over the last 12 months i have had responsibility for recruiting and retention in my local unit and i have constantly ran up against the same problems which create barriers to attracting and keeping our recruits. the main issue is the length of time it takes to process our potential recruits. we have to book them onto a Look at Life weekend which can be up to 6 weeks then they have to attend a selection weekend again up to 6 weeks after the LaL. they have to go to their GP and get proof they are medically fit to undergo training again potentially a lengthy process.They then have to attend a TA medical again booking them on one when they become available. They could be hanging about for up to 4 months after their initial impulse led them to approaching the TAC. They get attested as the final act of their selection weekend. Then and only then can they begin their military training. however there are added difficulties when the potential recruit is an ex reg. We cannot begin to process them until their Former service Documents arrive from Glasgow. i have yet to find a satisfactory answer as to why this apparently simple matter takes so long. We often have to wait for months on end for their former service documents to arrive at our unit. 12 months ago i was told there was a backlog. however i would have expected such a backlog to have been dealt with by now. It hasnt. i have been waiting for up to 5 months for the fsd's on up to 8 individuals and cant get any reason as to why it takes so long. i have had 5 individuals lose interest over this same period of time and they have cancelled their applications. No-one should be expected to wait up to 5 months for their documentation to arrive from glasgow and then face a potential 4 month wait before they can begin training. This situation is quite obviously intolerable and needs to change. we need to smooth out thewhole process and speed it up drastically. we are losing out on a high number of recruits for the TA and the armed forces generally. we need to be able to book our potential recruits on any LaL/ selection weekends in the "region" that we can get them onto. encourage the staggering of these weekends so there is always one going on somewhere. Open them up to all other units and we then cut to nothing the waiting times. LaL and selection are universal so we dont have to stick to our trades. we need to be able to fast track ex regs and get them back in kit as soon as possible before they find alternatives for their free time. we dont want to lose their invaluable experience and knowledge simply because of an admin fcuk about. The present system is proving a hindrance when we should be encouraging ex reg's to be staying in kit as part time soldiers. We need to find out where the bottleneck is and get the fcuking thing sorted out. FSD's should be on our desk 2 weeks at the most from when they were requested. any longer is not good enough and we cant expect potential recruits to wait for them to eventually get there.