AIB - no return

First for some context: Earlier this year I applied for a Pilot Officer role in the Royal Navy; I later attended FATs as required and did not pass, this was obviously disappointing at the time but I aimed as high as I possibly could to begin with and had other options ready to pursue in the event of an FATs fail.

Following this stage I received an email stating that “After a full and detailed examination of the available information the Admiralty Interview Board is unable to approve another test.” - I took this on the chin and was told by a Liason Officer that I should consider other Officer roles and so I did. However, I have recently received a call from my local careers office which informed me that the AIB has decided not to invite me to return and so it was explained to me that I cannot pursue any Officer role; this has really baffled me because I hadn’t even reached the AIB stage yet, the only stages I had attempted were the RT, which I passed, and the FATs, which I failed. I wasn’t given an explanation for this decision - this has left me with some questions that someone on here might be able provide some help with:

Is this a usual occurrence? If not, is there usually a main reason that this happens?
Is it possible that although the FATs is an aircrew based test, due to me being unsuccessful, they have decided I cannot pursue a career as an officer regardless of trade?
Is it likely that the AIB’s decision will be indefinite?

Thanks.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
First for some context: Earlier this year I applied for a Pilot Officer role in the Royal Navy; I later attended FATs as required and did not pass, this was obviously disappointing at the time but I aimed as high as I possibly could to begin with and had other options ready to pursue in the event of an FATs fail.

Following this stage I received an email stating that “After a full and detailed examination of the available information the Admiralty Interview Board is unable to approve another test.” - I took this on the chin and was told by a Liason Officer that I should consider other Officer roles and so I did. However, I have recently received a call from my local careers office which informed me that the AIB has decided not to invite me to return and so it was explained to me that I cannot pursue any Officer role; this has really baffled me because I hadn’t even reached the AIB stage yet, the only stages I had attempted were the RT, which I passed, and the FATs, which I failed. I wasn’t given an explanation for this decision - this has left me with some questions that someone on here might be able provide some help with:

Is this a usual occurrence? If not, is there usually a main reason that this happens?
Is it possible that although the FATs is an aircrew based test, due to me being unsuccessful, they have decided I cannot pursue a career as an officer regardless of trade?
Is it likely that the AIB’s decision will be indefinite?

Thanks.
Sounds like one of three things has happened:
  • Either you are ineligible to join as an officer (academics/fitness/medical suitability?), or
  • AIB or more likely, your ACLO have made an error (ask your ACLO why you cannot take an AIB, having never previously attended) or
  • ...you have failed to demonstrate you have the qualities or aptitude to be an Officer. The latter could be linked to attitude, aptitude, conduct or actions displayed thus far during selection. This is unusual in the extreme.
Statistically, the odds are someone has confused the FATs "no return" with an AIB "no return". If you have made a cluster of your application or ruffled feathers, I'm pretty sure you would already know about it.

Unless you've really, really upset someone, or made a complete arse of it, eligible applicants who fail AIB can normally be considered to retake an AIB after a specified period - sometimes after joining as a Rating and demonstrating you have the aptitude over a period of years. You'd have to go some to be told you cannot take AIB if you are eligible and have never attended one.

Do let us know what the reason was behind the knock-back.
 
Thanks for the reply, appreciate it.

I called back, as suggested, to make sure that it is definitely the AIB I am not allowed to attempt, and that they haven’t mistaken it for the FATs; they told me that following the FATs the AIB had informed them that I “cannot continue to apply for an officer role” and so a rating role is now my only option. I asked if there was a reason behind this or whether it has to do with the FAT scores that I obtained. (as this is the only reason I could think of, seeing as the application has been straight-forward so far) I was told that this was probably the case however, the person I was speaking to could not confirm the reason because they are not authorised to deal with officer candidate entry, and that if I wanted to know the reason I should contact the ACLO next week. (My ACLO has recently been on leave)

I know that I meet the entry requirements for officer-entry (aside from the ones that require specific degrees) as this was checked when I took my RT so I can cross that reason off the list.

I’ll keep this thread up-to-date on what happens next.
 
Last edited:

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Thanks for the reply, appreciate it.

I called back, as suggested, to make sure that it is definitely the AIB I am not allowed to attempt, and that they haven’t mistaken it for the FATs; they told me that following the FATs the AIB had informed them that I “cannot continue to apply for an officer role” and so a rating role is now my only option. I asked if there was a reason behind this or whether it has to do with the FAT scores that I obtained. (as this is the only reason I could think of, seeing as the application has been straight-forward so far) I was told that this was probably the case however, the person I was speaking to could not confirm the reason because they are not authorised to deal with officer candidate entry, and that if I wanted to know the reason I should contact the ACLO next week. (My ACLO has recently been on leave)

I know that I meet the entry requirements for officer-entry (aside from the ones that require specific degrees) as this was checked when I took my RT so I can cross that reason off the list.

I’ll keep this thread up-to-date on what happens next.
The only other thing I can think is possibly because we're short of Pilots, there may have been a waiver of eligibility criteria to permit a "one-off" attempt. This could've been academics or age (typically). If it was a Recruit Test score waiver, the logic would've been to advise a re-sit.

Fingers-crossed all goes well.
 
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