There are five main types of commission in the Army. These are:
The Short Service Commission (SSC) - the SSC is the normal
first commission for those who become an officer in the Army. It is a
commission for those who do not wish to commit to a long career but
would like to benefit from the high quality training and exceptional
experience available to young officers. The SSC is also a first step
to a mid-length or full career in the Army. SSCs are awarded for a
minimum of three years (six years for the Army Air Corps on account of
the length of pilot training) but can be extended to eight.
Candidates for commissions should be over 17 years and nine
months and under 29 years old when they begin officer training.
The Intermediate Regular Commission (IRC) - The IRC offers a
mid length career for a maximum of 18 years and can be applied for
after two years SSC, subject to being recommended. On completion of 18
years after the age of 40 the officer will be entitled to a lump sum
and regular monthly payments, which will convert at 65 to a further
lump sum and pension.
The Regular Commission (Reg C) - The Reg C offers a full career
of 35 years or to age 60 whichever is first. It can be applied for
after 2 years IRC, subject to recommendation. Those completing a full
career will receive an immediate lump sum and pension from age 55.
Undergraduate Army Placement (UGAP) - UGAP is a Commission for
highly motivated undergraduates studying at UK universities requiring
a placement as part of their degree. Up to 10 places are available
each year. In all other respects the commission is identical to the
old Gap Year Commission (GYC).
Late Entry Commissions - A number of vacancies exist for senior
Non Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers to be granted
commissions known as Late Entry Commissions. They attend the Late
Officer Entry Course (LEOC) at Sandhurst before commencing their
officer careers. Because of their age they generally do not rise above
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
All except LE officers require an indicative level of 35 ALIS points
(34 for Scottish Standards) gained from the best seven subjects at
GCSE, or equivalent, which must include English language, mathematics
and either a science subject or a foreign language.
In addition a score of 180 UCAS Tariff points acquired in separate
subjects at AS and A level, or equivalent. These must include a
minimum of two passes at A level, or equivalent, at grades A-E. Note
that the General Studies paper does not qualify for UCAS Tariff
The attainment of a degree will normally override the requirement for
UCAS Tariff points.
AND SANDHURST (RMAS)
Officer candidates are normally advised by an Army Careers Adviser of
the options open to them and they will also arrange for interviews and
familiarisation visits to an appropriate Regiment or Corps. If the
Regiment or Corps is prepared to sponsor a candidate they then guide
him or her through the rest of the selection procedure. All
candidates, except those seeking an Army Sixth Form Scholarship or
entry to Welbeck – The Defence Sixth Form College, are required to
attend a briefing at the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) at
Westbury, Wiltshire for psychometric tests and a 24 hour briefing. So
long as they meet the minimum standards they will be invited back for
a three and a half day assessment also at AOSB. Here they will also
undergo a medical examination.
AOSB consists of a series of interviews and tests that assess the
personality and the leadership potential in applicants. Candidates
need to be themselves, be prepared to discuss the issues of the day
and be physically fit.
All potential officers accepted for training attend the RMAS
Commissioning Course which lasts for 44 weeks with three entries a
year in January, May and September. After successfully completing the
Sandhurst course a young officer then completes a further specialist
course with his or her chosen Regiment or Corps. Females cannot be
accepted in the Household Cavalry, The Royal Armoured Corps or the
Infantry, although a policy review was underway in 2015.
In the 12 months to 31 December 2014, the RMAS commissioned 540 Direct
Entry Regular Officers into the British Army.
WELBECK - THE
DEFENCE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE/ARMY SIXTH FORM SCHOLARSHIP
Welbeck DSFC offers a two year residential A level course to
motivated young people who would like, in the future, a commission in
one of the more technical branches of the three Services, as well as
the MoD Civil Service. Of those destined for the Army, most Welbexians
will be commissioned into the Royal Engineers, the Royal Signals, the
Royal Logistic Corps or the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Both potential Welbexians and those seeking an Army Sixth Form
Scholarship attend a similar 24 hour selection board at AOSB.
SERVICES COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE (JSCSC)
The JSCSC at Shrivenham trains the future commanders and staff
officers of all three UK Armed Services and those of many allied and
friendly countries from around the world.
As an element of the UK Defence Academy the Commandant (Major
General J R Free – from August 2014) is a two star officer of each
of the three services in turn. Within the JSCSC structure each
single service is represented by an Assistant Commandant (Brigadier
equivalent) each of them responsible for both single service
issues and delivery of training.
The Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) is a 46 week
residential course designed to provide professional education
covering a wide spectrum of military defence and security issues for
selected UK, international military and civilian officers. The
Higher Command and Staff Course (HCSC) is a Joint Service course
that assists senior officers who may be destined for high command to
acquire a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of military
theory and practice.
During any one year, as many as 4,000 students from over 90
different countries take part in training in the United Kingdom. The
charges for training depend on the length of the course, its
syllabus and the number taking part. Receipts from overseas
governments for this training are believed to be in the region of
£50 million annually.