This has just reached me in my underground lair. A pretty perfect example of non-evidence-based pish. 1. The Bluff. First, it makes it seem as if it is only since 1 Apr 12 that the TA has been subject to the BARB test; Literacy & Numeracy tests; the use of TRH(J) to record outcomes; interviews; and medical verification. That is total nonsense. The TA has been using BARB for years, literacy and numeracy tests for even longer, TRHJ and its predecessor TRHA for over 4 years (and a similar system for tracking recruits before that), and medicals since time immemorial. 2. The Ass-Cover. What has actually happened is that by (a) farming out the job of medical verification to the potential recruit and his GP and (b) stopping doing the BARB tests on selection weekends and instead farming them out to ACIOs and units, a functioning system providing recruits of the right standard was shagged up. The new RG8 system introduced months of delay and bureaucracy in order to generate marginally improved sift. Delay and breaking-points were introduced where they did not exist before. This ABN seems to be trying to gloss over that cock-up. 3. The Blame-Swerve. "The launch of CS was not well handled, leading to poor training and education of the key unit staff who handle potential recruits on a daily basis." Right, so it's the STABs' fault, not the ineptitude of those who decided to implement the Common Standard (a good idea) by means of an identical process (moronic). The funny thing is, those same poorly-trained and ill-educated key TA unit staff predicted that this system was bonk, but were ignored. 4. The Made Up Factoid 1. "Until the introduction of CS, TA selection took place in 8 regionally based selection centres and TA centres with little assurance of the correct output standard. As a result, significant numbers of soldiers began training who were then found to be below the required standard, particularly medically , leading to a wastage rate of around 60%." REALLY? So the wastage during TA Phase 1 was entirely due to an allegedly defective selection process? Nothing to do with the rigidity of the Phase 1 training programme, or the recruits' discovery that the training was not as good as they expected, or merely life changes (of job, of home, of mind)? 5. The Made Up Factoid 2. "Research shows that the majority of wastage is due to the failure of candidates to meet either the general eligibility or medical standards for the Army entry." REALLY? I would love to see that research. More than 50% of those entering the start of the recruiting process fail to reach the selection weekend due to their failure (because they are ineligible or not medically fit)? PROVE IT. I find it counter-intuitive that stretching an application process (ie, the bit before the selection weekend, and well before actual training starts) from a month to over four months would have so negligible an impact on people's willingness to wait for the system to respond to them. 6. The Beige Nuance "The CS review shows that it has imposed some delay and is perceived to be too bureaucratic." It is more than just "perceived" to be too bureaucratic. It is too bureaucratic. 7. The Blame-Swerve 2. "CS was initially unpopular with the TA." This ABN is seeking to make it appear that it is TA resistance to the Common Standard which has been the problem. That is insulting nonsense - although it suits some people to say this. The process was unpopular with the TA because it was not designed to suit the needs of an applicant who has a job and is not necessarily willing to take 3 or 4 days' holiday simply in order to apply to join the TA - but that system was implemented despite warnings. You see, Common Standard is good - but application of the same process to both regular and TA applicants is just plain stupid. The changes being announced will be an improvement if they really are "adequately resourced" and if they do not cut the link between the potential recruit and the TA unit they are seeking to join: it is that personal mentoring link which keeps them going as the system grinds through their application and Phase 1 training. Dr E P.S.: Reshow for someone on the BARB and literacy tests: Paragraph 1 "CS has been criticised for placing too many hurdles in the way of a TA recruit" I take it they mean "in the way of TA recruits". Paragraph 2 "Effective selection will reduce training wastage and deliver a higher quality TA soldiers." I take it they mean "deliver higher quality TA soldiers". Paragraph 7: "Min DPWV is engaging with Dept of Health to see how GPS can be incentivised." I am looking forward to seeing all those happy little satellites zoom giggling past my Death Star. Paragraph 8: "However, research shows that the majority of wastage is due to the failure of candidates to meet either the general eligibility or medical standards for the Army entry." I take it they mean "for Army entry."