Potential recruits are normally aged between
16 years and nine months and 32 years (can be older for some specialist skills),
except when they are applying for a vacancy as a junior soldier when the age
limits are from 16 years to 18 years and six months. As a trained soldier the
minimum length of service will be four years from the age of 18, or from the
start of training, if over 18.
Under the selection system, a potential recruit will have a two day assessment
at an Army Assessment Centre. There are Assessment Centres at Pirbright,
Lichfield, Penicuik (near Edinburgh) and Ballymena in Northern Ireland.
At the Assessment Centre he or she will take the Army Entrance Test which is
designed to assess ability to assimilate the training required for the
candidate's chosen trade. The staff at the Assessment Centre will then conduct a
number of interviews to decide on overall suitability for the Army. A medical
examination will also be carried out that checks on weight, eyesight and
hearing. The potential recruit will also see at first hand the type of training
that they will undergo, and the sort of life that they will lead in barracks if
successful in getting into the Army. Physical fitness is assessed based on a
'best effort' 1.5 mile timed run and some gymnasium exercises. After further
interviews the candidate is informed if he or she is successful and if so is
offered a vacancy in a particular trade and Regiment or Corps.