St John Ambulance Cadets in the UK Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John_Ambulance_Cadets_in_the_UK

St John Ambulance Cadets
St John Ambulance Cadets Logo.svg
The logo of the St John Ambulance Cadets
Two St John Ambulance Cadets performing CPR on a Little Anne; a type of Medical education mannequin
Two St John Ambulance Cadets performing CPR on a Little Anne; a type of Medical education mannequin
FormationMarch 1922[1]
PurposeFirst aid education
Headquarters27 St John's Lane, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 4BU[2]
HRH The Princess Royal
Parent organization
St John Ambulance (England)

St John Ambulance Cadets is a youth organisation of St John Ambulance founded in England in 1922 for people aged between 10 and 17 to train them in first aid, social actions, wellbeing, communication and other essential skills.[6][7] As of December 2019, there were 8,071 Cadets in England.[4] Cadets take part in a variety of activities that consist of providing first aid at community events, learning leadership and training skills.

In 2020, the Cadet program was reviewed in which a new program was launched to reflect a more modern approach for young people. This includes the Grand Prior's Award,[8] leadership courses and the development of the first aid courses provided. The program had been under design since 2017 and was an inclusive process including youth leaders from all four regions of the priory in England, St John Ambulance Wales, cadets from across the four regions and other stakeholders.


  • First Aid – there are two first aid courses: a basic induction "First Aid for Cadets", an introductory 10-hour course to providing first aid at events; a "Cadet Operational First Aider" qualification, mimicking the adult first aid role, allowing them to treat under supervision. First aid training is also completed as a module with the Membership Award that all Cadets undertake. They are trained in the use of an Automated external defibrillator (AED) in both courses.
  • Cadet Leadership – it is encouraged to attend leadership courses taking place at two levels. They teach skills which enable cadets to be promoted to Cadet Young Leaders (NCOs) with their units. The courses count towards the Cadet's Grand Prior Award.
  • Peer Education – completion of this course allows cadets to gain a BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Peer Education, an externally accredited qualification. Following the completion of the qualification, Cadet Peer Educators can give first aid training to young people and teach Grand Prior Award subjects in which they are already competent. Cadets who complete the course but do not gain the qualification can become Cadet Assistant Peer Educator; they cannot solely give first aid training, but can assist their qualified counterparts in training others.[9][10] This qualification is unavailable because the awarding body responsible withdrew. The Demonstrator and assessor awards have been brought in to replace this and still offer cadets the chance to learn skills to teach others how to do first aid.


Cadets can take part in a variety of other activities that are not first aid, and assist adult members of St John Ambulance. Some of them are listed below.

  • Assisting St John Ambulance adult members while providing first aid at events (e.g. football matches, firework displays, local events).
  • Radio communication work.
  • Leading and training groups of Cadets.
  • Competitions such as "Cadet of the Year".
  • Fundraising for St John Ambulance and other charities.
  • Completing awards such as the Grand Prior Award and Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
  • Taking part in drills; in some areas, the Remembrance Sunday parade.
  • Socializing at organised recreation events (e.g. "fun nights", camping, youth balls and other trips).

Cadet Code of Chivalry[edit]

As part of their enrolment, cadets pledge a Code of Chivalry, similar to how Scouts make a Scout Promise when they join. Cadets promise to observe the Code of Chivalry and will often recite it on special occasions.[11]}}


There are a number of awards that cadets can achieve during their time at St John Ambulance:

  • Membership Award ‒ this is the first award that new members will complete, which involves completion of worksheets and activities about various aspects of St John life. Each unit may run this in other ways.
  • Grand Prior Award Scheme ‒ this is the highest award a cadet can achieve, named for the Grand Prior of The Order of St John. This award scheme involves Cadets completing 24 subjects at different levels (bronze, silver, gold and Grand). This usually takes about 3– 6 years to complete.
  • Service Awards ‒ every time a cadet completes any volunteering for St John Ambulance, their hours are logged. When a certain number of hours are completed, they are awarded a badge (after 50 hours, 100 hours, and every 100 hours up to 1000 hours).[12]
  • Other awards ‒ The Duke of Edinburgh's Award can also be completed; St John Ambulance recently recommitted to providing this award for all cadets eligible.

Cadet roles[edit]

In 2017‒2018, St John Ambulance reviewed the roles cadets can hold. When the new service delivery uniform (SDU) was introduced, the following role bars were available to achieve with training.

  • Cadet Observer (Discontinued)
  • Cadet Trainee First Aider (Discontinued)
  • Cadet First Aider
  • Cadet Advanced First Aider (Discontinued)
  • Cadet Peer Educator (Discontinued Changed to Demonstrator)
  • Cadet Assistant Peer Educator (Discontinued Changed to Demonstrator)

As of 1 January 2018, there are no more Cadet Trainee First Aider courses or Cadet Advanced First Aider courses following a review in mid-2017. Those with the roles still hold their qualifications; the only two clinical roles available are Cadet and Cadet First Aider

Those who already hold a Cadet Advanced First Aider role are permitted to keep this qualification and role bar until they turn 18 years old. After that and assuming they complete a transfer course, which introduces medical drugs and medical gases, they can directly transition to an adult Advanced First Aider.

Cadets have to be 13 to complete their Cadet Operational First Aider Course, allowing them to deliver first aid at events. Cadets and Cadet First Aiders are trained in the use of AEDs.

Roles of St John Ambulance Cadets
Role Cadet Observer (role discontinued - replaced with "Cadet") Cadet Trainee First Aider (role discontinued) Cadet First Aider
Role bar SJA Cadet Observer Role Bar.png Cadet Trainee First Aider Role Bar.png SJA Cadet First Aider Role Bar.png

Rank structure[edit]

The ranking structure for Cadets is as follows; they can only attain the title of non-commissioned officer (NCO).

Ranks and Insignia of St John Ambulance Cadets[6]
UK Cadets Officers Cadet Senior NCOs Cadet Junior NCOs Cadets Recruits
St John Ambulance
Cadets ranks and shoulder marks
No equivalent
SJA Epaulette Leading Cadet.png
Leading Cadets
No equivalent
SJA Epaulette Cadet Sergeant.png
Cadet Sergeant
No equivalent
SJA Epaulette Cadet Corporal.png
Cadets Corporal
No equivalent
SJA Epaulette Cadet.png
No insignia

Recruit RcT

To be promoted to the rank of Cadet Corporal or Sergeant, they must have completed Cadet Leadership 1 training. For promotion to Leading Cadet, completion of Cadet Leadership 2 is essential. Once the leadership course is complete, they may have an interview with a panel usually consisting of the Unit Manager, Youth Leader, and District Youth Officers; some panels may also include a young person representative.


  1. ^ "The History of the Badgers and Cadets". Museum of the Order of St John. 7 April 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020. After the First World War, in March 1922, a junior wing of St John Ambulance – the Cadets – was officially established.
  2. ^ "St John Ambulance". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Cadets". St John Ambulance. 2012. Archived from the original on 17 March 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Annual Report and Accounts For the year ended 31 December 2019 Including the work of St John Ambulance". The Priory of England and the Islands of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. 31 December 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  5. ^ "PRO FIDE, PRO UTILITATE HOMINUM | Trademark of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem". Justia. 11 November 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b St John Ambulance Cadet Handbook
  7. ^ "St John Ambulance Cadet Unit". London Borough of Islington Directory. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Grand Prior's Award - Cadets - First Aid Training". St John Ambulance. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Peer Education and Youth First Aid Programmes". sja.org.uk. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  10. ^ SJA Connect - private member's site
  11. ^ "Cadets". sja.org.uk. Archived from the original on 5 May 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Cadet Service Award". St John Supplies. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2020.

External links[edit]