The ARRSEPedia is the British Army encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Territorial Army Potential Officer Training

From ARRSEpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search



1. Direct Entry Potential Officer (DEPO). No previous or current military experience required. The 'recruit' is to be directed to a Regional Training Centre (RTC) where he applies to join the TA. He is placed on the strength of a TA Unit but completes Modules 1-3 of the TACC with the RTC and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

2. TAPO/Unit PO. A soldier already serving with the TA may volunteer or be selected for PO training. Assuming he has already completed Phase 1 recruit training, he will be trained by a RTC until he has completed Modules 2 and 3 and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Receives Type A commission on completion of Module 4.

3. University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) officer. Students attending some universities may join the UOTC. Over a period of 2-3 years he must complete Military Leadership & Development Programme (MLDP) 1 and 2 with his UOTC and Module 3 with an RTC before attending Module 4 of the TACC at RMAS. UOTC's are 'Type B' Units in the TA and have no mobilisation liability.

4. Territorial Army Sponsored Officer (TASO). An individual at university and serving with a UOTC may transfer to a Type A TA Unit (i.e. independent or specialist unit) and continue to train at the UOTC. He/she will adopt the dress of the TA Unit which provides the LSN for him/her. Completes MLDP 1 and 2, Module 3 and Module 4. This scheme is not run by all UOTC's (sadly!) but some make very good use of it.

5. Late/Soldier Entry Officer. A soldier aged over 35 is selected for a Late Entry Commission. He should have achieved the rank of SSgt or WO2. From Apr 07 all officers commissioned late or from the ranks will receive a TA Gp A commission in the rank of Captain and the QM commission will no longer be offered. The effect of a move to LTOS is:

a. QM Commission. Historically the QM commissioned officer attracted a higher pay rate and also retired at age 55, significantly later than some LE officers. The advent of Pay 2000 and the introduction of the New Retirement Age for all TA Group A officers of 60, as of 1 Apr 06, has removed the advantages of commissioning via this route. Therefore, QM commissions will no longer be awarded. Officers will continue to commission as Captains and will be selected for the QM appointment in accordance with their suitability for the post. This approach will continue to allow officers to take up QM appointments but will increase the potential pool to all officers.

b. Others. Under LTOS, this cohort will be commissioned as captains and will be required to gain 4 annual reports before being eligible for promotion to major. The transition arrangements will permit officers who are holding the rank of Captain on 1 Apr 07 to promote to Major based on their eligibility for promotion under ATOS arrangements, ie at least 2 satisfactory appraisal reports and a recommendation in their latest OJAR. Officers holding the rank of 2 Lt or Lt on 1 Apr 07 will be promoted to the rank of Captain and will transfer to LTOS. They will be awarded ½ year antedated seniority in the rank of Captain for each full year of commissioned service at that time.

6. Professionally Qualified Officer. Individuals with professional qualifications may volunteer for selection and training as a Professionally Qualified Officers (PQO) in the Royal Army Chaplains Department (RAChD), Royal Army Medical Corps (RMAC), Adjutant Generals Corps (Army Legal Service), Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC), Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) and Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or Specialist Group Royal Signals in either the Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) or the Land Information Communications System Group (LICSG). They are commissioned in the rank of Lieutenant and/or Captain. TA PQO's may attend Modules 1a at 2 Med Bde (Strensall) followed by Module 1b at RMAS. Alternatively, they may complete the 4 week Regular Army PQO course at RMAS.


7. The following is the maximum age (but a certain amount of flexibility is allowed) of an officer in the rank of Second Lieutenant by arm/service. These ages should be taken as a guide to the maximum age of an Officer Cadet on completion of Module 4, commission in the rank of Second Lieutenant in their chosen arm or service:

a. Inf, PARA, SAS - 30.

b. RAC, RA, RE, R Signals, RLC, REME, AGC (Pro), Int Corps - 30.

c. AAC, RAChD - 45.

d. RA Specialist Pool, RE (MWF), AGC (SPS) (other than Pay Services), 5 Comms Coy R Signals, Gen List, MOG, ETS TA Pol - 35.

e. Civil Affairs Gp - 40.

f. R Signals (LIAG & LICSG), AGC(SPS) (Pay Services only), AGC(Pro)(ND), RADC, QARANC, RAMC Nursing Offrs, - 45

g. RAVC - 45


i. OTC - 30


8. DEPOs, TAPOs and UOTC Cadets should attend the Briefing at the Army Officer Selection Board as soon as possible and must do so before they can start Module 2. (This does not apply to UOTC Cadets starting MLDP2). This is a one and a half day briefing/assessment of a PO's ability to pass the AOSB Main Board. There is often a waiting list of three months to attend. The Briefing can only be attempted once and this will give grades of 1 - 4:

a. Category 1: Is ready to go forward to AOSB now.

b. Category 2: Is a caveat with suffixes of a number of months 6, 12, 18 or 24. These represent the amount of time which should elapse before the candidate goes forward to AOSB and 6 will usually be because of fitness whilst the others will be because of some developmental aspects, perhaps maturity etc.

c. Category 3: Is unlikely to pass because of some developmental aspects but should be encouraged to go forward to AOSB after remedial action.

d. Category 4: Not suitable.

9. Assuming a pass at AOSB Briefing, the PO must successfully complete AOSB Main Board before attending Module 3 and 4 of the TACC. This is a 4 day assessment of a POs aptitude, intelligence, leadership, fitness to be a Potential Officer. Important note here is that is provides an assessment of 'potential'. All are required to pass AOSB MB prior to attending Module 3.

10. The Main Board breaks down grades into:

a. Pass - should make a good officer after training

b. Pass(risk) - it would not be a surprise if the candidate failed at RMAS but worth a shot now.

c. Fail (Encourage) - not yet ready but should come back again

d. Fail (Discourage) - Not suitable for officer training.

11. The Territorial Commissions Board and Regular Commissions Board merged into the Army Officer Selection Board with effect from September 06. Some Boards are run during the week, some finish on a Sunday. There is often a waiting list of three months. Candidates who are making a second attempt will find that they have an even longer wait.


12. Module 1. This Module is normally delivered as a standard TSC. Some RTCs require the six weekends of TSC A while others require TSC Inf which takes nine weekends. There are some 2 week residential courses at RTCs as well. If you have already done Phase 1 training as a soldier you will be exempt from Module 1.

13. Module 2. Generally a 10 weekend course but one RTC runs this as a 9 day plus 3 x weekend course and others as a two or three week course as part of Exercise Summer Leader. Focuses on the command tools (Combat Estimate and Orders), Tactics, Officership, Leadership, Doctrine, Navigation, etc. It is an RMAS requirement that the course may not be taken until the OCdt has a valid pass from AOSB Briefing. 2 DIV requires its TAPOs to have a Main Board pass as well but this is a local rule.

14. Module 3. Takes the 'theory' taught in Module 2 and puts it into a 9 day Battle Camp. It is the application of the theory and tools to leadership in the field with all the additional pressures that brings. There is also some instruction on Planning Training. There are only six courses planned in 2011. It is an RMAS requirement that the course may not be taken until the OCdt has a valid pass from AOSB Main Board.

15. Module 4. Lasts 22 days and takes place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. All Cadets must pass the (entry) Personal Fitness Test and successfully complete a number of other tests during the course. Training and assessment delivered by the same Regular Army Officers and SNCO's who train the Regular Army's Cadets. Over 50% of the course is spent on exercise with leadership and use of the command tools continually assessed in series of tactical and non-tactial scenarios. Long hours (18 hour days), little sleep and a series of testing 'command appointments' serve to test the Cadets ability to command effectively when under pressure. 20% fail to complete Module 4 successfully although most are invited back to try again after a period of further training. At the end of the course, the successful cadets parade at RMAS and march up the steps of Old College as per the long standing tradition of Regular Army officers.

16. Post Commissioning Training. This is a requirement for promotion and mobilisation. The new 2Lt must complete 3 weekends with a RTC with training in CBRN, Mobilisation, and Managing Soldiers.


17. Commissions are no longer Probationary and confirmation of commission is no longer required.


18. While participating in RTC training an individual is referred to as 'Officer Cadet'. This has done away with the confusing array of ranks/titles. On passing the Main Board, the Cadet is formally appointed 'OCdt' and Part Two orders action should be taken to ensure that he/she is recognised/remunerated accordingly. Whether a soldier who has not passed Main Board is permitted to wear an OCdt rank slide while training with their unit is a local matter.


20. Links to sites with information on TA Pay & Conditions are below:




From the Signal Officer in Chief