Armed Forces - a12a6 - British Army - Officer Commissions - Regular Commission - Gap Year Commission - Officer Selection Sandhurst - Webeck College- Royal Military College Sandhurst RMAS



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 points.

The attainment of a degree will normally override the requirement for UCAS Tariff points.


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 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.


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.

Overseas Students
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.