Armed Forces - a12a2 - British Army - Join The British Army - Recruiting Selection and Training - Overview of Army Training Armed Forces - a12a2 - British Army - Recruiting Selection and Training - Officer and Soldiers



Recruiting is carried out to attract sufficient men and women of the right quality to meet the Army's personnel requirements. Selection is the process that is carried out to ensure that those who are accepted into the Army have the potential to be good soldiers and are capable of being trained to carry out their chosen trade. Training is the process of preparing those men and women for their careers in the Army. Training is progressive and continues all the way through a soldier and an officers’ career.

The Army Recruitment and Training Division is responsible for the delivery of army recruiting and training.


The Army Recruitment and Training Division (ARTD) is responsible for each stage of a potential recruit’s progress from the recruiting office, through a Recruit Selection Centre, into recruit training, through specialist courses before they are finally posted to their unit in the Field Army. The ARTD is headed by the Director General Army Recruitment and Training (DG ART), a Major General who is responsible for ensuring that sufficient men and women of the right quality are recruited and trained to meet the needs of the service.

The ARTD Headquarters is based at Upavon in Wiltshire, close to many of the training units. Recruiting is carried out from over 100 towns and cities throughout the country, and individual training is conducted at some 40 schools. With a permanent staff of about 10,000 across the whole of the recruiting and training organisation, the ARTD is responsible for Ministry of Defence land, buildings and field assets valued at more than one and a quarter billion pounds.

The ARTD is required to enlist between 7,000 and 10,000 recruits each year (depending upon the requirement) and to be involved in the training of about 60,000 officers and soldiers (regular and reserve). ARTD conducts over 1,000 different types of courses with about 8,000 officers and soldiers under training at any time. Across all training phases, the average annual unit cost of training a soldier or officer is believed to be in excess of £20,000.

ARTD operations are divided into four inter-related functions: Recruiting, Recruit training (Phase 1), Specialist training (Phase 2), and Career training (Phase 3). ARTD was formerly named Army Training and Recruitment Agency. It was renamed ARTD on 1 July 2006.


An MoD committee called the Standing Committee Army Manpower Forecasts (SCAMF) calculates the numbers that need to be enlisted to maintain the Army's personnel at the correct level. The Committee needs to take account of changing unit establishments, wastage caused by servicemen and women leaving the service at the end of their engagements, and those who might choose to leave before their engagements come to an end (PVR Premature Voluntary Release). The number required in each trade in the Army is assessed and figures are published at six monthly intervals so that adjustments may be made during the year.

Within ARTD, the Recruiting Group (in association with Capita plc) runs all Army Recruiting from the headquarters in Upavon. Recruiting activities take place all over the country, using the network of Careers Offices, about 60 Schools Advisers, over 20 Army Youth Teams and Regimental Recruiting Teams. The Commander Recruiting Group, a Brigadier serving in ARTD and his staff, located throughout the United Kingdom are responsible for the recruiting and selection to meet the personnel targets.

Potential recruits are attracted into the Army in a number of ways including advertisements on the television, on the internet and in the press. Permanently established recruiting teams from many Regiments and Corps tour the country and staff from the Armed Forces Careers Offices (AFCO) and Army Careers Information Offices (ACIO) visit schools, youth clubs and job centres. There is a network of AFCOs and ACIOs located throughout the UK and Army Careers Advisers who access schools and universities throughout the country. Young, recently trained soldiers are also sent back to their home towns and schools to talk to their friends about life in the Army and are regularly interviewed by the local press.

The overall army recruiting cost for 2012-2013 was in the region of £122 million (the latest figure available). The advertising cost for reserve recruitment during 2014-2015 was £3.8 million.

Annual Army recruiting figures (intake to untrained strength) during the recent past are as follows:
Year 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Army Total 10,300 7,020 6,890

Outflow figures (untrained personnel leaving the army) in the recent past are:
Year 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Army Total 14,890 15,740 11,180

Note: The excess in outflow against intake reflects the SDSR personnel reduction targets. The intake figures include an average of about 800 officers per year.