC30A Multirole Tanker Transport as an Air Refueling Operator.
- Air Battle Manager (ABMs). Mission Aircrew ABMs control the tactical battlespace, including as part of the crew in aircraft like the E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.
- Air Battle Manager (ABMs). Mission Controller ABMs control the tactical battlespace from a ground based environment.
- Air Traffic Controller (ATC). ATC control traffic at domestic and deployed Air Bases. They can also assume some control responsibilities on the battlefield such as deconfliction of artillery, air delivered weapons and aircraft operations.
For more information on the OA roles go to www.defencejobs.gov.au
What is the Air Academy?
The Air Academy is located at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria and it is where Officer Aviation (OA) training begins. It doesn’t matter what Service you join or what OA stream you want to perform in the future, you will complete some of your Initial Specialist Employment Training (ISET) at the Air Academy at East Sale. Some of the classes and activities at the Air Academy are completed by all OA trainees while other more specialised classes are only completed by some trainees.
What are the Pathways into the Air Academy?
There are three Pathways in the Air Academy; the Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer (AvWO) Pathway, the Mission Pathway, and the Pilot Pathway.
Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer (AvWO). The AvWO pathway is only available to officers who join the Navy. AvWO trainees have their own course at the Air Academy due to the specialised role they play in the Maritime Combat Helicopter capability as the Mission Commander in the Maritime domain.
Mission Pathway. The Mission Pathway is only open to officers who join the Air Force. The Mission Pathway leads to employment as either Mission Aircrew or a Mission Controller. Mission Elementary Course is the first course that trainees complete at the Air Academy if they enter on the Mission Pathway.
Pilot Pathway. The Pilot Pathway into the Air Academy is available to officers from all three Services. Everyone who is on the Pilot Pathway will start at the Air Academy with the same course ––Pilot Basic Course on the PC21.
More information about follow-on courses for the Services can be found at the Service specific section of these Frequently Asked Questions.
Is the Air Academy a replacement for the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)?
No. The training conducted at the Air Academy and ADFA are completely different. The training conducted at the Air Academy is called Initial Specialist Employment Training (ISET) and is designed to give you the technical skills to work as an Officer in the area of Aviation. The training conducted at ADFA is called Initial Officer Training (IOT) and is designed to develop the leadership skills, interpersonal skills and organisation understanding to be an effective Commissioned Officer as well as enabling you to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Is attending the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) the only way I can become an Officer Aviation in the Australian Defence Force?
No. There is more than one type of officer intake (or Avenue of Entry). There is a Direct Entry – Officer (DEO) intake and an ADFA intake. If you are part of the ADFA intake, you will undertake degree studies and officer training at ADFA in Canberra prior to your Initial Specialist Employment Training (ISET). Each of the three services have their own Officer Training establishments if you are part of a DEO intake. Regardless which officer avenue of entry you are selected for, your training at the Air Academy will be exactly the same.
Note: for Army it is slightly different. Army pilots are recruited as General Service Officers (GSOs) either through ADFA or the Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC-D). Only ADFA candidates are required to attend an ASP prior to appointment into the ADF. Any RMC-D Staff Cadet may apply for pilot training during the Corps Allocation process at RMC-D, and will complete an ASP in the second third of their officer training. Army ADFA cadets who have successfully completed ASP are likely to be allocated to Army Aviation on appointment into the ADF, and will not have to complete ASP again.
Aviation Screening Program
What is the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) and the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
The ASP is conducted at the ACMC which is located at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria. The ASP is like a two day combined work experience and job assessment process, for people wanting to be employed in the Officer Aviation job types.
Note: If you have Army/ADFA/Pilot as your first preference, you may be offered an ASP at Royal Military College - Duntroon (RMC-D) instead of East Sale.
Note: If you have Navy (either Pilot or AvWO) listed as your first preference you may be offered a place on a Navy only ASP.
How do I get selected to attend the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) at the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC)?
There are a number of steps that you must successfully complete at your nearest Defence Force Recruiting Centre (DFRC) before you can attend an ASP at the ACMC. You can get more information from www.defencejobs.gov.au.
The majority of steps conducted at your DFRC are identical no matter what OA job type you list as a preference and no matter which Service you list as a preference. It is recommended that you consult with your DFR career advisor if you need help on deciding your preferences.
What is the minimum age that I can attend an Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
You need to be in at least year 11 at school and be at least16 years old to attend an ASP. You can however lodge your application with Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) while 15 years of age as long as you have completed year 10. Go to www.defencejobs.gov.au for further details.
What is the maximum age that I can attend an Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
There is no upper age to complete the ASP, however you will need to be young enough to be able to complete any periods of required service associated with the training you undertake, prior to reaching the compulsory retiring age. This will generally mean that you will need to be appointed no later than 48 years of age. Go to www.defencejobs.gov.au for further details.
Will I need to pay anything to attend the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) at RAAF Base East Sale?
No. Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) will make and pay for all travel arrangements. Accommodation and meals at RAAF Base East Sale are paid for by the RAAF. However, you may want to bring some money to pay for meals while travelling between home and RAAF Base East Sale. If a significant amount of travel is required to get to RAAF Base East Sale and an overnight stop is deemed appropriate, DFR will also cover the stop-over costs.
The most common way of getting to and from East Sale is by minibus driven by a Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) Chaperone. The Chaperone will pick up and drop off most candidates at Melbourne Airport, however other arrangements can be made for candidates who live in Victoria (some restriction apply).
Candidates who drive to East Sale will not have access to their vehicle while they are staying on base.
Why does the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) last for two days when other job selection processes can take less than an hour?
There are two main components of the ASP; an assessment component and an education component. Each of these two components takes a full day – hence two days.
What is the education component of the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
There are a number of parts to the education component of the ASP, they include:
- Result debrief. Finding out how you did during the assessment portion of the ASP is also part of the education portion. Knowing which Air Academy pathway that you are best suited for can help you make more informed decisions.
- School visits. Visiting the Air Academy at RAAF Base East Sale, where Officer Aviation (OA) Initial Specialist Employment Training (ISET) is conducted, will allow you to increase your understanding of ALL the OA streams. You will be given briefs on the different (ISET) courses and you will have the opportunity to talk to trainees and instructors about what it is like being a trainee on course at the various training units.
- Living on RAAF Base East Sale. All Officer Aviation personnel conduct at least some of their training at RAAF Base East Sale. By spending a few days and nights on-base during the ASP, you will be able to obtain a better understanding of what it is like to undergo training at East Sale. You will get a first-hand opportunity to see the facilities on base, live in the trainee accommodation and eat in the mess.
- Officer Selection Board (OSB) brief. Each of the three services (Navy, Army and Air Force) conducts their own OSBs and they are completed later in the recruiting process after ASP. During the ASP you will be given some information on what to expect and how to prepare for an OSB.
What is the assessment component of the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
The Military Aviation Cognitive Testing System (MACTS – pronounced Max), which is an objective computed based system, is employed for the assessment component of the ASP. There are 20 individual tests in the assessment and it takes approximately eight hours to complete (split over two days). Individual test results are combined to indicate your ability across a number of areas, which we call Domains. The Domains that you will be assessed against are; Strategic Task Management, Perceptual Processing, Short Term Memory and Capacity, Spatial Reasoning, Symbolic Reasoning, Central Information Processing and Psychomotor.
If you are very close to any anthropometric limits, we may also need to seat you in a PC21 aircraft to assess your suitability for certain Officer Aviation (AO) streams.
Will I find out my results while at the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
Yes. You will receive a printout of your results at the end of the second day. You will not be given results on how you did on every individual test but you will see how you scored on each of the domains mentioned above. You will also be given an indication of your overall performance.
The combination of the tasks and weighting of the domains has been designed and validated for all the Pathways into the Air Academy; therefore it is possible for you to be assessed as meeting the required standard for one pathway, but not another. Alternatively, you could be found to have Met the Required Standard (MRS) for all the pathways or you may be assessed as Below the Required Standard (BRS) for all the Pathways.
To be assessed as MRS for a particular Air Academy pathway you need to be assessed as above the minimum requirement for each of the applicable domains as well as being above a minimum overall score for that Air Academy pathway. If you do not meet both of these standards you will be assessed as BRS.
What information will I be told during the debrief at the end of the second day at the Aviation Screening Program?
While you are at Aviation Screening Program (ASP) you will be debriefed whether you have Met the Required Standard (MRS) or are Below the Required Standard (BRS) for each of the Pathways into the Air Academy. You will also be told if you have a high enough standing to progress to an Officer Selection Board (OSB). You will be given a printout showing your results for each of the assessed domains and an overall score for each of the Air Academy Pathways. You will also be given a letter explaining your results and indicating available progression options.
If I am assessed as to have Met the Required Standard (MRS) am I guaranteed of progressing to an Officer Selection Board (OSB)?
No. Generally there are many more MRS candidates than there are OSB positions. Whether you progress to an OSB will depend on Preferences, Suitability, Standing and Demand. You may be given an option to progress for one Service or Job and not another.
How is my standing determined?
We do not use the Military Aviation Cognitive Testing System (MACTS) results alone to determine whether you should progress to an Officer Selection Board (OSB). We do a thorough review of all your documentation you have supplied as part of your application before making the progression decision. Therefore it is in your best interest to ensure that DFR are supplied with all your latest information and documentation.
Someone on my Aviation Screening Program (ASP) got a similar MACTS score to me and they are progressing to an OSB and I’m not - Why?
MACTS results are not the only thing that we look at when we determine your standing. When all the components are considered in combination, your standing was not as high as theirs.
Do I need to make any decisions about progression options while I am still at the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
No. Our preference is that you go home and digest the information you are told during the debrief. When you have made your decision on what you would like to do, let Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) know.
What is the next step after the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
That depends if you were given any progression options. If you were not, your application cannot be processed any further. (The next Q&A section goes into more details of your options.)
If you are advised that you have some progression options you will need to let DFR know if you want to continue with your application. You are not under any obligation to continue with a progression option that you are offered. If you are not interested in pursuing a particular option, just say so.
If you have more than one option you will also need to indicate your order of preference.
Note: After attending ASP and seeing all the OA job types on offer (and having been debriefed on your results) you may have decided to change your preferences, this is your opportunity to let us know. How you indicate your preferences will determine which Officer Selection Board (OSB) you will be invited to attend. There is more information about OSBs below.
If I don’t get the results at the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) that I was hoping for, what are my options?
There may be other options for employment within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) that you might want to consider, however if you still want to continue with your Officer Aviation (OA) application you can attend another ASP after a waiting period of 12 months. However, having previously completed ASP testing is no guarantee that your results will improve a second time around. You can complete a maximum of three ASPs.
Officer Selection Boards
What is the role of the Officer Selection Board (OSB)?
The Aviation Screening Program (ASP) assesses your potential to achieve the technical proficiency and cognitive levels required for employment within the Officer Aviation (OA) job types. But technical skills are not the only skills you need to develop to become an effective OA. You will need to be able to communicate effectively, work as part of a team, and make decisions and lead. The OSB will assess your potential in these areas as well as your motivation. As part of the ASP you will be given some guidance on how to prepare for the OSB.
How long is the Officer Selection Board (OSB)?
Since each of the three services conduct their own OSBs, there will be variations in the location and duration, however they normally take a whole day.
What activities are undertaken during the Officer Selection Board (OSB)?
Again there are variations between the three services but they all have both group and individual activities. At the end of the individual interview you will be debriefed on your performance and be given an indication of your level of competitiveness for appointment.
I Met the Required Standard (MRS) at the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) but I didn’t get invited to an Officer Selection Board (OSB) – Why?
Every year there are more people who are assessed as MRS than there are slots available on the upcoming OSBs. Unfortunately this means some people will not be invited to attend an OSB.
What happens if I’m injured or become sick while participating in the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
Unfortunately, Australian Defence Force (ADF) medical staff are not allowed to treat candidates who are not members of the ADF. For life threatening emergencies, ADF medical staff will act as first responders until an ambulance arrives and you will be transported to the Central Gippsland Health Service (Sale Hospital). For non-life threatening emergencies, Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff will transport you to the hospital or a health practitioner in Sale. Candidates will be financially responsible for any health costs incurred.
If you were unable to complete the ASP you will be scheduled by the DFR Liaison Officer to attend another ASP.
What happens if I get sick just before participating in the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
Your health and safety is our first priority, so we will reschedule you for another ASP when you are fit and well.
Where will I be eating while I am at East Sale?
While you are at RAAF Base East Sale you will be eating in the Officers’ Mess. This will give you the opportunity to talk to trainees who are at the Air Academy at RAAF Base East Sale. The mess bar may be open certain days of the week, however candidates are not permitted to purchase alcohol and alcohol is not permitted to be taken back to the accommodation blocks by a candidate of any age. (The purchase of meals between your home and RAAF Base East Sale, and home again will be your responsibility.)
What if I have special dietary needs?
As long as you advise the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff of your dietary needs, they can make the appropriate arrangements with the RAAF Base East Sale catering staff.
What will the room I will be living in be like?
RAAF Base East Sale has brand new accommodation facilities and the ACMC has it own dedicated accommodation block. You will have your own room that has an ensuite with a toilet, hand basin and shower. Each room has a king-single bed, a study area and some cupboards. You will be supplied with all bedding and a towel. In each block there is also a common room and a laundry.
Will I be able to use the base gymnasium and swimming pool after hours?
Unfortunately, no. Work, Health and Safety regulations requires all personnel to undergo training to use these facilities out of hours. You will get a tour of the facilities during the Aviation Screening Program (ASP). Due to security reasons, you will not be able to go jogging around the base; however you can perform individual exercises such as sit-ups, squats and push-ups etc. in the common room or your room if you desire.
What do I need to bring to the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
On arrival at East Sale you will be issued with a flying suit (and jacket when it is cold) that you will wear during the day. You will need to bring normal underwear and collarless t-shirts (and shorts if you wish) to wear underneath the flying suit. You will wear the flying suit to breakfast and lunch each day and to dinner on the middle night. For the evening meal on the first and last night you are expected to wear neat causal clothing such as trousers and collared shirt (or female equivalent). You can wear runners with the flying suit. More comfortable clothing (as long as it is good taste) can be worn about the accommodation area. Your room will have a towel, but you will need to bring your own toiletries.
You may bring a mobile phone, tablet or laptop etc. however the RAAF will not accept responsibility for personal items. If you bring a camera or a personnel electronic device fitted with a camera, you are advised that there restrictions that apply to photography on RAAF Base East Sale.
Will I be able to leave the base during the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
Basically no. There is a small shop and post office located on the base and all meals will be provided by the RAAF, therefore you probably won’t need to leave the base during the ASP. However, if you need to travel into the town of Sale, to buy an essential item that you have forgotten; Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff will escort you.
The visitors pass that you will be issued for your stay at RAAF Base East Sale does not allow re-entry unless you are being escorted, therefore if you choose to leave the base unescorted you will not be able to regain access to the base.
What if I want to leave the course early?
One of the reasons why the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) is located at RAAF Base East Sale is so candidates can get a taste of what it is like to live and work on a RAAF base in an Officer Aviation job. If you realise that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is not for you, you only need to let the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff know that you would like to go home and they will inform Defence Force Recruiting (DFR) staff who will make arrangements for you.
If a family or some other type of emergency occurs, and you need to leave before the end of the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) DFR staff will organise the travel and the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff will organise for you to attend another ASP.
Will I be able to phone home during course?
There is good Telstra mobile 3G (limited 4G) coverage at RAAF Base East Sale however you may need to go outside to get good coverage from other carriers. If you need land-line access during normal working hours, ask one of the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff.
What can I do to prepare myself for the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
There is not a lot that can be done to prepare yourself for the aptitude testing component of the ASP but the Joining Instruction that will be sent to you if you are panelled on an ASP will give you some general guidance.
While there is an education component of the ASP, it doesn’t hurt to do some research of the different Officer Aviation (OA) streams before you arrive, that way you can get any questions answered that arise from your research.
How does Return of Service Obligation (ROSO) work?
Officer Aviation (OA) training is time consuming and expensive. It takes many years to complete Initial Specialist Employment Training (ISET) and become fully operationally qualified in an OA stream. To keep the training system running, the ADF needs their OAs to also be trained to take on supervision and/or training duties. Therefore, a ROSO is given to trainees who complete their OA IET to ensure that they don’t leave the ADF until they have returned sufficient service.
Under 18 Years of Age
I’m currently doing Year 12 and I can’t afford to take time off school. am I able to do the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) and RAAF Officer Selection board (ROSB) during school holidays?
Absolutely. We want you to do well at school too; therefore priority is given to trainees to attend the ASP in the school holidays. However, you don’t have to wait until Year 12 to start the selection process. ASP can be completed in Year 11 as long as you are at least 16 years of age.
If I am still at school is it better to do Aviation Screening Program (ASP) in Year 11 or Year 12?
The choice is entirely yours but there are a few advantages of attempting the ASP in Year 11. They include:
- Getting two bites of the cherry. If you don’t achieve the ASP outcome you were after in your first attempt, you can try again 12 months later.
- There are normally less things going on in Year 11.
Can I also do the Officer Selection Board (OSB) in Year 11?
No. Maturity is one of the social skills we are looking for in the OSB activities, therefore to give you the best opportunity to impress the board members you must be in at least year 12 to attend the OSB.
We understand that Year 12 is a very busy time for trainees, therefore candidates in Year 12 will be given priority for OSBs conducted in the school holidays.
What supervision will there be during the Aviation Screening Program (ASP)?
Outside of working hours there will be at least one chaperone present at all times. All chaperones have been screened (including a Working With Children Check) and trained in accordance with the Defence Youth Manual. During working hours either an appropriately screened and trained Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) staff member or Chaperone will be escorting the candidates.
****NOTE: The following Section applies to the RAAF only****
Air Force Training
When I join the Air Force will I be guaranteed of getting a particular Officer Aviation (OA) stream?
No. It will not be until well into your training that we will be able to identify which stream you are best suited for. Your Letter of Offer will indicate your Officer Avenue of Entry (ADFA or DEO) and which Pathway you will enter the Air Academy on (Mission or Pilot). If you enter the Air Academy on a Mission Pathway your first course will be Mission Elementary (ME Course). If you enter on a Pilot Pathway your first course at the Air Academy will be the Pilot Basic Course.
What Officer Aviation (OA) roles could the Air Force Mission Elementary Course lead to?
At the end of the 12-week Mission Elementary Course there is a progressive job fit point. By then, both you and the Air Force will have a much better idea of where your skills and potential lie and where you progress to will be dependent on your preference, your performance and Air Force requirements. Mission Elementary Course can lead to specialist training in the job types of Mission Controller or Mission Aircrew. Some people may have a medical or a physical restriction that allows them to be a Mission Controller but not Mission Aircrew.
What will I do if I’m a Mission Controller?
Further Mission Controller training can lead to employment within either Air Traffic Controller (ATC) stream or the Air Battle Manager (ABM) stream. If you are streamed ABM, your first job will be as a ground based controller.
What will I do if I’m Mission Aircrew?
After the Mission Elementary Course, further Mission Aircrew training can lead to employment within the following Streams:
- Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) stream, flying in the backseat of a Super Hornet,
- Air Mobility Officer (AMO) stream refuelling other aircraft from your KC30,
- Maritime Patrol and Response Officer (MPRO) stream flying in a P8 Poseidon aircraft or other surveillance aircraft.
Some ABMs or ATCs can do additional training to operate as part of the crew in aircraft like the E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.
What Officer Aviation (OA) roles could Basic Pilot’s Course lead to?
Normal progression at the end of Pilot Basic Course is for RAAF trainees to progress to Intermediate Pilot Course at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia. Decisions on employment within the Fast Jet Pilot (FJP) and Fixed Wing Pilot (FWP) streams will occur at that point.
RAAF Officer Selection Boards
Where are RAAF Officer Selection Boards (ROSB) conducted?
As the technical assessment for the different Officer Aviation (OA) job types is conducted as part of the ASP, a standardised RAAF OSB or ROSB (pronounced Ros-Bee) is used for all RAAF officer candidates. ROSBs are conducted at a number of locations around Australia. They could be held at your closest Defence Force Recruiting Centres (DFRCs) or you may need to travel to another DFRC. ROSBs are also conducted at Canberra and occasionally at East Sale. Where you attend a ROSB will depend on your availability and vacancies on the upcoming ROSBs. If required, travel and accommodation will be arranged and paid for by DFR.
Can Army and Navy invite me to one of their Officer Selection Board (OSB) even though I have a RAAF OA Job Type as my first preference?
Yes they can. It is all down to numbers, the RAAF normally has many more candidates than the Army and Navy. However, having quality people in all three services is important so sometimes the Army and Navy will invite a candidate with a RAAF OA job type as a first preference to their OSBs.
If at the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) I was assessed as Meeting the Required Standard (MRS) for both the Pilot and Mission Pathways and I am invited to a RAAF Officer Selection Board (ROSB), does that mean I will be automatically interviewed for both pathways?
Only if both were offered in the progression option report. If the progression option report only offered Mission, you will only be interviewed for Mission.
If I am sent an invitation to attend a RAAF Officer Selection Board (ROSB) for both Pilot and Mission Pathways, do I need to attend two separate ROSBs?
No. The interview for both pathways will be rolled into one.
Do I need to complete different RAAF Officer Selection Boards (ROSBs) for the different types of officer intake; Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and Direct Entry – Officer (DEO)?
No. You don’t need to attend a separate ROSB, but the board may recommend you for one type of Officer intake and not another. You may only be recommended for an ADFA intake because the board members believe that the three years at ADFA will better prepare you for the demands of the Officer Aviation Initial Employment Training (IET) at the Air Academy. You may only be recommended for DEO if the board members believe that you may not (or have not) achieved the ATAR required by the University of NSW.
In the RAAF Officer Selection Board (ROSB) will I be asked questions on every stream?
No. We recognise that when you take into account all the different Officer Aviation (OA) streams, along with all the platforms and all the different locations – that is lot of information. The ROSB members will expect that you will be well researched for your first preference and that you know what you may be signing up for. You won’t be expected to be as well researched for your backup options.
What happens after the RAAF Officer Selection Board (ROSB)?
That will depend on your performances in the both the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) and ROSB.
If you were not recommended by the ROSB you will be given an indication by the Board President of the reasons why and ways to improve your performance (should you wish to reapply). Your application will not be processed any further and your file will be returned to your Defence Force Recruiting Centre (DFRC). You should contact your DFR Careers Coach to discuss your career options.
If you are recommended, you may need to complete a number of additional specialist medical examinations. As long as you do not have any medical restrictions you will go into the pool with all the other recommended candidates until the next distribution.
How does the RAAF distribution process work?
The RAAF distribution process is similar to the system that state based Tertiary Admission Centres use to offer positions on university courses, in that they compare course vacancies with the applicants standing. Standing is the term we use when we compare candidates against other candidates.
The Candidate Management Cell (CMC) personnel within the Aviation Candidate Management Centre (ACMC) compare upcoming RAAF vacancies at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and the RAAF Officer Training School (OTS) and the standing of candidates during the Aviation Screening Program (ASP) and RAAF Officer Selection Board (ROSB) activities. Candidates with a standing at the higher end of the spectrum are more likely to be given an offer for their first preference for Officer Intake and an Air Academy pathway.
All candidates, both successful and unsuccessful will be advised when a distribution has taken place.
****NOTE: The following Section applies to the Army only****
When I join the Army will I be guaranteed of getting a particular Officer Aviation (OA) Stream?
Army pilots are recruited as General Service Officers (GSOs) either through ADFA or the Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC-D). Army ADFA cadets who have successfully completed ASP are likely to be allocated to Army Aviation on appointment into the ADF. Battlefield Rotary Pilot is the only OA stream in the Army; therefore, if you are successful in your training, you will be allocated to that stream. Particular helicopter types cannot be guaranteed.
What courses will I do after Pilot Basic Course?
On successful competition of Pilot Basic Course, all Army trainees undergo rotary pilot training within the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, NSW. After this basic rotary course you will complete an operational conversion (OPCON) on one of the Army battlefield helicopters.
What happens if I am unsuccessful in my aviation training?
As all pilots are appointed as General Service Officers (GSOs), if you are unsuccessful in your aviation training you will be transferred to another corps.
Army Officer Selection Board
If I am progressed to an Army OSB (AOSB), where will it occur?
All AOSB are conducted at Royal Military College Duntroon (RMC-D). The exact details of AOSB activities will not be released to candidates prior to the AOSB. Candidates will be assessed on five key areas: Leadership, Suitability and Organisational fit, Motivation, Academic ability and Physical agility. Army will also seek to select candidates who share Army’s values of: Courage, Initiative, Teamwork and Respect.
If I am applying for a non-Officer Aviation role in the Army, do I need to attend multiple ASOBs?
No. AOSBs will assess your capacity to attend RMC as a GSO and is not role specific.
What happens after the ASOBs?
The distribution process for Army is similar to that of the Air Force except that Army could also offer appointment as a GSO at RMC (without going to ADFA).
****NOTE: The following Section applies to the Navy only****
When I join the Navy will I be guaranteed of getting a particular Officer Aviation (OA) stream?
Yes. The only OA streams in the Navy are Pilot and Maritime Aviation Warfare Officer (AvWO) and since they have separate courses, as long as you are successful in your training you will achieve that stream.
What courses will I do after Pilot Basic Course?
On successful competition of Pilot Basic Course all Navy trainees progress to Pilot Intermediate Course on the PC21 at RAAF Base Pearce. On completion of that course you will undertake rotary pilot training within the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, NSW. After this basic rotary course, you will complete an operational conversion (OPCON) on one of the Navy maritime helicopters.
What courses will I do after AvWO Basic Course?
On successful competition of AvWO course at East Sale, all Navy trainees progress to specialised training within the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, NSW. After this basic rotary course, you will complete an operational conversion (OPCON) on one of the Navy maritime helicopters.
Navy Officer Selection Board
If I am progressed to a Navy OSB (NOSB), where will it occur?
For ADFA applicants the OSB’s will be conducted at Canberra. For DEO applicants the OSB’s will be conducted at your nearest suitable Recruiting Centre.
If I am applying for both Navy Pilot and AvWO, do I need to attend multiple NOSBs?
No, you will only attend one OSB.
If I am applying for both DEO and ADFA, do I need to attend multiple NOSBs?
No, you will only attend one OSB.
What happens after the NOSBs?
If you are recommended, you will be debriefed that your recommendation and possibility of receiving a Letter Of Offer is based on an order of merit. You will also receive a letter that will confirm your recommendation and your possibility of receiving a Letter Of Offer based on an order of merit.