Can anyone tell me how hard the selection process is to get into the TA and how long does it take. Also is this done near to your local unit, plus do you get full freedom of choice as to which unit you join?
You need to be healthy and have a basic level of fitness. You will be required to fill in a few forms and have a medical. This could take anything from a week to several weeks depending on all sorts of things.
You will then be attested and can start your training. This involves several weekends teaching you to be a soldier then a variety of different courses. Then after all that you may get paid!!
Tutt tutt. You are technically not covered by insurance if you take part in any activities before attestation, and the DS would be liable to be sued if you were injured. The only exception is if you do an "experience the Army" weekend when you are covered for a limited time.
On insurance you can be "experiencing" the Army prior to Attestation and covered for a number of occasions - not just one weekend. It is also possible to backdate some pay for that time following attestation although I would suggest you check both things out with your PSAO.
There are however limitations on what it is possible to do with people before the hold a meaningful book moment. TAFS or Recruits course are not covered.