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The Cadet programme - Grand Prior Award

As a Cadet, you will be working towards your Grand Prior Award. You can choose from over seventy different subjects to complete your award. These range from first aid to fire prevention, photography to sports.

You’ll work towards achieving a badge and certificate in each subject at the Cadet Unit meetings. Units usually meet once a week, and it takes around six weeks to earn your first badge.

St John Ambulance Cadets work towards their Grand Prior Award

The Membership Award is your first step towards joining St John Ambulance. It gives you an understanding and a taste of what being a Cadet is all about, before you join one of our Cadet unit. Badgers joining Cadets will already have this through their Follow-Me Badger Award.

Award stages

You must complete a certain number of subjects to receive your bronze, silver and gold awards. Each subject in the Grand Prior Award scheme is offered at three levels so that everyone can participate at their own level.

  • • Complete eight subjects – Bronze award
  • • Complete 16 subjects – Silver award
  • • Complete 20 subjects – Gold award
  • • Complete 24 subjects – Grand Prior Award


As a Cadet, you can take part in over seventy subjects from eight different categories to earn your awards:

First aid skills

From knowing how to start someone’s heart if it has stopped, to other valuable life skills, this section can help you stay up-to-date with the best first aid techniques and gives you the ability to look after others.


This section improves your communication skills and helps you to understand others. You could practice using a radio, learn sign language, or build your IT and listening skills.



This activity helps you become more aware of your surroundings, from accident prevention to fundraising. It is here to help you understand more about your community.


Learn about looking after everyone - children and adults alike. This element delves into everything: from care to fundraising, and how to participate in and help your community.

Our organisation

This subject gets you to explore St John Ambulance, learning about its past and future. Develop leadership skills and find out what it’s like to provide first aid cover at an event.

Personal development

What skills do you think you are lacking? How could you improve and reach your potential? Learn to lead, to train others and how to reach your goals.


From entertainment to photography, this gives you the opportunity to get creative. Learn about crafts and music, and how they can help you in everyday life.


Ever fancied knowing about different faiths, nutrition, and your family history? If so, this is the subject to look at. It covers everything from exploring and expeditions, to cookery and food hygiene.

Get involved with our youth programmes

Get involved with Cadets

Contact our regional offices to find your nearest unit

Get involved with St John Ambulance youth activities

Training for Cadets

Progress to become a Peer Educator or Youth First Aider

cadet on duty

Cadet uniform

Dress to impress and find out more about our uniform guidelines

cadet uniform

Information for parents

All you need to know about our youth programmes

Volunteering as a Cadet

Find out about volunteering at events

Cadet volunteer

Student volunteering

You can become a youth leader or if you’re at university, you can join a first aid society.

St John Ambulance student volunteer Hazel