Members are expected to attend training nights, usually on a weekly basis, as well as attending an annual training camp. The flying syllabus of 31 sorties loosely follows Elementary Flying Training (EFT), and allows a student to do approximately ten to fifteen hours of flying per year. This is supplemented with ground training, and adventurous training both in this country and abroad.
They are considered part of the RAF Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR). Many UASs are parents to Air Experience Flights (AEF) which provide experience of flying to Air Cadets. Most students hold the rank of Officer Cadet, which has the status and privileges - but not the rank - of an Officer. Some may obtain commissions in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, in the rank of Acting Pilot Officer. Medicine and Dentistry students, on obtaining a Cadetship, are commissioned into the RAF in the rank of Pilot Officer.
Just prior to World War II they were an important source of pilots for the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Already members of the RAFVR, they were called up for active service in the middle of studying for their degrees.