BTEC for officer?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by PepperSeaDog, Aug 11, 2012.

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  1. I'm thinking about going for officer in the Royal Armoured Corps (as you can probably tell, the RN was my first choice but hey ho) and was wondering if a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (electrical and electronic engineering if it matters) was considered "as good as" A-Levels?
    And does anyone actually get in at 18?
  2. The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma I can find no specific reference to in the Army's list of published equivalencies but providing you have got at least grades 'MMP' then you should meet the academic criteria.

    I assume you have completed GCSEs to a satisfactory standard?
  3. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    People do pass AOSB at age 18 quite regularly but it's generally on the proviso that they won't actually go to RMAS until after they've graduated or, at least, had some time to grow up.
  4. I can't answer the specifics on whether you are eligible to join with a BTEC rather than A Levels, however I would say this:

    There are 18 year olds who go to Sandhurst and commission (including into the RAC); however, these are in the small minority. Furthermore, they all have good academic qualifications (GCSEs and A Levels) that would have enabled them to go to university if they had wished. While the minimum requirement to be considered is (I think) 2x A Levels and 5x GCSEs (A-C grades), this is just a filter and because there are plenty of people with better grades and qualifications out there who want to become officers, you almost certainly need to be better qualified if you are going to stand a chance in the competition for a place. Also, generally speaking, for a potential officer to be selected to attend Sandhurst at age 18, he or she needs to have a similar level of maturity as a 21 year old graduate, which is uncommon.

    You must go to your recruiting office and ask them whether or not you are eligible with your qualifications. If you are you can then start to look at the parts of the army you are interested in. Just remember, if you do get to Sandhurst and fail to get into the RAC but pass the course, you would go to a different part of the army; so it might be worth looking around a bit.
  5. Look at the "Qualifications and Credits Framework", this is the new name for the NVQ system.

    A-levels are at Level 3, so your BTEC Level 3 Diploma is the same academic standard. Can't tell you if the Army accept this as such, or how many A-levels the BTEC is equivalent to. You may be able to find this out from your college or the QCF - this is what the Credits bit is about - I think there is a points system.
  6. There is, for the present, the UCAS tariff is used. It is my understanding, UCAS are abolishing this. However, for the time being, it is still relied upon.

    BTEC Level 3 Diploma attracts UCAS points, and the grade I stipulated above, MMP, should exceed the minimum requirement of 180 UCAS points.

    The 'Extended Diploma' is not published in the list of equivalencies for the Army. However, it is published in the list of equivalencies for the RAF, who state that MPP (Merit/Pass/Pass) is at least the equivalent of two 'A Levels' at Grade C. This might be worth bringing to the attention of your ACA.
  7. Thanks for expanding on that, Pyianno.

    The NVQ/QCA system was supposed to make it easy to identify "equivalent" qualifications. Obviously difficult for an organisation to list every acceptable qualification. Also takes time for things to appear in the paperwork.

    Agree that OP should point out he has a Level 3 qualification and take it from there. Finding out the number of credits would help make a case.
  8. I think, given the RAF published list, grades of MPP should suffice. Of course, the better the grades, the better the impression, and it never hurts to do well. I don't think the qualification will be a problem.

    I am not in a position to comment on an 18 year old's prospects at Sandhurst, so will demure to the more experienced ARRSErs on this part.
  9. Thanks for all the replies everyone, I went to my AFCO to ask, the bloke basically said he had no idea and to come back later
  10. That sounds extremely unhelpful - the NVQ/QCA system has been around a long time, AFCO should know about it.

    You can check it all out yourself, gather the facts, then keep banging away.

    BTW, I'd be interested to know how you get on with this.
  11. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    You're right: they should know but my recent experiences dealing with AFCOs, ACAs et al - both professionally and as the father of a couple of teenaged sons who want to join the army - are that they are quite surprisingly inept.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. My ACA was excellent.

    To the OP - keep hassling them, you should get an answer and it should be in the affirmative. Let us know how you get on.
  13. I will, thanks everyone
  14. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Lucky you. Where and when was that, out of interest?
  15. My experience is of ACAs is very similar. Inept (but frightfully nice) old buffers who seemed incapable of providing the correct information in a timely manner.