Difference between revisions of "TA Recruiting Process"
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== Phase 1 Training ==
== Phase 1 Training ==
Now that you have been attested and have joined your unit (unless you are exempt due to previous military service)
Now that you have been attested and have joined your unit (unless you are exempt due to previous military service) your [[TA Phase1 Training|Phase 1 training]] (sometimes called recruit training or basic training).
You should get the dates of Phase 1 training from the recruiting team and you should let them know as soon as possible which dates you will be attending.
You should get the dates of Phase 1 training from the recruiting team and you should let them know as soon as possible which dates you will be attending.
Latest revision as of 20:53, 14 December 2010
- 1 Getting Started
- 2 First Visit
- 3 Interview
- 4 Application Forms
- 5 Eligibility
- 6 Army Development and Selection Centre
- 6.1 Arrival
- 6.2 Introductory Brief
- 6.3 Ice-Breaker
- 6.4 Medical
- 6.5 Knowledge Retention
- 6.6 Team Tasks
- 6.7 BARB Tests
- 6.8 Risk Reduction Run
- 6.9 Physical Selection Standards (Recruits)
- 7 Attestation
- 8 Phase 1 Training
Make sure firstly that you have had a look at the Official British Army site here.
If you are interested in joining the TA and have found this page you are off to a good start. You should now make contact with the unit you want to join. You can do this either by phoning them, emailing them or simply walking in the door on a training night, which depending on the unit may be a Tuesday or Wednesday evening (you should check this in advance to save yourself a wasted journey), between 1930-2100hrs.
It may also be possible for you to visit during the working day but if you wish to do this you should always phone ahead to make sure it is ok as the permanent staff (those who work Monday to Friday 9-5) may be unavailable or unable to give you specific advice on joining up. Alternatively if you have a local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) or Army Careers Information Office (ACIO) in your area these are open through the week. AFCOs/ACIOs are in general manned by personnel from the Regular army but recruit on behalf of the TA as well (One Army Recruiting), keep in mind though that many of them will never have served as part of a TA unit and they may be unable to answer TA specific questions.
Advice on which unit to join and how to find units in your area can be found in the TA Forum FAQ.
If you want to take along friends, colleagues or relatives for moral support feel free to do so, a lot of applicants come down to the TA Centre with their mates wanting to join together. Whether or not you apply on your own you will soon get to know the recruiting staff and will start to recognise some of the other applicants going through the process at the same time as you. Once you get to the Army Development and Selection Centre (see below) you may well be spending a weekend with them and even attending training with them.
If you are joining without any previous military experience this may be the first time you have been in a barracks or a TA Centre, depending on what time you arrive there will be soldiers walking around in uniform, doing PT and going about their duties. As you enter the building the first person you see will usually be the guard on the door (or the gate if you are in a car). You should tell them you are interested in joining, they will ask you to sign in to the building (for security and health and safety reasons) and direct you to the recruiting office; they will also let you know where you can park.
On entering the recruiting office you will be greeted by a member of the recruiting team, say hello and do not worry about calling him Sir, you are a civilian and are not expected to have any knowledge of military etiquette at this point!
He/She may then ask you whether you have been into the unit before or had any contact or previous applications with another unit or an AFCO/ACIO. This helps them establish whether your details may already be held on TRHJ (the Armed Forces recruitment software) and if so what stage of the recruiting process you reached. Answer honestly, if you have been rejected in the past say so, the truth will always come out eventually and the rules may well have changed since you last applied.
If you have had no contact with the Armed Forces (RN, RM and RAF included) you should be asked to complete an Army Interest Form similar to this which will capture some basic information about you and allow the unit to prepare the rest of the paperwork which forms the application pack.
You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and should be given some free brochures and information about the Army, the TA and the unit you have walked into. If you have very specific questions that may require detailed answers you may wish to save these until you have your interview (see below).
Before you leave with your bag of free brochures and a warm fuzzy feeling inside, if the recruiting team is any good, you should be given a date and time to come back for an interview with one of the recruiters. This lets them plan when and how many interviews they have booked on each training night and ensures that when you do come back you aren't sat in the recruiting office all night with a bored expression on your face because they are too busy.
You should also be asked to bring in with you copies of your driving licence, passport, educational qualifications, etc the next time you attend. If you aren't asked do it anyway they will need copies to verify the details on your AFCO 4 (see forms below). If you are a blood donor you should also take your donor card as it will save you having to have a sample taken at your medical.
If for whatever reason you decide you no longer wish to join or you can't make it in for your interview just give the unit a ring and let them know. The recruiting team will be happy to re-arrange or cancel your application as you wish and much prefer this to having to chase around after you to find out what's happening. You'd be surprised how many people come for a first visit then change phone numbers or move house and don't let anyone know whether or not they are still interested in joining!
This exact details of your interview will differ between units but this section should give you the general idea of what to expect. Depending on how busy the unit is and whether you have applied in the past your interview may take place on your first visit to the TA Centre or more often you will be given a date and time for your interview on your first visit.
The interview should cover the following topics and the interviewer will be making notes on your answers as you go along. You are able to ask questions at any stage of the interview:
- Your Personal Circumstances
You will be asked what your home and family background is like, are you married, do you have children, does your wife/parents/employer support your decision to join the TA? Do you have any welfare issues, childcare, separation, etc? They will explain the Army lifestyle, how much training you will be expected to do, etc.
How are your personal finances, no details but are you in loads of debt? They should then explain the TA pay and allowances you will be entitled to you when you join.
Do you drink, smoke, take drugs, etc? They will explain the Army position on drug-taking and the Compulsory Drug Testing (CDT) system.
- Your Achievements and Interests
You will be asked about your employment, your educational qualifications and skills. They will explain what qualifications the Army offers and how these transfer into civvy street (driving licences, etc).
You will be asked about what fitness training you have been doing, what sports you do and any clubs you are a member of. They will explain the sporting and Adventurous Training (AT) oppotunities available in the TA.
- Military Awareness
You will be asked if you have any friends or relatives in the military and if you know what the Army is and does, you won't be expected to be an expert but you should know there's a sandy place where people shoot at you. They will explain military discipline the terms of service and how and when you may be required to serve on Operations.
- Aspirations and Job Preferences
You will be asked why you want to join and what you expect to get out of it and what trade you might wish to pursue when you join. They will explain the trades available and the opportunites that may come up in the future (FTRS, etc).
Once your interview is over the recruiter will write a report on you (that you won't see) identifying your strengths, commitment and areas for development. You should also be issued with all the application forms if you haven't already been given them.
During your visits to your unit you will be given a seemingly never-ending stream of application forms. If you have any questions you should speak to your unit who will be able to advise you but the following sections should give you an idea of what each is for. Different units may hand out slightly different forms specific to their needs so the list below is not exhaustive. The links to documents below are not necessarily the latest versions of the forms but if you really want to jump the gun feel free to fill them out, print them and take them along with you when you visit the TA Centre, some units will accept them, some won't.
The Application to Serve in HM Forces form which will capture in detail your personal details, contact details, previous service history, educational and employment profile and BMI amongst other things. An example of the form is available here.
The guidance notes for the completion of AFCO 4. They can be downloaded from the official army site here.
A form you will be given if you declare on your AFCO 4 that you have tattoos. There is a front and back picture of an asexual man (feel free to draw tits on it if you are a girl) for you to draw pitcures on and then describe your tattoos at the bottom. If your tattoos are not visible in a long-sleeved shirt they will be ok so long as they are not offensive, rascist, etc. Tattoos on the hands, neck and face may require you to have your photo taken so that approval to enlist you can be sought.
RG8 Part 1
This is the main medical form which needs to be completed by both yourself and your GP before you can be booked onto a Recruit Selection Weekend. It is also the main reason applications suffer delays.
You must complete the form to the best of your knowledge (dates etc don't have to be exact) declaring any medical conditions you have or have had in the past and any treatment you have undergone. Do not leave anything off as your GP will only contradict you when he checks his records and fills in his part. Do not worry at this stage about any conditions you have just enter them on the form, you will be put forward for a TA medical and they will have the final say on whether you are medically fit for enlistment.
Once you have completed your part you should take it to your GP for them to complete their part. In an ideal world the GP would complete his section, sign it and hand it back to you so you can go to the TA Centre and hand it in. Given that he may well have written confidential medical information in his section of the report he may understandably be reluctant to do this. If your unit is pro-active they will have provided you with an envelope pre-paid with the unit address on so that the GP can post it back to them at no expense to himself, if not make sure you know the address it needs to be sent to so he can post it off himself.
There should also be a PPA Form 382(B) with the RG8. This form enables the GP to claim £65 plus costs from the MOD for doing his job, you do not have to pay your GP anything (unless you are rich and have a private practitioner).
As stated above delaying getting the RG8 back to your unit will result in your application being delayed (there are limited circumstances in which applicants can be booked onto RSW without GP verification of the form but these are exceptions to the rule) so it is in your interests to make sure you or your GP return it to your unit as soon as possible.
Part 2 is completed as part of your medical.
There are a number of common reasons for delays:
- You left the form with a receptionist who a) binned it, b) doesn't know what it is, c) doesn't know where to send it.
- You didn't give them the payment form (GPs don't work for free!).
- You're waiting until you've filled out the other forms - Don't! Get the RG8 back to your unit as soon as possible (go down on a training night, post it, walk past and put it in their letterbox).
- You didn't complete the Opticians report (see below).
- There wasn't enough postage paid and it is now in the Royal Mail vortex (it should arrive eventually but noone knows when).
RG8 Part 1 - Opticians Report
As part of the RG8 form (above) you will be asked a set of questions regarding your eyesight, if you answer 'Yes' to any of these questions you will be required to take this form to your opticians who will enter your eyesight and prescription information and sign it off. This service should be available free of charge but some opticians do charge a fee. At present there is no way for you to be refunded by the MOD for this charge (unless your unit has it's own arrangements in place).
If you answer 'No' to all the questions in the RG8 this form is not required. Do not be tempted to lie on the RG8 to avoid completing the form as your eyesight will be tested on your medical and you will soon be found out.
MOD Form 134
The Official Secrets Act 1989 declaration which can be found here. You must read, understand and sign it.
MOD Form 484
A character/employment reference which you should hand to your employer/teacher etc who will complete it and return it to your unit. A pro-active unit will provide you with a pre-paid addressed envelope for them to return it in, if they don't make sure you know the unit address to post it to.
MOD Form 493
The Rehabiliation of Offenders Act 1974 form. You are required to declare any criminal convictions that you have which are considered 'unspent' under the Act (though unspent convictions are not necessarily a bar to entry into the TA, see Eligibility below). Certain trades (e.g. RMP) may also require you to declare 'spent' convictions.
This section contains other forms you may or may not come across during the recruitment process depending on how much information the unit wishes to capture prior to your attestation.
MOD Form 486
Consent of parents form for those personnel enlisting whilst under the age of 18. If you are living with both parents they both must sign, if only living with one then one is enough.
Baseline Standard Verification Record
A basic vetting form to which the recruiting staff attach copies of your passport, driving licence, etc and MOD Form 484 to confirm they have done a basic security check on your identity. This will be retained in your documentation and recorded on your personal record.
MOD Form 1109
The next step up from the Baseline Standard above. This is required when you apply to join in certain restricted trades, commonly in the AGC, R Sigs and Int Corps, which require additional vetting and is a detailed form; you should ask for advice from your unit if asked to complete one.
HMRC Form P46
Most applicants to the TA will also have another form of employment and will therefore be unable to provide a P45 when they enlist. In this case your unit should provide you with a P46 form available here to ensure you are placed on the correct tax code when you start your TA career. You should complete all of Page 1 and then your unit will complete Page 2 by entering your works/payroll number (which will be your Service number), the date you were attested and the PAYE reference 948/WZ82056. They will then forward the form to APC at the following address for action:
Mail Point 335
Army Personnel Centre
65 Brown Street
HMRC Form P38(S)
If you are a student joining the TA you will complete a P38(S) form when you join instead of the P46 above. This will ensure that you do not pay tax on your TA pay whilst you are a full-time student. The form is available here if your unit does not provide you with one. You should complete the student's declaration section then enter the PAYE reference 948/WZ82056 in the employer's section then forward to the address in the P46 section above for APC to alter your tax details.
The eligibility criteria for the TA is subject to frequent change so you should always ask your unit any questions regarding the current standards, the sections below aim to give you a basic outline of the standards required. If you feel that you have been given the wrong information by your unit (some are better than others at keeping up-to-date with the changes) ask in the TA Recruitment forum on ARRSE
The notes below are for guidance only.
The age limits for enlistment are different depending or the Corps you wish to join but the general rule is that if you have no previous military service you may enlist between the ages of 17-43. The upper age limit is set at 43 because the standard TA contract is for 12 years (though you may apply to be discharged at any time before then). The normal retirement age for TA soldiers is the day before their 55th birthday.
The minimum age for enlistment into the TA is 17. If you are aged between 17 and 17.5 years old you will be classed as a Young Soldier this means you must have the signed consent of your parents (and your teacher if you are still in school) on your AFCO 4 and MOD Form 486 (see Forms above), you will not be allowed to train overseas with your unit without written permission from your parents.
Citizens of the UK, Ireland, British Protected Persons and the Commonwealth are all eligible to join. Gurkhas with prior service in the Regular army are also eligbile to join but are subject to specific rules which should be discussed with the unit you intend to join.
Botswanan nationals must apply for permission to enlist from the Government of Botswana before applying. Similiarly if you hold dual nationality, depending upon your second nationality, you may have to write to the Defence Section of your Embassy to provide evidence that you have already completed or are not required to complete a period of National Service with the nation of your second nationality.
Certain trades (particularly in the Intelligence Corps and Royal Signals) are only open to British citizens and may require you to have been resident in the UK for 5 or 10 years depending on the trade selected. Your unit will advise you if you intend to apply for any of these trades.
Applicants who are not British citizens must be in possession of a valid UK visa which grants 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in the UK. No other types of visa (student, spouses, etc) is sufficient. If your unit is unsure of your visa they may contact UKBA at:
UK Border Agency
Armed Forces Section
ICC1 7th Floor
40 Wellesley Road
Telephone: 0845 410 5996
If you are not a British, Irish, Commonwealth or protected person you are not eligible to join the TA. This includes citizens of other nations within the EU who may live and work in the UK private sector. In order to join you would first have to apply for Naturalisation as a British citizen through the Home Office.
Any tattoos which are rascist, obscene or offensive wherever they are on your body will make you ineligible for enlistment. Tattoos on the hands, neck and head may make you ineligible depending on their size. Small, non-offensive tattoos that are visible on the back of the neck, behind the ears, or on the hands are not a bar to enlistment. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis and you may have to have photos of your tattoos taken so the recruiting office can seek approval to enlist you.
Female soldiers only are allowed to wear visible piercings and these are limited to one in each ear. All other visible piercings must not be worn in uniform. Non-visible piercings may have to removed during certain activities e.g. PT for health and safety reasons. Some non-visible piercings may make you ineligible for enlistment but this will be decided by medical staff at ADSC.
Body modification (sub-dermal implants etc) and holes in the skin due to excessively large piercings that have since been removed may also make you ineligble to join.
The person who will decide your medical suitability for the TA is the Doctor who will perform your medical at your recruit selection weekend. The unit you are joining (with the exception of certain medical units) will not have the expertise to make a medical decision on any conditions you may have unless they have a Medical Officer (which is rare). The best advice is to fill out as much detail as possible on your RG8 form and ask your civilian GP to provide copies of any pertinent information when he completes his section of the form. The military Doctor will then have all the information he requires on the day of your Recruit Selection medical to make a fully informed decision as to your suitability for enlistment.
If you have been previously discharged on Medical grounds, the unit you wish to join will send a form called an AFB203 (Special Enlistment Authority) to the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow, who will check your Regular record and Med docs and advise the unit as to whether you should be allowed to rejoin.
Getting non-issue boots issued: Pronating - Supanating feet?
Army Development and Selection Centre
Once all your paperwork is completed you will be ready to attend the Army Development and Selection Centre, also known as a Recruit Selection Weekend (RSW). This will usually be conducted at your local RTC who run ADSC for the TA but different units have different arrangements. If you are joining the Honourable Artillery Company or 4 PARA you should have a look at their pages.
The ADSC consists of a number of tasks and presentations detailed in the sections below (not necessarily in this order). The only pass/fail elements of the weekend are the Medical and the Run however all of the tasks will contribute to the report that will be written on you by the Directing Staff sent to your unit after the weekend. Your report will be judged by the Individual Development and Selection Tool (IDST) which gives the staff sets of attributes which should demonstrate in order to achieve the best possible report. They will be looking out for these attributes during the course of your ADSC and the standards required for the best possible report are included in the sections below; to achieve the highest possible score is very difficult but if you attempt to display the strengths they are looking for you should achieve a good report at the end of recruit selection.
The only pass or fail elements of the weekend are the Medical and the Run.
The ADSC is broadly the same as for the Regular army other than the fact that it doesn't take place (in most instances) at ADSC Glencorse and that it is carried out over a weekend. Videos of what happens at the Regular ADSC can be found here and here but your TA unit should also show you a Dvd so you know what to expect.
The unit you are joining will be responsible for transporting you to and from the ADSC. You will usually be asked to get to the TA Centre for 1930hrs on the Friday night and then will be transported under unit arrangements (usually a minibus) to the location where the ADSC will take place. Once you arrive the soldier responsible for getting you there (usually a member of the recruiting team) will sign everyone in, you will be given a short explanation of the camp and the rules you should be aware of and then you will be taken to your accomodation for the weekend.
A quick run-down of what to expect over the course of the weekend from the staff at the RTC plus various health and safety, security and fire briefs.
Each applicant on selection will be asked to stand-up in turn at the front of the group and briefly introduce themselves. This will give the DS an idea of each person's level of confidence, don't worry you don't have to be Barack Obama, the list of topics below should easily give you enough to fill the 1-2 minutes required:
- What is your name?
- How old are you?
- Where you are from?
- What do your friends and family think about you joining the TA?
- What sports are you interested in? What teams do you support?
- What do you do in your spare time? Where do you work?
- Why do you want to join the TA?
- What trades are you interested in and why? See here for details of trades available. Check with your unit before RSW to find out what trades they offer.
- What do you know about your trades? See here for details.
- What do you expect basic training to be like? See here for what to expect.
- What do you want to achieve in the TA? Promotion, civilian qualifications, new friends etc.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What preparation have you done for the ADSC?
- How fast do you think you'll do the run?
- What is you most memorable moment?
To get the best report possible you should meet the following criteria (don't worry if you don't, remember this is not a pass/fail element of the ADSC):
- Your family actively encourages your application to join.
- Your presentation should be engaging, natural and comfortable (try practicing on your friends before you go to selection). You should demonstrate your own opinions and values and should emphasise your own maturity and independence.
- You should be passionate about joining the TA and demonstrate a strong sense of duty.
- You should have a clear idea of what to expect in your training and should be looking forward to the challenge.
- You should have excellent speaking and listening skills and should be able to get your point across to the rest of the group using appropriate language i.e. good English (like no chav speak, innit!)
- You should have an excellent understanding of the Army and the Corps and Trade you wish to join (read the recruiting literature, the Official Army site and the Army jobs site.
- You should have prepared for ADSC well. Practice the BARB test (see below) and get out doing fitness training.
Your RG8 form and any supporting information will be reviewed by the Nurse and Doctor and you will be given tests on your hearing and eyesight. There will be a full physical examination where you will be require to strip therefore it is advisable to wear suitable underwear.
If you haven't already provided confirmation of yur blood group a sample will be taken to confirm this. Your blood group is a requirement for your military ID card and is good to know if you are injured.
The medical is the first pass/fail element of the ADSC. If you fail you at this stage you will not be allowed to continue with the rest of the weekend and will be Returned To Unit (RTU). This means that you will be taken back by your unit staff and your ADSC will be over.
Instead of being failed you may be 'deferred'. This means that the Doctor has checked your medical records and has found something which either requires further information/testing or requires a waiting period to be imposed. Examples of reasons for deferral include:
- If you have had an episode of asthma within the past four years you may be deferred until four years have elapsed.
- If you have had psychological problems earlier in your life you may be required to have an appointment with a consultant, alternatively you may simply be failed.
- If your peak flow rate  is poor you may be required to undergo a lung function test at a later date and will be deferred until you have had the test.
If the Doctor on the day says you have passed it means you can continue with the rest of the ADSC but it is not the final pass/fail result. Once you have completed the ADSC all the medical information is sent of to be verified and checked against current regulations. Where something is found during this verification process your result may be changed from a pass grading to a fail. TA Occupational Health should then send you a letter informing you that your grade has been changed and for what reason. Your unit should receive the confirmed medical result approximately two weeks after you have completed the ADSC.
You will be given a lesson on an item of military equipment and then asked a number of questions about it. This tests your memory and how well you take on new information.
You can find a practice memory test here.
To achieve the best possible report you should display the following qualities (do not worry if you don't, remember this is not a pass/fail element of the ADSC):
- Be a Team Player. You should be keen and enthusiastic, contribute effectively to the team and be a strong member of your group. You should avoid just looking after your own interest, you shouldn't look unhappy, withdrawn or displeased to be part of a team.
- Demonstrate Physical Courage. You should complete the tasks even if you are scared or in discomfort, you should push yourself to perform to the best of your ability. You should not give up at any stage.
- Demonstrate Self-confidence and Strength of Character. You should be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly, you should try and show leadership skills. You should avoid being nervous or arrogant, you shouldn't be easily led (put forward your ideas even if it is someone elses plan).
- Get on with others. You should join in fully and encourage others who seem withdrawn, try and lead the group. You shouldn't be intolerant or ignorant of others, you shouldn't be rude or refuse to interact with others.
- Demonstrate Good Conduct. Your conduct should be good throughout, you should demonstrate tolerance and understanding. You should not behave innappropriately.
- Accept Responsibilty. Make decisions on how to complete the task whilst listening to other peoples ideas. Lead the group and change the plan if things start to go wrong. Do not fade into the background or pass everything onto someone else.
- Communicate Effectively. Speak and listen well, communicate your plan to the group effectively explaining how and why they should follow your plan. Your plan should have a logical order. Avoid mumbling and speak clearly (especially if you have a strong regional accent).
- Follow Instructions. Listen to the instructor and understand the task you have been given, restate the aims and explain them to the group if they appear not to understand. Do not ignore the instructions you have been given, the instructors have provided you with what you need to know to succeed (beware of extra unecessary equipment and 'red herrings').
- Be Determined. Use your initiative and enjoy the challenge of the task, adapt to the situation as it progresses. Do not give up!
The British Army Recruiting Battery (BARB) tests set of electronic tests of your mental agility. The key factors are accuracy and speed. If you get everything right but do it very slowly you won't score well, if you go very fast but get everything wrong you won't score well, it is best to try and achieve a balance between the two. If you hit a question you are unsure of do not waste too much time working out the answer just skip to the next one.
You can practice as much as you like here to improve your chances of a high score.
Your unit should also give you a booklet explaining the different parts of the test and giving you example questions. The five different sections below will take around 30 minutes to complete in total:
Test One - Reasoning
A test of comparative written statements and your ability to process given information e.g. Joe is not as happy as Mike. Who is sadder?
Test Two - Letter Checking
You are given up to 4 pairs of UPPER and lower case letters and have to quickly how many pairs there are.
Test Three - Number Distance
You are given three numbers and asked whether the higher number or lower number is furthest from the other number.
Test Four - Odd one Out
You are given three words and must pick the odd one out e.g. alive dead monkey
Test Five - Symbol Rotation
You will be given two pairs of letters which have been rotated around and asked whether the letters in each pair are the same.
Risk Reduction Run
The Risk Reduction Run (RRR) takes place over 1.5 miles (2.4km) after an 800m warm-up jog and is the second part of the ADSC that is a pass/fail.
The Army expects that you will have been doing some Fitness training in your own time well before you get to point where you are at ADSC, if you have been complacent and haven't bothered you only have yourself to blame should you fail the run.
You must complete the run in 14 mins or less (Infantry recruits should complete in 13.30 mins or less).
If you are looking for training advice you might like to try this book: Official British Army Fitness Guide
The test is designed to measure the aerobic power of an individual and thereby confirm the efficiency of their cardio-respiratory system.
1. The warm up will be conducted by two instructors, one setting the pace and one at the rear of the squad to keep everyone together.
2. For the best effort run staff will be deployed around the course for safety reasons and to observe you.
3. If you fail to complete the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) run you will be eliminated from the test.
4. The test will be conducted as follows:
a. A 0.5 mile run (0.8 km) squaded warm up (run/walk) for the whole platoon of 6 minute duration.
b. This is immediately followed by a timed, best effort over a measured distance of 1.5 miles (2.4 km).
Physical Selection Standards (Recruits)
The PSS(R) tests are a series of physical tasks designed to test your upper and lower body strength and your level of personal fitness. They are usually performed a short time after you have completed the RRR.
The aim of the under grasp heave test is to measure the maximum number of times you can lift your body weight to the beam which provides a measure of strength relative to your body weight. This activity is performed because it is the same type of activity performed during climbing and scaling obstacles.
1. Approach the beam and adopt an under-grasp grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
2. Ask if you require assistance to the beam. Personnel unable to reach the beam may be assisted by standing on a box lid, the PTI will remove the box to a safe area when you have adopted the under arm grasp.
3. On the command “Heave” you are to begin the test. You are to heave your body up until your chin is over the beam with your chest touching the bottom of the beam and then you are to lower under control until your arms are straight.
4. At no stage must you beat the hips or kick the legs to assist.
5. You are to perform as many heaves as possible, in your own time. The test will be stopped when you have performed to you maximum and you touch the floor.
Back Extension Strength
The aim of the test is to measure the strength of the back extensor muscles, which are important for lifting, carrying and marching with loads.
1. Stand in the upright position, facing the upright vertical column, with your pelvis and thighs touching the wooden plate.
2. The height of the yolk is adjusted to allow it to be situated below your shoulders.
3. Stand with your toes up against the toe stop, your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent to reduce the pressure on your lower back.
4. Your arms are to remain at the side of your body.
5. On the command “3-2-1-pull” (practice attempt) progressively apply 50% of your maximum effort to the yolk for 3 seconds, then a maximum force for a further 3 seconds.
6. You will then perform 2 maximum trials with a 30 second rest between each trial.
Static Lift Strength
The aim of the static lift strength test is to measure your ability to lift heavy equipment. Lift strength is very important, as it is required during many military tasks, for example lifting ammunition containers.
1. Step onto the base board, feet shoulder width apart, and either side of the dynamometer.
2. Grasp the bar with an over-hand grip, knees slightly bent, back straight, head facing forward.
3. Arms should be straight and in line with the chain of the dynamometer, which should be help under slight tension.
4. You will not be allowed to lift until the correct position is adopted.
5. During the lift the feet must be flat on the board and in a balanced position adopted to prevent rocking during the lift.
6. You are not to jerk the chain or lean back as this may cause injury.
7. A practice attempt at 50% of your maximum effort is then performed; any error in technique will be corrected at this point.
8. After a minimum of 30 seconds, you will be given a maximum of 2 attempts with a 30 second rest period between each attempt.
Dynamic Lift Strength
The aim of this test is to measure the weight that can be lifted to a height of 1.45 metres (which is the equivalent height of the back of a 4 ton vehicle).
1. You are to adopt a comfortable position, with an over hand grasp on the handles.
2. Arms straight, feet flat shoulder width apart.
3. Knees bent with straight back and head looking forward.
4. During the lift your hands must stay in contact with the bar.
5. No other part of your body is to come into contact with the apparatus to assist with the lift.
6. You may have a maximum of 3 practice attempts at the lift (20 kg bar only).
7. Start weight for females is 20 kg, moving up in increments of 2.5 kg until your maximum safe lift is achieved.
8. Start weight for males is 30 kg, moving up in increments of 5 kg until your maximum safe lift is achieved, however you may opt to move to 2.5 kg increments when reaching your maximum lift.
9. A maximum of 10 seconds is allowed to complete each lift, with a minimum rest period of 10 seconds between each lift.
10. A lift is considered good when the handles pass the 1.45 metre mark.
11. You are to continue until you reach your maximum lift or 55 kg.
The aim of this test is to assess the strength of the muscles associated with grip, truck stabilisation and the shoulder girdle, in order to confirm that heavy loads may be carried safely and efficiently over a prescribed distance. You will carry two 20kg jerry-cans over a maximum distance of 150 metres.
1. The first 4 to line up on the start line.
2. Pick up the jerry cans by the handles.
3. On the word of command “Go” keep pace with the PTI. A whistle blast will be sounded at 5 second intervals and you will pass a cone.
4. The lane is 30 metres in length. At the end of the lane you are to turn around.
5. An allowance of half a metre for the turn is provided at each end.
6. Keep with the PTI. You are to complete a maximum of 150 metres or 5 lengths.
You will be stopped during the test if you:
a. Put the jerry cans down before 150 metres.
b. Drop the jerry cans.
c. Receive 2 warnings to catch up.
Once you have passed the ADSC and your unit has received confirmation of your medical results you will be invited to the TA Centre to be attested. There will be a number of forms to fill out (plus any you may have missed from above) and you will then swear the Oath of Allegiance to the Queen.
Once you have been attested you are a part of your unit and they will start paying you when you attend; remember to sign in on the Attendance Register (AR)! If you are unsure about where to find the AR or what to do just ask someone (politely) and they will show you what to do, you aren't the first person to feel a little lost when they first join.
Your attestation will be conducted by an Officer from your new unit.
Phase 1 Training
Now that you have been attested and have joined your unit (unless you are exempt due to previous military service) and have been issued your kit read The Basics and get ready for your Phase 1 training (sometimes called recruit training or basic training).
You should get the dates of Phase 1 training from the recruiting team and you should let them know as soon as possible which dates you will be attending.