Artificer Selection PAAB? Are we doing it right? What would you like to see change?

Looking for some constructive feed back in regards to the current 1 day PAAB selection process compared to the old many days PAAB selection. This feedback is for my studies in relation to how we select our artificers and more to the point are we doing it right? The questions are for your own thoughts and opions with no one knowing who you are personally or professionally.

1: Do you think the current one day is enough or do you think the days under pressure should be extended?

2: Currently on the PAAB you are only tested on Group Discussions, Command Tasks and Project Dilema. What do you think should be added or taken away and why?

3: How do we filter the good from the bad when deciding who should become an successful candidate on the PAAB. What are we really looking for?

4: How did you find the old PAAB? What was good and bad about the days under pressure?

5: If you could change the proccess of how we select our potential artificers what would that be?
I think a big change should be that you don't get a yes/no on PAABs or SJARS but points towards an overall grade that your assessed on at the loading board in a similar way to promotion boards. This way even if you have a bad day on your PAAB you still have a chance of being selected. I still believe as many do that one days assessment by people who most likely have never met you before should not decide that you do not get selected for a full year or longer.
I dont agree Icarus and dont think that there are many qualified to give a decent, well rounded answer here on ARRSE.

I took the 3 day PAAB and have been DS on the 1 day PAAB. Not knowing the candidates had nothing to do with failing some and as for having a bad day, its effectively a job interview. If you screw it up, you dont get the job, simples. There is no real excuse, the pressure is on for a reason.
Perhaps we should be asking why so many choose not to do their PAAB after their Class 1 or come back after failing the first attempt.

Considering that Artisan SSGT's and Tiffy's essentially do the same job in a unit, with the exception of the obvious rank jump and higher pay band, what is the benefit of being a Tiffy? An Artisan trade can still gain the same Civilian Qualifications as his Artificer counterpart, albeit studying in their own time.

Why can a board of REME Officers decide that you aren't suitable to be an ASM, yet the same person can be suitable to serve as RSM/RQMS/CSM etc. What are we saying as a Corps about the latter appointments if 'going Tiffy' is seen as the best thing to do in the REME?

Why not make the PAAB similar to a CLM with 12 months 'on the job' training in the Unit directly after the Class 1 course? By virtue of the fact that we're already in the REME in a technical trade, now a Class 1, and have the associated responsibility already on our shoulders, perhaps a 1 day 'snapshot' isn't the way forward. Do we even need the PAAB other than to keep some people in a job?

You could add to this the fact that, as REME, we rarely do the Infantry type exercises (Yes, I know we're supposed to do them annually, but honestly, how often do we with work load, courses etc?) that teach us all Command & Leadership and bring a person out of their shell in the 4 years between a Basic and Class 1 course. Why not, in the same way as a tradesman is deemed ready for their Upgraders course, develop that person into an Artificer as part of their natural trade progression? Shooting a person down after completing their Class 1 seems a bit counter productive, especially as there is no time bar.

Some might think that this is just my opinion and that I'm just bitter at failing my first attempt at PAAB, but the above points aren't just my own and have been discussed by myself and other NCO's in my LAD. The point was also raised that, after the recent 'trimming' of Artificers in Tranche 1 of the SDSR, what is the point of working our arses off studying for 18 months if Artificers aren't that valuable after all! It's also probably not a good selling point to the junior Cfn aspiring to be JNCO's and future ASM's if the Tiffy's (who should be the ones pushing the benefits) walk around looking miserable all day and complain that being a Tiffy 'is shit'.

I was in Bordon recently on a Maintainers course and got chatting to a friend of mine who had just finished his Class 1 course. I asked if he was looking forward to his PAAB and he told me he'd opted not to do it, as had 6 others from his course. When I asked why, he said he just wasn't interested and neither were the others who'd chosen not to do it. Not a problem, it is our choice after all to opt out and it's not for everyone.
However, upon explaining that they had chosen not to attempt PAAB, the 7 of them were made to stand to attention outside the Platoon office whilst the Pl Tiffy had a go at them for 5 minutes, whilst everybody else stood and watched. Their punishment was Guard Duty whilst the rest of their course were on the PAAB. Hardly the way to be treating our own is it?

I'm sure that there are plenty of people ready to jump on here to defend the PAAB and give the usual comments on 'weak individuals' etc etc blah blah, personally, unless somebody can persuade me otherwise, I'm chinning off my 2nd PAAB and going Artisan. After all, I'm perfectly happy as a Sect Commander for now and really, who wants to work weekends and after 5pm doing spreadsheets?
I don't get it...does everybody get to attempt tiffy now? I did the 3 day board in 1989, but it took a bit of effort to get on it...oc's nod, decent confidentials, epc a good JMC etc. Is it now like a media studies degree from an ex polytechnic??
Never saw what was wrong with the 3 day/ 4day PAAB. The right amount of tasks (that did require some preparation). The right amount of interviews and the right amount of time off. I think by PAAB stage in REME you should have experience of working under pressure whatever that means nowadays. Sometimes it was a bit of a pisser for the OC or ASM if their fave boys didn't get through but it did wonders for the ones who passed first time. Some people do make very good Tiffys without having to be the Unit lickarse.
Just my 2p in there.
The loading board for Pot Arts would have been driven by demand to fill the trade posts, does anyone really think that if there was a dire shortage in a certain area that the previous years overall performance would have played a crucial part?
Incoming expected.
I couldnt give a **** about the paab selection process being the crusty artisan that i am! What fucks me off is the fact that any **** who has passed their class 1 can attend a tiffy course 2 Yrs after and then with **** all experience thinks they know everything about running a fitter section, they then decide they can make career changing decisions about people they dont know anything about, but because the MPARS / SJARS are due they feel the need to input their 2 cents worth... loads of other shite i could argue like a certain tiffy being sacked on medman for being absolute ******* shite at their job and a waste of ******* space, but it makes no difference to that persons career and though they were sacked as a tiffy in charge of a fitter section that person is working as an AQMS today and because of the shortage of WO1's because most people have fucked off V'eng will most likely be wearing an ASM slide very soon! hoooray for the ******* Corps!!
If we didn't get sproggy Tiffies into Fitter Sections who have had no experiences of running a Section prior to the Tiffy course who the **** would make the coffee.

I agree with Sparky though it should be on the performance during the PAAB and DS shouldnt know the individual, I do feel the 3 day one was more beneficial as you can get more of an idea of the candidate and put more pressure on them in that time.
I do as well request there should be at least a hour coffee making session in there as some of the shite brews the young sproggy Tiffies are making us crusty Artisans lately taste like shite........and probably is.
I think the diversities of any one member of the Corps' career path can dictate weather or not a particular tiffy would be good on a Med Man.
On my tiffy course I was privy to a conversation in the bar where a gang of tiffies ( collective noun for three or more tiffies in one place is an"indecision " by the way) on how bad a tradesmen the members of the discussion had all been. The nobbers regailed each other with nostalgic stories of the amount of kit they had damaged or put out of service and of how they had always wanted to be a tiffy and not a tradesman.
I was not surprised but ashamed to potentially have been put in this category by artisans who have to/will work with these throbbers.
To the blokes on your course who didn't do their PAAB I give you this:
By not attempting your PAAB you have allowed (potentially) six throbbers through the system. These blokes will in turn become your line managers. When they make the crap descisions/become greasy pole climbing yes men/ volunteer you for duties in order to curry favour IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT!
You let them into the system by passing up your Oppertunity. When they are in charge it is in part your fault. You lazy, part of perpetuating the problem by your own inaction artesian !

I think the 3 day PAAB is alright btw.


There's arguments for and against both systems.

How many times have you thought someone was a good egg - only to find out somewhere down the line he or she turns out to be a bit of a throbber? Most of us surprise ourselves with the ability to assess someone based on first impressions - but now and again someone escapes our initial assessment. A three-day PAAB gave DS a little more time to see that.

Pot Tiffies have to go through early now because their residual service has increased dramatically. Someone who finishes their course on or after 02 Apr will have to wait nearly a whole year before their 4-year qual period starts - then if they do pick up, it's for the following promotion year, so in effect even the best could spend almost six years before they get their badge up.

It's a bit disappointing to read (possibly exaggerated) stories of crap tiffies on here - ableit not totally surprising. There always has to be a bottom third out there somewhere I suppose. But maybe these stories will become more frequent now that we are beginning to see the first waves of 'premature tiffs' tipping up at the unit?

Time will tell.
we are beginning to see the first waves of 'premature tiffs' tipping up at the unit?

Time will tell.
Blimey I know Tiffies are getting younger but premature??
Passing PAAB is only the ticket into the raffle. those who get a pass are then rated on a board very similar to a promotion board, based on reports that cover several years, not just an assessment that lasted 1, 2, 3 or 4 days. Those who get onto a course need to have received strong enough reports to merit course loading. The bitter artisans will now complain that the judgements and assessments in the ARs are all incorrect too, no doubt.

We need both artisans and tiffies - horses for courses. The are crap tiffies, superb tiffies, crap artisans, superb artisans and lots in the middle. Artisans have the depth of experience which tiffies should often draw upon to be successful. Artisans have a chance to get to WO rank - a welcome & fairly recent change for key roles where their trade and soldiering experience is vital.

Some artisans never wanted the hassle of going tiffy, jumping through hoops etc and wanted to remain more hands on, others simply tried & failed. Those artisans who have an axe to grind who think they could do better should have had a go when they had the chance, no doubt some may have tried & failed.

Room for both, time to move on.
Passing PAAB is only the ticket into the raffle. those who get a pass are then rated on a board very similar to a promotion board, based on reports that cover several years, not just an assessment that lasted 1, 2, 3 or 4 days. Those who get onto a course need to have received strong enough reports to merit course loading.
That's pretty much what I would have written if i wasn't too lazy. There are various hurdles along the way prior to being selected for Artificer training, why the stigma attached to PAAB? Because it's 2 strikes and your out. I've seen a few soldiers who seem to think having a tick in the box on the PAAB makes their loading onto a course an inevitability. To a man they've been sorely disappointed.

Yes the soldier needs to push the right buttons during PAAB to pass but what is far, far more important is the way they conduct themselves and the potential they show at their units. The PAAB will never be perfect, some good people will have bad days and some absolute strokers will have good ones but we need some sort of filter there, if only to minimise the risk of schnecky bumlicks getting through because they're always gobbling the boss.
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