Terms & Conditions of Service (T&COS)


It’s surprising how little is known about the basic structure of the RAF’s terms & conditions of service: how long a Serviceman or woman signs up for; how that service can be extended; when they can terminate their service; when a Serviceperson must leave; and the impact of promotion on length of service. 

This information therefore describes in general terms the basic engagement structure, broken down into non-commissioned, non-commissioned aircrew and commissioned terms of service, since each cadre joins up on different terms. 

Personnel moving from one cadre to another, for example an airman applying for a commission, will need to understand the impact on their existing contract and should consult the specialist personnel staffs to ensure they fully understand the implications of moving from one type of engagement to another.

The detailed rules and regulations about the Terms & Conditions of Service (T&COS) affecting the different cadres are contained in Air Publication 3392 Volume 2 and AP 3376 Volume 1 for the non-commissioned and non-commissioned aircrew cadres, and Air Publication 3393 covers the commissioned cadre.  All 3 publications are available on the RAF Intranet.  Advice on extensions of service or optional exit points, including Premature Voluntary Retirement (PVR) is available from unit personnel staffs.

It is emphasised that what follows is a simple guide to the engagement structure and serving personnel or family members wishing to know more, should contact their unit personnel staffs.

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