TA Selection Army Briefing Note

Serial No: 108-12
Source: Army Recruiting and Training Division
Date: 3 Dec 12



1. On 1 Apr 12 the Army adopted a common standard of selection for both Regular and TA soldiers (know as Common Selection – CS) in order to underpin the future operational effectiveness of an integrated Army. CS has been criticised for placing too many hurdles in the way of a TA recruit by lengthening the recruiting journey and making it more complex. This ABN explains the need for CS and details the immediate changes that will be made to streamline the process before the Recruiting Partnering Process (RPP) brings a major change in Mar 13.


2. All TA Commanders and Commanding Officers.


• A common Army selection standard underpins the effectiveness of an integrated Army.

• Effective selection will reduce training wastage and deliver a higher quality TA soldiers.

• RPP will introduce a streamlined, fully resourced recruiting process on 26 Mar 13.

• The CS review shows that it has imposed some delay and is perceived to be too bureaucratic. A series of immediate changes to make CS more efficient will be introduced in Dec 13.

• The success of CS requires buy-in from the TA chain of command. It is underpinned by effective nurturing in units, and management of the expectation of potential recruits.


3. On 1 Apr 12 the Army adopted a common standard of selection for both Regular and TA soldiers (known as Common Selection (CS)). A review of the CS process has been undertaken to make it quicker, simpler and more flexible. As a result some immediate changes will be made in Dec 12. On 26 Mar 13, the Recruiting Partnering Project (RPP) will introduce a fully resourced recruiting process (including selection) for the Integrated Army (Regular and Reserve).


4. Legacy Selection. 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%. CS was one of the first measures taken as part of FR20 to move towards an integrated Army, and as a stepping stone to RPP; it has been delivered in 8 regional selection centres (reducing to 5 by Dec 12) and at the 4 Army Development and Selection Centres (ADSCs). It built on good practice established in Scotland, where all selection had been carried out at ADSC Glencorse since 2010.

5. CS Issues. A common standard of selection for both Regular and Reserve is essential as we move towards an integrated Army. CS brought the following changes to TA selection: the BARB test (a trainability and intelligence assessment), Literacy & Numeracy tests; the use of TRH(J) to record outcomes; 3 interviews; and GP medical verification using the RG8 form. It is delivered in a combination of TA Centres, careers offices, regional selection centres and ADSCs. However, a number of key concerns have been identified:

• CS places too many demands on a TA candidate who is trying to balance his work, home, TA activity. TA candidates have to conduct too many activities in too many places over an increased time period, leading to some leaving before enlistment.
• CS took longer than the legacy system in the first 6 months following implementation.
• There can be some flexibility with the timing of the BARB test and literacy and numeracy assessment due to the TSC(A) loading mechanism.
• 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.

6. RPP – the Future Solution. At IOC on 26 Mar 13, RPP will introduce a new ‘solution’ for TA recruiting, including a fully resourced selection process. This will include:

• A streamlined medical assessment and single selection processes conducted at 4 Army Selection Centres during the week and at weekends.
• Heart screening at the Selection Centre to reduce the need for cardio medical referrals. Screening will enable the physically demanding selection process to be completed prior to seeking GP input, which will then only be sought for those who pass selection.
• The vast majority of the remaining eligibility checks will be conducting either online, via the National Recruiting Centre (NRC), or during selection which will significantly reduce the level of effort required by the candidate to reach selection.
• There will be a single interview prior to selection and the final psychometric test (the Army Cognitive Test replaces the BARB) will be conducted at the selection centre.

7. Interim Changes. Recognising the need for improvement now, while ensuring a smooth ‘glide path’ to RPP, DG ART has conducted a thorough review of CS and directed the following changes to improve its efficiency:

• Interviews. By combining interviews 2 and 3, TA candidates will be required to make fewer journeys to offices or TA Centres before attending selection.
• BARB. BARB is still required to assess trainability and to indicate trade suitability but recruits will be permitted to complete it after selection.
• Literacy and Numeracy. Similarly, recruits will be able to take the Literacy and Numeracy assessment after selection, and civilian qualifications will be admissible where appropriate.
• GP Verification. GP verification prior to selection remains essential until the introduction of new screening equipment with RPP, but Min DPWV is engaging with Dept of Health to see how GPs can be incentivised to process all Army RG8s more quickly.
• Communication and Education. A CS briefing pack is being produced for units to confirm the steps required to complete CS efficiently and successfully. This will be issued by the end of Nov 12.
• Timing of ADSC Selection. TA Units are being encouraged to send recruits to ADSC selection along side their Regular counterparts during the week where they can. ARTD is seeking to increase the availability of weekend selection at the ADSCs.

8. Summary. CS was initially unpopular with the TA and anecdotally has contributed to greater wastage before selection. 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. A more efficient selection process will be introduced by RPP in Mar 13 and, in the interim, incremental improvements to CS will be made in Dec 12.
i left in 2007 after 17 years in the t.a. as an infantry soldier,leaving as a full screw in an mg. plt.i decided to re enlist back with my old unit and started,what i thought would be a straight forward process in may 2011 .18 months of form filling,phone calls,letters and interviews and i still dont have a date for recruit selection.anything that speeds up this rigmarole would be very welcome!

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