ETWE and colour blindness

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Taztiff, Nov 6, 2014.

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  1. Hi

    Just thought I'd share my lads trip to joining up as a ETWE in light of his colour blindness.

    In January he had his colour blindness test and was told he was CP4. I found this online:
    CP1 & CP2 - Good colour vision, able to pass Ishihara test (not sure of the difference between CP1 and CP2)
    CP3 - Failed Ishihara test but able to pass holmes-wright lantern test
    CP4 - Failed Ishihara and lantern test but able to pass coloured wire test
    CP5 - Failed coloured wire test.

    He had not done the wire test at the time but everything went forward.
    Oct - went to Rosyth for his PRNC and passed, he already had a joining date of Jan 2015 so getting ready for that.
    Week later he got a phone call from Careers Office - can he join following Sunday! Agghh, not really, at work and no kit bought / prepared - Careers Office then asked if he could join two weeks later - that is, this Sunday coming.
    Yes - so off he goes, hands his notice in and starts getting ready for joining.
    Yesterday late afternoon, gets a phone call from Careers Office, can you come in for the colour blindness wire test? Now his mom is panicking - bit late, what if he fails etc. etc. Bloody Navy, couldn't organise a p"£$ up in a brewery etc. etc. (Can tell she was married to the mob for 12 years!)

    Anyway, he went in today and passed so still going in this weekend.
    The interesting part is that the wire test is a match of a number (30?) or so wires of differing colours. The Careers Adviser came in to check he had done it right and had to go out and get another person to make sure because he couldn't actually hand on heart tell himself - said CA is a Colour Sgt RM :)

    I'm of an opinion that the tardiness in the wire test being done is a result of whatever agency is running the medicals - when he went for his medical the doctor had not read his notes and therefore not prepared for half the stuff that was declared on the medical form my lad had to fill. The doctor asked questions that my lad had to phone and ask me the answers to (lads are like that), those questions were answered in the notes the doctor opened afterwards.:mad:

    Anyway - rattling on now so I'm off.
  2. It is always the red wire that needs to be cut.

    Or is it the blue one?
  3. Atleast he passed though! Wish him luck, i'm hoping for a call to say i can go earlier too. Think i may be waiting until 1st March however.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The medical company (Capita) are contracted conduct the colour perception test at the medical examination.

    In the event an applicant gets two or more plates wrong on the coloured dots (Ishihara) test, they are below CP2.

    The lantern test can only grade CP1 & CP3 and Capita have very few of them nationally.

    ET(WE)'s require CP4 for entry. This can be determined by the ishihara test or the wire trade test or a colour expanse test.

    It is kind of puzzling why, if the Doctor had an ishihara test book, he/she didn't continue the test to correctly determine the colour grading at the time of the medical examination after discovering the individual was below CP2. Bizarre.

    Furthermore, most Doctors have the common sense to conduct a colour expanse test - they just use red, yellow, blue & green stationery tabs & ask the individual to identify which is which.

    Had he failed, I'd have advised a written complaint about the contracted medical examiner. Poor drills.
  5. Hi Ninja

    Sort of thinking that way myself. From what my lad told me of this doctor he wasn't very helpful / interested / knowledgeable (delete as appropriate!).

    The annoying thing was the lateness of the test today prior to him jumping on the train on Sunday. If he had failed today god knows where he would have stood.
    I did ask him if he failed, if he would consider a different branch. He said he would and that ETWE was just still a preference, his join date was the main confirmed thing.
    I haven't told him that I would have disowned him if he didn't get WE though! :D

  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    My guess is what probably happened is that after he completed PRNC his medical documents would've been sent to Raleigh & they spotted that his eyesight had not been correctly graded. Good job too.

    Raleigh Medical Centre will screen the docs & if there are any anomalies, bounce it back to the relevant AFCO so that the contracted company can hopefully rectify any shortcomings before entry.

    Fortunately, despite it being a rather close run thing, at least he got the result he wanted before he joined - otherwise he could've been discharged upon arrival. CP4 is the lowest acceptable grade for entry and usually means the individual is restricted to Engineering, Logistics, Medical or RM.
  7. I know two people in the WE brand in the process of being discharged from the service for colourblindness, considering they ar both under 25 and will now be paid a sum of money for life I'm surprised the navy allows any form of colourblindness in technical trades.
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It's an interesting one - particularly now CIS (VA2, CP3) are being partially trained as ET(WE) (VA3,CP4). Surely the people, updating their branch recruiting literature (still haven't on the website) to reflect their doubling of phase two training, haven't also missed this anomaly too?

    When I joined as an MEM(M), many moons ago, I was told I couldn't be an MEM(L) due to my poor colour perception. Reason? "Ah well, electricians need to differentiate between different colour wire insulation, innit."

    Three years later, we had "Engineering Branch Development". In short L & M were then deemed interchangeable regardless of colour perception. How come? "Ah well, all cables now have number sleeves and we match them rather than colours". Does this apply to all ships? "Erm, no. Stop being difficult..."

    Leading Rates Qualifying Course..."Resistors are colour-coded to enable identification and calculation of their resistance value...."

    Right. "Can't we print their numerical value on them instead?" Erm, no "Too complicated, stop being difficult".

    Now we know why engineering officers spend so much of their military service ashore - there'd be no-one to bollox-up the operational/seagoing element of the branch otherwise.:)
  9. Guess you wouldn't get into bomb disposal!
  10. Both the above mentioned people were on my hillocks course and had to be told what colour was what so they could work it out.
    You will know better than me seemingly there was a window where you could join up as a WE with pretty much any vision and that how the both got in.
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    ET(WE) & ET(ME) still permit individuals to join with the least acceptable ability to differentiate colours -CP4. If either of those individuals meet the CP4 standard, they cannot be medically discharged. Most likely, if they are found to be CP5 (unfit for service) then they should have been graded as such prior to entry - if they weren't then they need to look into the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme as they were incorrectly passed fit to enter.
  12. We had a colour blind MEA(L) on a 21 who joined as MEA(M) until he got side stepped under EBD. Knew his onions - however always made a joke of the fact only he could rebuild the Olys after taking them to bits!
    I also knew a colour blind electrical technician in my first job after going outside. Only knew he was when I was showing him how to monitor a industrial robot with an oscilloscope, 'connect to the red wire', 'which ones that I'm colour blind', 'ok, position 4', 'got it' he always knew after that which was the red wire in that connector.
    At the place I am now, we have 'continuous improvement' engineers whose job is to make conversion machinery easy to size change by the operators - they use coloured tape and the like. I try to get them to add descriptors as well due to my experience with 2 colour blind sons. I also used a camera system to determine a grey pigment added to material, again because the acceptable limits was different dependent on who was inspecting it.
    At this point, maybe we should actually call it 'colour deficiency'? I have noticed many people with varying levels that would not be called colour blind normally.
    At my age (mid 50's) I have problems when looking in the back of a machine panel with failing eyesight and limited light. And don't get me going on the EU 'harmonised cable colours'!

    PS I'm sure most cables in pussers panels used to be pink anyway!!
  13. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    :)They were white. They looked pink if you had bloodshot eyes.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. That'll be it allright!
  15. We had a couple of Boffins out to fit some "Kit" both Ginger and both colour blind, they had a young tool bag carrier who had to identify the cores of the cable when they wired up the plug, similar to this but more cores[​IMG].
  16. I fitted something very similar on a foreign herc this week.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Just to update on this particular topic, I've just been to an excellent brief by a senior member of the Faraday Team (thanks Andy, I'm back in my box! ;)) and can advise all the online literature has been updated, amended and submitted to the RN website team for updating at the next refresh - in time for the selection & subsequent entry of the ET(WE)(CIS) branch.

    As a point of interest, the Colour Perception/Visual acuity for CIS is believed to have historically stemmed from their involvement in Warfare/Ops evolutions and at present, there is no intention to lower the colour perception & visual acuity at present - something to bear in mind for those who do not meet the entry scores for ET(WE) and subsequently opt for ET(WE)(CIS).

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