How would you like to be a Rock Star at ADF aircrew recruiting? Well, let me give you the rundown. One of the biggest complaints received is that there is plenty of information out there but two things frustrate people:

  • ADF aircrew recruitment/aptitude training information is scattered about across various websites
  • It is just facts with little advice about how to pass and if it is often not written by aircrew but ghostwriters

Well read on for the real scoop. This article will detail the process and provide some real time guidance about how to pass it. It will be delivered over various editions. Here is the first contribution.

Firstly you will not be enrolling to be a pilot but an AO (Aircrew Officer). Upon initial contact with DFR you canlist a preference for what role you want to undertake and which service you would like to enter but it will not be decided until quite late in the process.

Firstly some useful abbreviations:

  • ACMC Aviation Candidate Management Centre
  • ASPAviation Screening Program
  • OAOfficer Aviation
  • OASPOfficer Aviation Selection Process
  • AMPAviation Motivation Program
  • OSBOfficer Selection Board
  • DFR Defence Force Recruiting
  • DFRCDefence Force Recruiting Centre
  • PTSPilot Training System
  • FSP Flight Screening Program
  • IETInitial Employment Training
  • MECMission Elementary Course
  • SACTSchool of Air Traffic Control
  • SACTU Surveillance and Control Training Unit
  • ABMAir Battle Management
  • MPROMaritime Patrol and Response Officer
  • WSOWeapons Systems Officer
  • HATSHelicopter Aircrew Training System

Officer Aviation

Recruitment Process

The RAAF Officer Aviation (OA) selection process comprises a number of stages:

  • 1Recruitment

  • 2Aviation

  • 3Officer
    Selection Board

  • 4Distribution to Service

It is important to do your best at each stage. The ACMC will ‘skim the best off the top’. This is why some
candidates will move quickly through the process and others may be on the hold file for some time or may be
offered an alternative role. The selection process for Navy and Army are very similar. So how do you make sure
you are near the top of the pile? Well read on.

Stage 1 – Recruitment

The first phase in the in the OA selection process is conducted by DFR and contains several steps – some on-line and others will be conducted at the nearest DFRC. These steps are designed to screen out applicants who are unsuitable because they do not meet defined military standards. Some are based on generic Defence Force entry standards and baselines and some are more related to aviation which has a unique set of requirements. The areas that applicants are assessed in include:

  • Education attainment levels

    (Make sure you reach and exceed if you can the ADF minimum)

  • Citizenship

    (Australian or eligible for it)


    (Be ready to be asked the question to account for your last 10 years jobs, location, etc)


    (Ensure you can meet the published pre-entry minimums)

  • AGE

    (Preferable under 27 but case by case basis older than this)

  • English language fluency

    (If in doubt do a test)

  • Written and Oral Communication

  • Medical/Psychological/Dental Suitability

    (If in doubt, get it checked out before going to ADF doctors)

  • Physiological/Ergonomic Measurements

    (To ensure you fit into an ejection seat)

  • Motivation and knowledge of roles and training

    (Ask someone to test you, so do some research here)

  • Organizational skills

    (Prove it, provide some evidence)

  • Leadership Potential

    (List previous examples)

  • Communication skills

    (Practice speaking and record yourself)

  • General Cognitive Ability

    (How do you go when using aptitude apps or online testing, academic scores will be used here as well)

  • Spatial Awareness

    (Have you flown before, if not why not?)

If you can’t tick all of these boxes then take some action before you apply. Now that you have a basic idea of what they are looking for here is a step by step guide on how it all flows.


Steps in summary:

  • Apply to become a pilot via the Defence Force “Defence Jobs” website for Aircrew Officer (AO)
  • Fill out your personal details online
  • Book your YOU (Your Opportunities Unlimited) Session at a DFRC
  • Receive an email, which leads to several online questionnaires that require completion prior to attendingthe YOU Session and a mandatory list of documents that will be required

YOU Session

  • Held at the DFRC
  • Generally, kicks off at 0800 sharp but has been known to start 10 mins early, so be early!
  • Mandated documents checked to confirm identity and to allow entry. This will include drivers licence (if you have one)/passport, etc
  • Taken to testing room
  • On the desk will be a computer, note pad and pencil. All candidates will then be given a slow time tutorial on how to operate the computer testing program and some examples questions before you start each test
  • You will have the chance for optional breaks between the tests

The test is 100% computer based and is comprised of two sections.

Section 1 Basic generic IQ testing including some number patterns, shape patterns and language questions. Practice online by googling this form of testing or use a pilot aptitude training app which will make a big difference in performance. The tests are quite basic; however, TIME IS VERY LIMITED. There will be about 75 questions or so, so if a question is not known immediately, move on and come back if time is available.

Section 2 This consists of mainly mathematics-based questions including Pythagoras theory (finding angles and lengths of triangles) and some algebra/decimal based questions. Again, TIME is limited.

Candidates at this point may be given an option for further computer-based maths based testing based associated with forces (Newton, etc). Volunteer for this. It will help your cause and you should do some prior practice. Candidates will then be given a 30 minute presentation on the types of employment roles within the ADF.

Each candidate will then have a one on one personal meeting/information session with a DFR officer. The DFR Officer will probably initially emphasize that they are not assessing but rather helping preparation for assessment day. You are already being indirectly assessed. Typical questions include:

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself?
  • Why do you want to join the Defence Force and why as an AO?
  • Why should we pick you?
  • Do you know what a combat role is?
  • Do you play any sport and do your prefer individual or team sports and why?
  • Do you have any prior leadership experience and how did it go?
  • What is the return of service obligation (ROSO) and prove to us you are ready for it?

The DFR Officer will then go on to detail options available based on testing results so far. They are required to mention the standard policy that if pilot is not included as an optional offer of employment, then a mandatory 6 months wait is required before the testing can be retaken. Up to 3 attempts are allowed in this phase of the testing.

The DFR Officer will then go on to detail the administrative process coming next including further testing, minimum expected health standards and further details of the medical testing. The YOU session normally wraps up around 1330 or so. Candidates will notified in due course of the ADF recommendations of category based on candidate testing results. Chase them up after 2 weeks if you have not heard anything. Next event is the Assessment Day. Stay tuned for that next month!

Continue Reading..

ADF Aircrew Recruiting Process (Cont)

Part 4

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