Manchester Army Cadets’ BTEC Success

October 13, 2015

By Major Peter Hilton and SSI Debbie Callaghan, GMACF

Greater Manchester ACF capped another enjoyable Annual Camp with success in BTEC vocational qualifications from CVQO. The BTEC programme has always been a strong part of GMACF’s activities.


GMACF BTEC expert Mark Cornock (Left) and CVQO officer Ian Kelly (Right) run through the course with cadets

A new BTEC team headed by the County BTEC officer Mark Cornock has proved a hit with cadets and adults alike. Mark is a member of the Professional Support Staff by day and a BTEC wizard by night, ensuring that GMACF helps cadets achieve qualifications based on the ACF syllabus and team working. The BTEC team is supported by 2 Lt Jamie Curley who is the lead volunteer in mustering support from adult leaders in the delivery of the course. 2Lt Lizzie Nevell and SSI Jose Townson have also played a part in assisting cadets achieve nationally recognised qualifications. In a world where standing out from the crowd matters, GMACF cadets with BTEC qualifications can rightly claim to be doing just that.

This year, the County has managed to secure 19 BTEC Level 1 qualifications whilst at Annual Camp, and the recipients were lucky enough to receive their certificates from the Deputy Brigade Commander, HQ 42 Inf Bde & HQ NW, Col Phil Harrison during his visit to Wathgill. This entry qualification sets the tone for further courses and can be accessed early in the cadet career. Cdt Daniel Smeathurst, Clifton Detachment, 4 (Korea) Company, is only 13 and yet he already has this important qualification to his name.

GMACF success continued with 31 certificates for the Level 2 Award in Teamwork and Personal Skills being issued, with the number likely to rise further as more submissions come in. These results are testament to the efforts of the BTEC team and their commitment to securing qualifications for the cadets.

Finally, the County continues to push boundaries with 19 Level 3 Awards being completed with partner schools and colleges. This award is the equivalent of three A-Levels and will see some of the recipients going on to university. Testament to this is Cadet CSM Rahees Ramzam from Rochdale Detachment, who has completed both his Level 2 and Level 3 Awards and was able to use these towards securing him a place at university, which he started in September. We all wish him well for a bright future ahead.

The success of the current cohort is even more positive when one considers that the revised system has only been in operation for eight months. The Commandant and the BTEC team are keen to build on this success with BTEC being a further development opportunity for GMACF Cadets and adult staff.

To find out more about BTEC qualifications go to the following links;



For more information about Greater Manchester Army Cadets, and how you can get involved as a cadet or an Adult Volunteer, visit