Ok this isn't an RCB thread although i'm sure some people may take offence to me asking for some simple advice.

I passed my main board but they have deemed that i would benefit from the PRE-RMAS course so I am set to go soon.

Has anyone been on it or heard anything about it? Were any of you at Sandhurst with anyone that attended the PRE-RMAS course?

Oh also, just to add, i ahve used teh search function and came up with nothing.


I'm assuming your talking about Rowallen or the Sandhurst Development Course or what ever its called now???

Yeah, know loads who have been on it, dont worry about the horror stories you've no doubt already been told.

From what i gather it is a short, sharp intensive course designed to build confidence, leadership and teamwork using all the army's worst tricks such as heavy PT, constant uncertainty and very little privacy.

Expect to be worked hard day and night and to hate everything about it, but you'll stick it out and eventually realise what they are doing and maybe even enjoy it towards the end. From what i saw it builds great mates and makes some very fine officers.

Just keep your head down, grit your teeth and you'll get through it fine, and then make the rest of us look like mongs during the first 5 weeks of RMAS proper!

Good luck
Have you not been given much of a steer on this? It is most likely to be an educational course. Where your grades up to much from your exams? If it is the PRAMS course it is a twelve week educational package sharpening up your application of academic skills.

There is no longer a Rowallan Company (mores the pity) so I suspect that it is the educational course.
Thanks for the advice Cowhead and Joker.

I have heard it called PRAMS before but on the literature I recieved it states "Pre-Rmas" course. It is the educational package that I will be doing with a bit of PT and drill thrown in as I understand.

You hit the nail right on the head Joker, my grades were sh1te due to my "I dont care I'll get rich somehow" attitude when in education, which, in retrospect, I regret and will regret for a long time to come.



War Hero
Enjoy PRAMS buddy, from what I understand it is a 12 week drink fest with a bit of education thrown. I had a character defect and was sent to the character correction facility that was Rowallan.

You never really regret your grades unless you are a non graduate. Boy is that a constant pride swallowing existence!! :evil:

Having seen your spelling and grammar you are definately a Pre-RMAS pass.
The course is a good one and count yourself lucky to be on it. It could be
worse. You could be on the good old fasioned ROWCO!!!!
Again, I must thank you guys for the advice.

I was a bit disheartened when I received the letter stating that I needed to attend this but I am definitely warming to the idea of being in that military environment that will hopefully stand me in good stead for my time at Sandhurst.

I am a non-graduate myself. My lack of educational motivation in earlier life stopped me from achieving any "decent" academic qualifications. I think this course will be a good idea for me, for example the last essay I wrote before RCB was probably about 4 years ago. I am definitely out of practice on things like this.

Thanks again.


You have landed on your feet. Do not get hung up about Pre RMAS. The Directing Staff at ASE are pretty OK and
it's a cracking course. The OC is a top bloke and you could do a lot worse than him! You'll not see better at RMAS proper.

Ferg is right - 12 weeks of mooching about in Worthy Down, 'slumming it' with all the dense boys and girls from POD!

Loads of good stuff on offer - and the AGC throw their best people at it. Whilst there are probably many ARRSErs who think that's not saying a great deal, you wouldn't believe some of the people they have tucked away.

I agree with Ferg - my OC POD was (and still is) the most inspirational officer I have ever had - an absolute star.

My only word of caution is this - try and get on with the PODs - there's more of them and the course is a lot better if you do!! :D
And don't worry about being a non-grad!!! All the best types are :D

At least the Grads and Girlies have to do a year now.....not 6 months like in my day 8O

All the best and good luck.
Just had a mate who has completed the last course.

All about the boozing and a few little presentations. He came out less fit than when he went in.

Long weekends and dirty nights out in winchester and the surrounding area.

Ok well it's been a while and having completed the PRMAS course at Worthy down I thought I'd respond to my own post and let people know what its like, maybe someone else will come on here looking for some info one day.

The PODS and PRMAS course were run in parallel and we went on various trips together. Our courses differed greatly however, we believed ours was harder but the PODS assured us that there’s was harder. Well, whatever the truth, both courses were attended by some top blokes and we got on extremely well.

I went to the course not really knowing what to expect but was soon briefed on the basic outline of the course. The course is academic, cultural and there are some real beasts of PT sessions, the memories of the pain of the stretcher race will always be with me, we also went on exercise in Dartmoor which although hard was an amazing experience and why I joined the Army! I arrived there nervous and when i found out that a lot of time would be given to presentations and public speaking I was extremely nervous as I’d never done anything similar in my life, apart from at RCB which i hated. Having finished the course I now have no problem with presenting to large groups of people whatever rank or service they are from. It was an extremely valuable course and I am sure that it will benefit me in my future Army career as I’m sure it will benefit all that have attended in the past.

I think the course can only be beneficial to anyone attending so if you find yourself on the course don't worry about it, you'll have a great time and meet some great people. The DS are all very good at what they do, and the camp is great with tennis courts and even a sand volleyball court. Winchester itself is 4 miles away and the nightlife is not too bad, we were there when all the students had gone home for the summer (as Winchester is a University City) so it was a bit quiet but we were told its good during term time. I've made some really great friends who I'm sure will remain my friends after Sandhurst and into my career and met some good officers.

I hope this helps anyone wondering about the course. If anyone has any questions PM me.

PS Good luck to all the PODS in your RCB'S.

Really interesting thread for someone considering RMAS in a few years. Can you specify yourself that you would like to attend PRMAS or is it strictly based on the DS's decision? Some may see it as a waste of resources however what Charles and the rest of you have outlined really appeals to me. I wouldn't say I have a problem with confidence or giving presentations but any extra tuition is always welcome.

Obviously the course is set in a military environment but with Charles's mention of going on exercise does the course contain military training too, drill I would expect but what else? Also if there is an element of military training how much if at all does it overlap with the first five weeks of RMAS?
No - the staff at pre-RCB will decide that for you, and it seems to work in cycles, depending on who the people are at Westbury. When I went through, it was a very popular way of getting more Toms into RMAS (where they kick arrse!), but a few chums who went through after report that certain people were really quite anti.

As to content, it's mostly about expanding horizons and 'polishing' academic skills. I wouldn't get too stressed about the...err....exercises - it's more of a jaunt across the moors, and you will be taught everything you need to know. Do not bother trying to become some sort of super-soldier before you get there (if you go there) - but I concur with PAB's view - make shure your fitness is squared away - you will do an awful lot of it! :D
I'm going on the Pre RMAS course very soon, thanks for that Charles. I can't wait now!

Can anyone tell me what PODS stands for?

Are we told why it's been thought best that we attend Pre RMAS?

I've heard that there is quite a lot of writing involved, can anyone tell me if investing in a laptop might prove beneficial? Or are we forbidden to have personal belongings like that?

As you can tell, I've been anticipating and asking for the kit list for some time now, with no luck!

One last question. I start Pre-RMAS in September, and considering the course lasts 11 weeks, that leaves me with a gap before RMAS proper starts in January.

My family would like to know what happens to me in that month. Am I sent home, or will the army find a cupboard small enough to store me in for a month :wink:


It won't be a full month, and you'll have enough pre-RMAS admin (see Sticky higher up Forum) to keep you going. Buy an estate car, get a spare set of kit, square it away, and then amaze the DS (or not, as many of them will have used or heard of the same trick). Who knows, maybe they'll take you adventure training. Sandhurst may well be the last you see of AT...
PODS is Potential Officers Deevelopment Course and has a higher failure rate than the PRAMs course (which I attended myself).

The course is there to enable you to hit the ground running, think of it as an academic brush up that is not overly hard.

Lots of 'broadening of cultural horizons' too. Think, opera, ballet, theatre and battlefield tours.

It has probably changed quite a lot since I attended PRAMs (which runs parallel with PODs) bu,t if its even half the course it once was, you will love it. Dont think of it as a nause, think of it as an opportunity and possibly a bit of a headstart.

The kit list is freely avaliable from ASE Worthy Down if you give them a bell and, as I remember, laptops are available to be signed out from the ASE itself for the duration of the course (not a bad idea to invest in your own before you get to Sandhurst anyway).

Have fun
PODs means you were found suitable for 'development, after pre RCB which means you will attend the course prior to the main commissioning board and accompanied by a 3 month course report!!

PRAMs means you passed the pre RCB and then achieved a conditional pass for attending Sandhurst (subject to passing PRAMs) on the main commissioning board. A far more comfortable set or circumstances in my opinion.

One point I would keep in the back of your mind is this.

When going to the main board (post PODs), remember, they will get a four day look at you just the same as they will everyone else however, what will they put more faith in? The 'glimpse' they get of you on the board whilst you are trying to impress or the report gleaned from 3 months on a PODs Cse?

The point I am trying (and failing) to make is that some people turn up at these courses trying hard to act all officer like, which is fine. It does, however, look bad when after a few weeks you slip into 'Jonny Normal' mode as opposed to the 'Jonny Superstar' that turned up on day one.

Do not try and be something you are not, these courses are trying to identify people with the potential and are not looking for the finished article

And, above all.


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