Quality threshold of the new recruit

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Humphrey_De_Tiluel, Jan 4, 2007.

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  1. A different topic got me thinking about the selection process for new recruits to the TA.

    When I joined I chose the unit I wanted to join and went along on a drill night. I filled in lots of forms and sat an entrance test had a medical and a BPFA.

    I haven't seen any form of written test conducted for a long time and the only criteria that seem to be applied to rejecting an applicant is the criminal record check or the medical.

    I've never experienced the regular recruiting process first hand but I understand that there is a selection test which is used to determine what trade a candidate is suitable for. The choice of capbadges available is restricted the lower your score (and please, no willy waving about which cap badge needs the top score...). I appreciate that the overriding factor will always be the current pinch point trade but the principle of testing and allocating to a cap badge seems sound to me.

    Whilst the choices available to a TA recruit are restricted geographically there must be some merit in conducting the test and seeing if the applicant would be more suited to a different unit. I don't suggest applying this test purely in a negative fashion, there is no reason at all why some one who is intelligent and would be suited to a more technical corps should not be given the opportunity but the main point is that there are those who try to join units such as RE , RSigs, REME (to name but three) who just do not have the mental capacity for the job that will be demanded of them in the future.

    In the current recruiting climate there appears to be no quality test applied and as long as the numbers game is won we turn a blind eye to the problems that will be caused in the future when the trained soldier with an IQ resembling a boot size is unleashed on his colleagues.

    Do your units carry out a form of entrance exam? do you weed out anyone you deem to be unsuitable for your unit?

    It is possible that my unit is the only one in the country that is so undermanned that we appear to be taking anyone who comes through the door with a pulse (pulse is a nice to have, not mandatory...), I think I'll leave that one rhetorical...

    Or am I just getting far too old and cynical...yoof of today....mumble mumble mumble.....
  2. I sat one on my RTD1, the first weekend you go on as a recruit. Whatever its called this week.

    Something about a score between 1 and 20, 20 being biff, 1 being Genius. If you scored above 20 you were told to get fucked.

    Thats my experiences.

  3. I think that it's a problem that is universal for part-time units.

    Recruitment and retention are major issues, and because of the high turnover almost anyone can be a 'suitable' recruit.

    I know of a few cases within the past year or two where potential recruits' paperwork has somehow gone missing, and of a few others where I wish their paperwork had!

    It's not just intelligence/aptitude tests that are lacking, the fitness levels of some of the 18-19 year olds we're getting in are diabolical.
  4. I mentioned on a seperate thread a few friends and I intended to join the Ta. We've been attested now. During the entrance process our unit did not require us to take a test to measure our intelligence. Without trying to blow my own trumpet we are intelligent lads, two of us studying law, the other two studying architecture - three of us, including myself, grammar school educated.

    We've joined an infantry unit. Could our 'intelligence' be put to better use in a more technical corps? Possibly, but we don't care. Infantry will test us in different ways, ways that we don't get from day to day life at University.
  5. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    We did an entrance test thing (TSG? or similar) to determine trades offered. We're Nationally recruited though.
  6. My unit does an aptitude test and a BPFA for new recruits, as well as putting them through command tasks and a few other tests like Kim's Game.
    While it's rare for us to turn down a recruit, we work on the principle that everyone can be developed and moulded to meet the standard. And our CO won't sign them off for phase 2 unless they make the grade on fitness and skills.

    You can't be too picky about who you let through the door, but as long as you make sure they know what's required and you aren't afraid of telling them to pull their finger out or go away, then you will, nine times out of ten, produce decent soldiers.
  7. On my Recruit Selection Weekend recently (Infantry) there was an Entrance Test, nobody in my unit failed, however on the previous RSW about 6 lads failed it.
    I've got to say though whilst it wasn't rocket science there were some difficult sections i.e. maths but then I was always crap at maths :D
  8. I think thats the one, more of an IQ test than anything else.
  9. Sounds like a good idea, but it might not work:

    When I applied, AGC took one look at my GCSEs and offerend me a place due to my ICT quals... Not saying AGC is bad, but it's just not for me.

    Judging by your Username and use of the word "undermanned" I can guess the unit which you're describing and yes it does seem like we're accepting anyone with a pulse :D

    When I joined I asked if the Company (which was at it's old spot at the time) if they could pay a visit to my college and my old secondary school, but it never happened. Lot's of smart people in these establishments (lots of biffs too, but we could always use them as cannon fodder).

    The best way of recruiting is by doing what the Navy do: Make a video about your unit (or use the TA DVD) and take a shiny presentation set to schools, colleges and universities. When I said to people at college "I've joined the TA" they hadn't the faintest idea what I was on about.

    Recruiting a shopping centres is one thing, but targeting your desired "customer" and finding out where most of them assemble will be more profitable.

    Oh dear... the Economics lessons are coming back to me :|


    PS - if you're not at the unit I'm thinking of, permission to ignore me granted.
  10. My unit do it, I'm pretty sure, as i understand it it is part of the hugely laborious paperwork that potential recruits have to do in their first few weeks.
  11. In the past we have had recruits do the test and used the results to determine the best trade group for them (R Sigs) and I think we do still use it.

    Likewise I know that a couple of the people that came to us were told that Signals probably wasn't for them and that another type of unit might suite them better.
  12. Glad to hear you are enjoying your time in the infantry, I was not for one second suggesting that only fickos should be allowed to join the inf and the super intelligent be forced to join the corps'.

    There is just as much need for intelligent recruits in the infantry, as you progress you will meet more and more complex tactics and weapon systems.

    the problem is that in some roles there is more of a mental demand in the early stages and if you don' have the initial capacity you will place yourself and others in danger. You don't want a sapper who can't count telling you how many bangs went off on a ring main if you are the DSO walking back down range to verify they all went off cleanly...

    The key driver in all of this has to be that the recruit enjoys the role they are introduced to so that they continue to attend and become useful members of their unit, but the needs of the service must come first.
  13. RAuxAF and the RNR recruitment process is completely different to the TA.

    Potential recruits for the RauxAF and RNR have to sit exactly the same entrance exams as the regulars, with the same pass marks for trade groups. The recruitment process is exactly the same. RNR candidates are processed through the AFCO, as if they where joining the regs.

    Potential Officers for RAuxAF have to sit the same OASC as the regs and the RNR Potential Officers have to attend the same AIB.

    As I understand it the TA requires a pass at TCB for Officer candidates which lacks the apptitiude testing of the RCB.

    Seems the RauxAF and RNR recruitment process is handled better, probably to do with the shear numbers involved (i.e the TA have far more people to process through recruitment)
  14. I was under the impression that all recruits, even for the TA, have to pass the BARB Test(can't remember what it means, probably British Army Recruit Basic or such-like). I believe this is meant to assess basic intelligence and trainability.

    However, I think in the current situation numbers have primacy over quality. The governement need TA personnel to cover gaps in the Regular ORBAT caused by underfunding, overstretch and two increasingly unpopular conflicts. The govt wants cheap bodies, the TA provide those cheap bodies. Therefore standards are less important than they used to be.
  15. i know this proberbly adds nothing to it but when i joined up a few years ago now.

    i did no entry test had the fastest medical known to man, did a ton a paper stuff and then a bpfa that was it then onto phase one.

    my RSD was only a bpfa