As with all Air Cadet squadrons, 517 Squadron operates a standardized weekly training program on Wednesday nights. The training is designed as a five-year program, with each year building on the previous training. Cadets will learn a wide variety of aviation, cadet and military-related subjects. Older cadets may combine the first two training years into one, at the discretion of the training officer. It is mandatory for all cadets to attend these training nights.
Cadets also have the opportunity to branch off into their particular areas of interest by joining relevant squadron teams, groups or summer courses.
In addition to the training, older and more senior cadets may instruct the subjects to newer cadets and take on other jobs and responsibilities in the squadron.