About the Job

Chefs are employed in all aspects of food preparation and production. This includes purchase, receipt, storage, preparation, Cookery, presentation and serving of the finished product. Air Force catering provides meals of a high standard with service levels varying according to rank. In addition to normal dining room meals Air Force Chefs are employed in in-flight kitchens, field Cookery and instructional posts at the ADF School of Catering, HMAS Cerberus Westernport, Victoria.

Shift and weekend work are common. Most Air Force kitchens are well equipped and maintained. Suitable protective clothing, tools of trade (knifes etc) and footwear are provided at public expense.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

National Qualifications

The Royal Australian Air Force is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). This allows the RAAF to issue national awards, which in principle have the same standing as those provided by Universities and other Institutes of TAFE.

Following completion of Initial Cook training, Air Force Chefs are eligible for a Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery). In addition, Chefs may become eligible for higher standings following the completion of various post graduate Chef courses and the Air Force Chef competency logbook.

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

As a Chef you may be posted to Air Force bases located within QLD and the Northern Territory, with limited opportunity for overseas deployment. On promotion to the rank of Corporal and above, opportunities exist to be posted to a catering capability support position located within NSW, VIC, QLD and the ACT.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be aged between 17 and 55 years of age inclusive on day of entry.

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

Education & Experience

The minimum formal education for entry to the Chef mustering is successful completion of Year 10 (including passes in English and Mathematics) of a 12 year system of formal education.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website.

Employment Training

ADF Initial Cooks Course: 19 Weeks

The Initial Cook's Course is conducted at the ADF School of Catering (ADFSC), HMAS Cerberus, Westernport, Victoria.

Holmesglen Institute of TAFE in partnership with ADFSC delivers the training. Initial Chef will be signed up as apprentices by Apprenticeships Victoria. Students attending initial Chef course now receive an iPad for use on the course and to use as a resource tool post-graduation.

The ADF Initial Chefs Course provides both practical and theoretical instruction in all aspects of cookery and kitchen activities. Subjects taught include kitchen safety, hygiene, knife handling, care and maintenance, cooking techniques, food inspection, preparation and storage, food decoration and presentation, meat recognition and handling, and field/deployment cookery which will include siting and establishment of a field kitchen, tentage and camouflage, and the operation and maintenance of field catering equipment.

Upon completion of the course, trainees are awarded Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery).

Subject to completion of 3 years service in the mustering and all training, including successful completion of the ADF Chefs Competency Logbook, a member is awarded Chef trade papers.

Further Training

Airmen and airwomen have many opportunities to continue their professional development. The Logistics musterings (Supply, Ground Crew and Chef) have a Logistics Professional Development Program (LPDP). The LPDP provides logistics airmen, airwomen and officers with professional development opportunities via logistics or business related formal education. The program allows logistics personnel to develop and broaden their logistics knowledge, and to also keep abreast of changes within logistics based industries.

As well, subsequent cookery training (Post Graduate Courses) are promotion pre-requisite courses which in most cases lead to promotion for selected suitable Airmen and Airwomen provided they meet all other requirements such as performance and time in rank, and vacancies at the higher rank exist. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Intermediate Cooks Course is the pre-requisite trade course for promotion from Leading Aircraftman/Leading Aircraftwoman to Corporal. This course is designed to prepare selected Airmen and Airwomen for promotion to the next rank level by providing the necessary skill sets to become an effective kitchen supervisor as a Corporal. There is also a requirement to complete promotion pre-requisite trade courses for promotion to Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and Warrant Officer.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

Salary & Allowances

In the Air Force you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.

In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

As a Chef you may be posted to Air Force bases located within QLD and the Northern Territory, with limited opportunity for overseas deployment. On promotion to the rank of Corporal and above, opportunities exist to be posted to a catering capability support position located within NSW, VIC, QLD and the ACT.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be aged between 17 and 55 years of age inclusive on day of entry.

Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

Education & Experience

The minimum education requirement for Direct (Qualified) Entrants to the Chef mustering is the successful completion of Year 10 with full year passes in Mathematics and English.

It is essential that an applicant has completed an apprenticeship within the trade or an AQF 3 Certificate in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery).

Candidates must demonstrate currency of employment as a Chef and have a minimum of two years relevant industry experience, supported by documentary evidence of experience, training and competency attainment.

Applicants applying for qualified entry must provide original documents of their education, trade certificates, units of competency results and a current resume to their Careers Coach. These documents will then be forwarded to the Air Force job sponsor and the ADF School of catering to establish eligibility for qualified enlistment.

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

You will be enlisted for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of four years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may request discharge at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation and provide a minimum of three months notice.

Additional Requirements

Licence Requirements:

At a minimum, candidates must hold a valid Australian State or Territory provisional/probationary C Class Drivers Licence upon enlistment/appointment. Candidates with suspended or cancelled licences will not be eligible to join until the suspension or cancellation has been lifted or has expired.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Training

Military Training

Duration: 10.6 weeks

Location: RAAF Base Wagga (NSW)

You'll start your Air Force career at No 1 Recruit Training Unit (1RTU). In three intensive months you'll transition smoothly from civilian to Service life, acquiring the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness required for your role; and learning to become an effective and productive member of the Air Force.

You can read about what to expect at the No.1 Recruit Training Unit on the 1RTU website.

Employment Training

After successfully completing recruit training, Direct Entrants are required to attend the Australian Defence Force School of Catering (ADFSC) located at HMAS Cerberus, near Hastings, VIC for validation of original certificates and Chef's uniform kitting. Entrants will also be issued the Air Force Chefs Competency Logbook for the recording of further training and employment competencies.

Entrants may be required to satisfy a skills assessment conducted at ADFSC. ADFSC will then identify any further training requirements needed.

Qualified entry Chefs also complete a 2 week Field Catering course at the Army Logistics Training Centre (ALTC) Latchford Barracks near Wodonga, VIC and additional Air Force specific competencies.

Further Training

Airmen and airwomen have many opportunities to continue their professional development. The Logistics musterings (Supply, Ground Crew and Chef) have a Logistics Professional Development Program (LPDP). The LPDP provides logistics airmen, airwomen and officers with professional development opportunities via logistics or business related formal education. The program allows logistics personnel to develop and broaden their logistics knowledge, and to also keep abreast of changes within logistics based industries.

As well, subsequent cookery training (Post Graduate Courses) are promotion pre-requisite courses which in most cases lead to promotion for selected suitable Airmen and Airwomen provided they meet all other requirements such as performance and time in rank, and vacancies at the higher rank exist. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Intermediate Cooks Course is the pre-requisite trade course for promotion from Leading Aircraftman/Leading Aircraftwoman to Corporal. This course is designed to prepare selected Airmen and Airwomen for promotion to the next rank level by providing the necessary skill sets to become an effective kitchen supervisor as a Corporal. There is also a requirement to complete promotion pre-requisite trade courses for promotion to Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and Warrant Officer.