From picking up the phone to Britannia - A guide to Officer Selection

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by FreedomTea, Feb 3, 2014.

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  1. Up-to-date first hand experience guide from picking up the phone to the recruiting office to getting a start date at Britannia Royal Naval College (2012-2014)

    Contents


    • Introduction
    • Time-frame overview and dates
    • Phoning the Navy and expressing interest
    • Visiting a Careers Presentation at a local careers office
    • Attending a Recruit Test to judge suitability
    • Arranging my own eye test
    • Medical test
    • Fitness Test
    • Sift Interview
    • Pre-Admiralty Interview Board brief
    • Admiralty Interview Board

    1. The Journey
    2. Reasoning and written tests
    3. Physical Tests and example Leadership Tasks
    4. Free Time
    5. Planning Task
    6. Personal Leadership Task
    7. Board Interview
    8. After the Interview

    • Lantern Colour Vision Test
    • Conclusion
    • Links and Abbreviations
    Introduction

    I like to answer all the recruitment questions with my own experiences whereas a lot of other RR posters will often just link the search feature. Whilst truth be told, Officer candidates should be finding the information themselves, a lot of the posts/ past experiences are out of date and after reading all 118 pages of the sticky 'BRNC - All you need to know' almost all of that thread is banter rather than useful information. To that end I'm going to write an in depth report of the current recruitment process that I myself have been through (2012-2014) in the hopes that it will answer a lot of questions that at the moment get conflicting responses from outdated information.

    - My chosen branch is Warfare, Surface Fleet.
    - I hope to update this guide to include Britannia Royal Naval College experiences.
    - I will put any abbreviations in brackets and explain them.
    - Nothing 'confidential' will be posted in this guide.

    A little about myself: I did an extra year at College whilst my peers all went off to university, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life and wanted a year to think. I chose to study Film Production Technology at university because: I enjoy the outdoors, I am good with and like technology, I want to lead and manage and I am interested in business. After a year I realized that this isn't for me, it was all staged and rigid. The main pushing factor for me to leave was that the people I was working with didn't want to be there/ didn't have any love for the projects we were given which conflicted with my determination to see the projects finished and successful even if they weren't my cup of tea*. I began to look for other options and couldn't believe my luck when I found the Warfare Officer job description page. It was exactly what I wanted to do, I would be living an exciting life rather than filming someone else's. This is when I picked up the phone.

    [*Because of this I am not a graduate, this is a question that comes up often 'Can I get in without a degree?', the answer is yes and it's no harder than it is for someone with one. In fact recently the Navy has made it so both graduates and non graduates have the same seniority when they graduate Dartmouth Naval College. This route is called 'Direct Entry'.]


    Time-frame Overview & Dates

    I was advised at the career office the wait for Warfare Officers would be two years. I thought this meant completing all the stages and then waiting, that wasn't the case, the tests and interviews were spread out over those two years and they actually expire after a certain amount of time. At the writing of this guide there's a deficit in the Warfare branch and as of such the wait would be substantially shorter. It all depends on the time you apply. I met people at the Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) who only had a six month wait. My wait was longer than usual as I had to move recruiting offices from the North to the South (Birmingham, the central hub of the post Sift interview processes, lost all my paperwork by accident) and I also needed two medicals and a doctors note for a broken arm when I was younger. This will all be explained in the relevant stages. Here is an overview of my personal dates to give you an idea of the waiting period. (I like to think that the wait is a test in itself to ensure candidates do actually want a career in the Navy) For the sake of Personal Security (PERSEC) I have put Early(1-10)/Mid(11-20)/Late(21-31) instead of my actual dates.


    • Phoning the Navy and expressing interest:
    Early January 2012


    • Visiting a Careers Presentation at a local careers office:
    Late February 2012


    • Attending a Recruit Test to judge suitability:
    Mid March 2012


    • Arranging my own Eye Test:
    Early April 2012


    • Medical Test:
    Early June 2012

    (At this stage I changed location and had to switch careers offices, my paperwork got lost when they transferred it and I also needed to pick up a doctors note and have another medical. If everything goes smoothly for you there wont be a long wait between stages)


    • Fitness Test:
    Mid December 2012


    • Sift Interview:
    Early February 2013


    • Pre-Admiralty Interview Board brief:
    Mid June 2013


    • Admiralty Interview Board:
    Early July 2013


    • Lantern Colour Vision Test:*
    Mid December 2013
    This test may only be for Warfare candidates (x)


    • Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) Start Date:
    Early February 2014

    I will now elaborate on each stage. At the bottom of the stages I will put notes as to what revision I did for it.

    Phoning the Navy and expressing interest

    I phoned 08456 07 55 55, the current Royal Navy (RN) careers info number, I think this centre is also in Birmingham. The rather abrupt rating asked for my GCSE and A Level qualifications before anything else (I think they may get a lot of calls), the requirements for Officer entry are:


    • 5x GCSEs at C grade of above. Must include English Language and Maths
    • 180 UCAS (Universities and College Admission Points) for example an A grade AS Level is worth 60. The table can be found Here

    They sent me a little booklet that had an overview of all the roles and a recruitment DVD. I was also booked into a careers presentation at my local Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO).

    Visiting a Careers Presentation at a local careers office

    I wore trousers, smart shoes and a jumper, this is another well-asked question. "What do I wear to the AFCO?", this was my first visit and I wanted to appear smart but not go all out. Once I began the process and on all subsequent visits I wore a suit. It doesn't matter what you wear as long as you give the impression you can look after yourself, want a career in the Naval service and have the right attitude. Formal clothes do this, tracksuit bottoms and hoodies dont. Whenever I saw others in the Office, for example on the day of the recruit test, the dress varied between Chinos and Jumpers to Suits and Ties.

    My careers presentation actually turned out to be a one-on-one chat as no one else turned up. I doubt this is usual and I think he was expecting at least four. It was very relaxed and informal and he asked me why I wanted to join the Navy, what branch was I looking at and what would I do if I was unsuccessful. He looked at my GCSE's and A levels and got confused over the value of a BTEC National Diploma, after conferring to a sheet in another room all was set. I told him if I failed to make it as an Officer I would consider joining as a Warfare Specialist, he told me with the grades I have (Nothing super amazing) that I would be bored stiff staring at a radar all day and I should consider something else. Everything was sorted and I was booked into a Recruit Test.

    [At this stage I looked through the entire Royal Navy website and used Wikipedia to elaborate on Ships, Roles and Weapons systems. I also watched Empire of the Seas and read the accompanying book to build up my knowledge on Royal Naval history.]

    Attending a Recruit Test to judge suitability

    The recruit test was intimidating as I hadn't done maths since school. My talents lie in literacy and I only achieved a C grade maths GCSE. This element worried me.

    The test was broken into four stages, Mathematical Comprehension, Verbal Comprehension, Spacial Reasoning and Mechanical Reasoning. (Mechanical Reasoning has since been removed in certain branches, or so I hear). The Navy sends you a letter explaining the test and also gives you some sample questions. The general consensus is that the questions are very easy and are not representative of the real thing.

    The test results are a percentile of the current average scores for the period, you are tested broadly against your peers. It's speculated that some tests may be negatively marked, that is if you put the wrong answer you will lose points. This hasn't been confirmed so there's no use dwelling on it. One thing is certain, there is not enough time to answer all of the questions on each stage without storming through it at an obscene speed. This is part of the test itself, it adds an element of stress.

    I was with a handful of other people, a girl who was applying for a medical branch a Royal Marine who wanted a change of pace and a couple of others, one of which was taking the test for the second time.
    A Marine Corporal hosted the test in a back room of the AFCO. He explained each section and then started the clock. There was a brief pause after each section, where we learnt that the fellow who was taking the test for the second time managed to fill in the verbal section in the mathmatical section. If you fail this test you must wait one year to retake it. (Unless you can prove you've had schooling/tuition since you took the test). I felt bad for this candidate and the marine gave him a short time to try and rectify his mistake but the test had to go on. Once the test was finished the results were marked then and there which gave us a time to chat and have a little panic over how good/bad we thought we did. We were then taken out one at a time to review our results. I was skeptical over how well I did but I got through with flying colours and was advised a letter would be sent to me regarding my eye test and medical. I believe if you don't get the branch you want you may be offered other branches that your Recruit Test (RT) score allows you to enter.

    The Student Room has a great post on the Recruit Test if you'd like to read about someone else's experiences.

    [For this stage I read the Practice and Pass Reasoning Series and completed the practice booklet they had sent me. Common advice is that these tests are testing your innate ability to apply common sense and to reason. In a way testing your base intelligence. As of such "practicing" so to speak wouldn't really help. My personal advice is that if you want the job you'll do as much as you can to ensure that you get it. Brushing up and practicing these sort of questions can never be a bad thing.]

    Arranging my own Eye Test

    I was sent a letter stating I required an eye test before my medical. I could choose to do this at Boots/ Specsavers. They sent me a reimbursement form. The test cost between £10 and £25. I phoned them up and explained the situation and arranged a date. I don't think the place I went to had done this before - I gave them the form and once I had finished, left. In hindsight I think I may have had to pay and then send the form off myself, not entirely sure on that one but i'm sure it was all done by the book. Don't tell anyone.

    This test consisted of looking into a machine and saying where certain dots were on the screen. I also had to follow a light around whilst it recorded my eye movement. There was also some business where I had to hold one eye closed and do the classic letters-on-the-wall test. Afterwards another machine looked at my eyes closely to see if they were damaged.

    I have read that to become a Warfare Officer you need "VA2" after correction (Glasses ETC), this standard means: 6/5 Distance Acuity Right Eye, 6/9 Distance Acuity Left eye both with a near acuity of 5. As I don't wear glasses I can't explain what these mean, the information is available online. My personal results were: 6/5 Left and right with near acuity of 4.5. 0 Correction needed +/- 0. Which I think is quite good. I did feel a bit bad attending this test as the eye "people" were annoyed that I was making them give me a test even though I didn't have any sight problems. There was also a brief colourblind test (The sort with the numbers inside the coloured orbs).
    View attachment 9081

    [At this stage I looked at a couple of those colourblind test images, but you either are colourblind or not so it would be of little use, this one is '42']

    Medical Test

    The medical test was conducted by a 'Locum' or rent-a-doctor. There was a long wait for this stage as apparently at the time there was a long backlog of candidates waiting to have their test.

    The first test was the hearing test. I have great eyesight but at the expense of my hearing, this test was 'annoying' to say the least. It consisted of having to wear headphones whilst holding a little clicker. There were four or five different sounds, some of them you are meant to click when you hear them and some of them you don't. The problem with my test was the phone was going off sporadically in the next room and one of the sounds on the CD was a ring. At any rate I passed the test.

    I had to strip down to my underwear and do a little waddle across the floor, a couple of pressups, situps and had to touch my toes. I think this is to check motility. I also had to lie on the bed and cough whilst the doctor was touching my stomach, this is to check for hernias (There's no ball-cupping, you needn't worry). I was then taken to the scales and my weight and height recorded. This is for your BMI. Anything over 25 is overweight, you can work out your own here.


    The doctor asks you a very long list of conditions to which you answer 'yes' or 'no'. I had a broken arm when I was at school and I needed conformation from my own Doctor that it was fully healed. This is my own fault for not taking the advice of others who went before me - if you have broken a bone go and get a letter before your medical, it could save you six months. I have read that bad eczema will also need a letter, better be safe than sorry. My second medical just consisted of me attending the AFCO and their doctor signing a letter whilst I was present, after they had seen my own Doctors letter.

    [This is where I started getting serious about my fitness, I began getting up at 6am and practicing the mile and a half, I also changed my diet to a much healthier one, too.]

    Fitness Test

    The Pre Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) is very simple and straight-forward. You are sent a form explaining the test and the time you will need to achieve. It's done on a treadmill and the general consensus is that you should practice on the road and any time you can achieve there you will break on the treadmill. That being said there's difference between anerobic and aerobic excercise so getting your body used to high intensity running over a very short period is also warrented so practice both long runs on the road and super quick runs on the treadmill.

    My first fitness test was with 'Fitness First', they no longer hold the contract. After I phoned them an arranged a date they sent me loads of free gym vouchers. I went a week before my test and brought some friends, we practiced the test so I didn't have to worry on the day. The next week I arrived and was told to chill out for a bit whilst the instrucor becomes free. There were two of us so he asked if he could test us at the same time. This other guy looked extremely fit but for some reason stopped halfway through the test, it was a massive confidence boost. At this stage I wasn't nearly as fit and healthy as I am now but still managed to achieve 10 minutes for 2.4km. I waited for 10 or so minutes whilst he filled in the form. He emailed it the same day and let me keep the hard copy with the fitness centre stamp on.

    This test expires after one year, I've very recently had to take it again to keep it up to date. The new contract is with "Nuffield Health", they are much more professional. The instructor was very thorough and did warm up and cooldown excercises. With 'Fitness First' I just banged it out and left.
    Here's my advice: Anyone can achieve the time regardless of how unfit you are, you are only running for 11 minutes 13 at most, excerting yourself for that small length of time is all about mental discipline rather than physical ability. That being said you should always be working on your fitness to be as fit as possible for BRNC. Additionally - Practice on both a treadmill locked into MPH and one locked into KMPH, I think Nuffield only use KMPH (Kilometers per hour). 13.5 KMPH will get you your time, 14.6 will get you 2.4km in 10 minutes. On my second go around I got the 2.4km in 9.42 which I am very pleased with. (I think 9.7MPH will get you 2.4 in 10, this is why you should practice on both so you know the speed setting to put it on.) People suggest you should get your 2.4km/1.5mile under 10minutes for BRNC. "The test is the minimum, not the goal" etc etc.

    View attachment 9082



    Sift Interview

    The Sift Interview, in my opinion, is where it starts getting serious. The Recruit Test, Medical and Fitness test just ensure that you are smart enough, healthy enough and fit enough to be in the RN, the Sift Interview is the first indication if you have the right mentality and are the right sort of person to be an Officer.

    There's all sorts of stories floating about the web stating that it's all luck of the draw and some interviewers let everyone through and some let no one through. I can't comment on that, only on my own experience.

    I turned up at the AFCO early and in a suit. My interviewer was a Captain in the Royal Marines (RM). In hindsight, looking back on the interview, he was extremely good at what he did. He was direct, critical, intimidating and put just the right amount of pressure on me. It also gets you used to this thing they seem to do both here and at the Admiralty Interview Board where even if you give the right answer they will keep pressing you so that you must be confident in knowing you've answered the question fully without second guessing yourself.

    The questions can be anything, here are a few examples I was asked:


    1. Why do I want to join the Armed Forces?
    2. Why the Navy not the Army or Air Force?
    3. Give me an example of when you have led a large team?
    4. Could you kill someone?
    5. Who is the First Sea Lord?
    6. What is the Royal Marines main amphibious armoured vehicle?
    7. What weapons do the Royal Marines deploy?
    8. Who is in charge of 3 Commando Brigade?
    9. What are the weapons systems on a Type 45 Destroyer?

    As you can see they are very varied, if you answer one correctly they will dig deeper until your knowledge dries up, for example once I answered the Type 45 question he asked me what engines does it have? I didn't know the answer and afterwards he suggested I now learn the mechanical elements of the ships. He was a RM Captain and as of such most of his questions were tailored to the Marines, most of which I didn't know. He told me that just because I was joining the Surface Fleet doesn't mean that I should know any less about the other elements of the Navy. Now I have extended my knowledge to the Submarine Service, Marines and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

    Expect the "Can you Kill" question. It doesn't need a long answer, it's a hard question by default and you aren't being judged. If you are joining the RN because you want to be a killer, you should't be. If you need to kill, you should be able to, however. How you word that is up to you, no one can do it for you.

    He asked me to wait outside whilst the Royal Navy made their decision (Which made me chuckle inside as he was the only one in the room), fortunately I passed. Suddenly he became my best friend and genuinely wanted to see me do well. I really can't praise this Captain enough, he gave me his number, advice on what I should learn and how I should prepare for the AIB. During the interview it was a very formal enviroment, afterwards it was relaxed. Expect anything however, there are many AFCOs and there are many Sift Interviewers.

    Besides learning all you can about the RN manners and how you carry yourself can go a long way. Don't sit down until you are invited to, don't um and arr, if you don't know the answer say "I don't know the answer", they can smell bullshit a mile away. I read that advice here and it served me really well.

    [At this stage I bought The Guide to the AIB it's written by a Fireman who served 2 years as a rating, a lot of people will say it's a lot of rubbish. Truth be told it's just trying to make a quick buck off worried candidates but as I have said before, everything helps and there was certainly a couple of bits of good advice in there, and a comprehensive list of possible questions which do get you digging deep for information. I also read History of the Royal Navy and Britains Future Navy to expand my knowledge. The last book was really good, I reccomend it.

    I also made Crib sheets of every Ship, Boat and RFA vessel. Here are a couple, some are outdated due to refits. I think it was more helpful to make them than to look at them so you should make your own.]


    View attachment 9084 View attachment 9085



    Pre-Admiralty Interview Board brief

    This is a bit of fun where you and all the other 'locals' who've made it this far get together at the AFCO and have an informal chat with a representative (In our case the same person who conducted my Sift interview). A video is put on which explains the AIB and you all get given an information pack. Some of the information inside it may be outdated, ours was but nothing too serious. There's an oportunity to ask questions and then you are sent on your way.

    There was another Warfare Officer candidate at this brief so I said hello and it turns out that not only did we sort of had a very loose connection (Old school form tutors daughters boyfriend) but we had the same date for our AIB. We arranged to travel there together and do a little revision. I reccommend having a chat to anyone that would be in your branch as it would appear they group them together if they can at the AIB.

    [At this stage I started less treadmill running and began to practice the Bleep Test which I would do at the AIB, there's an Australian version available on Itunes for around £1 but word on the 'street' is that the bleep test is being replaced by a 2.4km run. The Captain also suggested hill sprints as a great way to prepare. I revised my home made crib sheets, read The Royal Navy Handbook (Slightly outdated now but I hear a new revision is on its way) I once again practiced the reasoning tests as essentially the AIB is all the tests you have already done but condensed into three days + trimmings.]


    Admiralty Interview Board

    This is rather hefty so I have broken it down into sub headings.

    The Journey

    The end of level boss, the AIB. I knew it was coming but you never get the nerves until it's a week away. To be quite honest the accounts found here on RumRation (RR), The Student Room and the like are actually quite accurate.

    I got on the train and was soon joined at the next stop by my new friend found at the Pre-AIB brief. This really helped me chill out, I'd imagine other candidates were a bundle of nerves. We got off the train and met another candidate on the ferry and another one when we were at the other side. You're quite easy to spot, on your own, panicking in a suit. We stopped and had lunch at a little cafe just to the left as you get off. (If you go, have a look and see how grotty it was, we were such a mess it didn't even matter). After calming down we got a taxi, there's a bunch waiting for you - they all know where you're going and what they need to do. I think you need to bring your letters as proof otherwise you won't get through the gates.

    You sign in in the lobby, put your stuff away and head to the lounge. You'll find a lot of the books you may have already read sitting on the table, such as The Royal Navy Way of Leadership, which was reassuring. Once you know your team, get to know them. There's a peg board to the left of the door as you come in and you can learn who you are with right from the get go. None of the people I had met on the train, ferry or cafe were in my group but I really believe we had the best team there. Everyone was great, An English Teacher, A Diver, a National Trust Ranger and myself. One of the candidates in our group had failed AND passed the AIB, he failed first time and then took it again and passed. He was there a third time to 'beat' his score as the wait was too long for his specialisation, his advice was useful.

    The rooms are 'Single Birth Cabins' with a wardrobe and study table. There's a poster explaining the task on day three but it will mean nothing to you until then. There's water available from a fountain on every floor and the showers and toilets are ok. The food at the AIB isn't great in my opinion and it was done by a catering company. You get a little card after meals to give feedback on the food, I think everyone put "excellent" as we were paranoid that every single thing was a test.

    Reasoning and Written Tests

    The next day, the first real day, was test day. We were up quite early and taken down to the computer room to complete the reasoning tests plus a general naval knowledge test. Very simple and straight forward. Just like the recruit test so there's no use going over it again. The naval knowledge test was very easy, "When was the battle of Trafalgar" "What ship is a Type 23" etc, nothing to worry about.

    The essay was just as simple, a nice choice of topics so don't feel there will be something you can't write about. I chose "Is there a role for Photographers in todays Navy". Introduction, For, Against, For, Against, conclusion. I think it went well but all of the results were confidential.

    Next up was the sample planning exercise, this was completely useless - you get a sheet with all the information on but you aren't allowed to confer with others or practice discussing as a team. It gets you used to the format but not much else.

    Physical Tests and Example Leadership Tasks

    You are then taken by bus to a warehouse which is split into two sections, dry and wet. There's a safety brief and you are 'shown the ropes' quite literally. The ratings form a team and show you what you'll be doing come the real test. This was quite fun, afterwards you got to practice with the equipment. Unfortunately for me I ended up at the top of a rope hanging on for about quarter of an hour whilst my team tried to create a bridge. The Bleep test came straight after and I was knackered. Don't exert yourself too much on the fun bit!

    The Bleep test, will quickly go over this as I have read a thread here on RR recently where someone is slightly annoyed that they no longer do it. Candidates don a numbered tabbard and line up and run between two points until they can no longer do it. Give it everything. You have a liason guy following you around and you can read their bio's on the board in the lounge, everyone got a super fun happy Chief Petty Officer or something of the like and we had the Marine Sergeant who joined for a £10 bet. Really nice guy but don't cross him, his view was that you should only stop on the bleep test when your legs break and you start being sick in a foetal position on the floor. I accidently called him Sir instead of Sergeant once, he didn't like that. Anyway I think 9.8-10.2 or something of the like was the cut off. A lot went out around there, some made it into high 11's early 12's. One guy cut out on 7, he was the same guy who in his board interview was asked "How long will you stay in the Navy?", to which he replied "Don't know really, probably the minimum 12 if it's good". Dissapointed me that he got this far if I am going to be honest.

    Free Time

    At the end of this day we all went down the pub as is the norm, the pub entrance is about 50 metres from the building door yet you have to walk around two miles of fence to get there, very annoying. Lots of Navy personell came over to tell us stories of their times at sea. A group of ratings drove past and covered one of us in fish bones, they must have been saving them for quite some time. After this we went back and got some sleep, the beds are very squishy, I woke up in the middle of the night and due to the red floor which you can't see in the dark had a mini panick attack that I had fallen out of a plane or something.

    The next morning was the make it or break it day. Planning task, Personal Leadership Tasks (PLTs) and the Board Interview.


    Planning Task

    This day is jam packed, running from each test, often having to get changed and shower if you are unlucky enough to fall in the water during the PLT's (Everyone). We had the planning task first so I will elaborate on that:

    The planning task is great fun, it's like a minature Role playing / Strategy game, you are given a map and a list of characters and resources. A problem arises and you need to use what you have to complete the mission. You have time to formulate a plan on your own and then you present it to the board. They introduce a problem and you and your team must discuss a solution. Our team worked incredibly well and we had a really positive test in my opinion. That being said, we all forgot we had a plane to use in the scenario which was mutually embarrasing when the board evaluated our plan. Once you've presented it there will be a lovely officer which will destroy every last inch of it. She was incredible, managed to come up with all sorts of stuff we didn't forsee and was so agile with her mental maths it crushed all four of us. Our task was to rescue a team of explorers who fell down a hole, the additional problem was a boat sending out a mayday on the coast. We had to use our resources and prioritize to achieve the best outcome. An example of how our plan was picked apart was that at one point we tried to radio a team in a cave. "Radio's don't work in caves". Simple stuff you don't even think about under pressure. Afterwards you return individually to say if you would still follow the teams plan and what would you change if you could. I went in and told them that I agree with the plan but I would modify it to make use of the plane which we overlooked when we discussed how we would achieve our aims. That's almost all I got to say before the time was up, they want you to be concice. I could also hazard a guess that it's not good to go against your teams plan, that you together discussed, as they want team players not backstabbers! I am almost certain everyone stuck with the plan but also added in the plane, as it was the most logical answer, which did our group credit.

    A note on the planning task: A lot of people are worrying about speed, distance and time (SDT), you will need it for the planning task yet it's not critical for your success at the AIB. You'll be told it takes you X hours to walk over Y terrain, the numbers will be small. You may be asked something along the lines of "if it rains, X route takes longer due to mud, how long will it take your team to reach their objective?" You only get a brief moment to answer it before it goes to another candidate. We picked up most of these by spending some time thinking about it and waiting for the question to come back. They don't want you to panic and say a stupid answer, it does happen under pressure and it can be very embarrasing, one of us gave 5 hours as an answer when the correct answer was about 30 seconds or so.

    Personal Leadership Tasks

    The meat and potatoes of the AIB. You will be taken to the warehouse building where you previously practiced techniques for this task. Our team, in our free time from the previous day, went outside and practiced all of these again just to make sure we knew exactly what we were doing. There are a few fiddly commands you need to learn otherwise things wont get done.

    Your group will have 2 wet tasks and 2 dry tasks. On the wet tasks you have to bridge a pool, on the dry ones you just don't touch the floor. You'll have a few minutes inside a small room to sit and plan your own task. You will know what resources you have to use.

    Now, a lot of people say that this is the only important element of the AIB. I can safely and honestly report to you that I completely ****ed up my task and I still made it through. I was a good team player, I was confident, I did what I was told when someone else was leading their task and offered suggestions whenever a legitimate idea came to mind. My own leadership task resulted in everyone going for a swim as I miscalcuated the size of the platform in the water from which I wanted my team to build a bridge from, it was too fiddly, too small, everyone fell in and I didn't have a backup plan.

    There's not much advice one can write to prepare you for the PLT's, they are exciting, fun and varied and you just can't tell what you will get. You can't really practice either. There's a couple of things you can do though to help your chances:


    • Make friends with your team. Good teams win.
    • Learn the commands, e.g. when you make a bridge someone must secure it and shout "secure" before anyone can traverse it. If you secure it wrong the staff will tell you to stop and you won't know why. If you do it properly you'll give yourself a ton of time to actually do the task.
    • Be... flamboyant. You have to force it but do it if you want it bad enough. Support your team vocally and loud, if you suck "DONT WORRY GUYS, WE CAN DO THIS!", don't be afraid. I think this saved my potential career.
    • Don't always try and be the leader, this is a test in itself, when someone else is leading their task you will lose points for being too commanding. Help them the best you can by following their direction.

    Once this ends you'll be carted back, soaked, on the bus where you'll have exactly all of five minutes to shower, get changed into a suit and be ready for your board interview. Some skipped the shower but i'm glad I managed to get a hasty one in as it made me feel more comfortable during the interview.

    Board Interview

    Some say this is the best part, some say it's very relaxed. I disagree, you are sitting on a chair in the middle of the room and you are grilled by the three board members. The interview is split into thirds, one interviewer taking a topic: Your motives for joining, Your examples of leadership and your knowledge of the Naval Service. Here's my advice: Prepare 5 solid leadership examples, the more you give the more they will ask for but the more you can provide the better. I used sports teams, Duke of Edinburugh, Air Cadets, Prefect Duties and a planned walk with friends that went wrong. They love it when things go wrong so you can explain how you rectified the situation for the better. Learn your training pipeline I knew BRNC inside and out but I was clueless what happened after, and that let me down. Learn your whole career path. Be prepared for the question: Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Be realistic even if you think you will exceed expectation, there's a difference between confidence and abrasiveness - don't say Commander, you'll more than likely upset the Commander who's assessing you. This question is of course your own to answer but be down to earth and know how long it actually takes to progress in the Naval Service.

    I was talking a mile a minute, when they asked me about my communication skills I made a joke, can't remember what I said but it had them all laughing and I think it really helped me. There is a place for humour in the interview but everything in moderation.

    Don't worry about the pictures of the ships on the wall, it's all easy stuff but stress makes you say and think strange things. The fellow in our team who had passed previously failed in the end, it's a very sad story. They take your last score rather than your best - he let stress get the better of him. He told us his interview went terribly and he was reffering to the Landing Craft Vehicle Personell (LCVP's) on the side of Albion/Bulwark as Mexiflotes and reffered to the new F35s as Merlin helicopters! Another candidate in my group who, in my opinion, had a brilliant perfomance, came out of the interview and wouldn't speak to any of us. He just stared into space, I have no idea what went on in there. I digress, the point I am trying to make is if you are going to worry, you can worry about something else than the super easy pictures they may or may not have hanging on the wall.

    After the Interview

    After the interview we all went outside and sat in the sun waiting for our results. I'd say about 50% of the candidates that day passed. From hearing accounts of others it would appear the most common outcomes are:

    -Pass with a theorized start date
    -Pass, you may get a call
    -Offered a job as a rating/ other branch
    -Welcome to come back in 6 months
    -Welcome to come back in 1 year
    -Please don't come back

    The AIB is evaluated using a score system, each test is given a score which is compiled and decides the outcome. The pass mark is raised or lowered depending on the needs of the service. If it needs recruits it will lower the bar, if it's over subscribed it will raise the bar. It would appear this causes a lot of controvesy on these forums but it's how it is run nonetheless.

    You are welcome to leave once you have your result, you would have already packed your bag in the morning, apprentice style. Everyone said their goodbyes and had a great or depressing journey home depending on their result. I was phoned a few months later with my start date for BRNC and sent to Manchester to complete a final eye test, I could be wrong as there's no documentation on the Royal Navy website for it, but it's possible this was only for Warfare Candidates.

    Lantern Colour Vision Test

    It's officially called something else, the something-lanteen test. I had to go Manchester, a three hour journey, (One of the two places that provide it in the UK) for a 10 minute test. You sit down facing a mirror and a small box with two LED's shine against it. They can show a combination of red, white. Red, Green. Green, White etc. The woman clicked through 20 or so and I repeated what I saw, and was done. I don't speak highly of this test as the RN paid for my £80 (with railcard) journey to get this done. I spoke to the woman and she said anyone can be trained to carry out the very simple test and the equipment amounts to two lights inside a box. It's not very economical and I think that the Navy should consider providing this test themselves instead.

    I believe this test represents ships in the distance and your ability to discern it's mast lights. According to the test provider not many people fail as the eye test done previously in the process finds those who are colourblind. Even so, would be a nightmare to fail after you've come so far!

    Conclusion

    I've been meaning to write this guide for quite some time and plan on updating with with BRNC info if 'God wills' that I succeed. There's a lot of information and speculation floating around on Rum Ration and I thought it would be good if that were all in one place. I hope people find this useful and enjoy my little dits, all of them true, most of them not very funny. If you have any questions or want me to ammend anything that becomes out of date please post below. I'll add the answers to the thread if they aren't there.

    I haven't listed all the books and resources I used to get this far, but will put some useful links at the bottom and a few abbreviations used in the recruitment process. I only subscribed to the Navy News (NN) after my AIB, I really wish I had done so sooner. Their current deployment information is very useful, the RN website is not updated as much as it should be in that regard. (Before reading the NN I bought a giant map for my wall and put a little pin with a note where every ship currently was - current deployments will come up in your AIB Board Interview).

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, it's turned out to be quite a long post.
    -FreedomTea


    Useful Links

    Defence News
    Pinstriped Line Military Blog
    Royal Navy in the News
    Naval Technology
    Think Defence Blog

    Abbreviations Used

    AIB = Admiralty Interview Board
    BRNC = Britannia Royal Naval College
    NN = Navy News
    RR = Rum Ration
    PJFT = Pre Joining Fitness Test
    PLT = Personal Leadership Task
    SDT = Speed, Distance, Time


     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
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  2. Congrats, RR 's longest post! Duty watch musters are going to be fun when you're OOD :)


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  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Me like.

    Good effort and well done.
     
  4. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    Excellent post - definitely one for stickying. Could I suggest locking this so it doesnt get crayoned, but open a separate thread for discussion points?
     
  5. If you didn't know what was involved in applying for Officer and the AIB before,well,you do now.
     
  6. Thank you everyone, your call if you would like to close it, they do tend to fill with unrelated stuff. I need to edit out a couple of grammatical errors first.
     
  7. .:wave:The original will be just fine!!!!!Sorry couldn't resist not too.....Picture this an AIB 1949 with an old and bold Admiral as PresidentFrom John Winton book... We Joined the Navy, made me smile The president of the AIB who was an admiral and whose board comprised of one headmaster, one civil servant, one psychiatrist, the commanders (E) and (S), and the Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Marines, marked their president's sigh and hunched their shoulders. They dropped their heads and waited expectantly, like Victorian children awaiting for papa to say grace. Well gentlemen, said the Admiral, here we are again. The Admiral passed a hand wearily over his forehead. As this is the first day, he said, I may as well refresh your memories on one or two items of policy. The board slumped to their seats. Remember we are not looking for normal boys. We re looking for boys who will make naval officers.There's a difference. We are looking for half-wits. The service will add the other half in its own way and in its own time. The board nodded. None of these boys will be very intelligent. If they had any intelligence the would't be here. They'd be applying for jobs outside which carry more pay and less work, like most of their contemporaries. But lack of intelligence need not concern us. An itelligent man never makes a good naval officer. He embarrasses everybody. Keep off religion and politics. They know more about that sort of thing than we do. One last point. Make sure, I implore you, gentlemen make sure you knowwhat the boys fatherdoes for a living. If he is an Admiral!! then of course you can be as facetious as you wish, but if he is a plumber or boiler maker which has an affliation to a trade union then I must beseech you to be careful. We just cannot afford any more questions in the House. It upsets the First Sea Lord and I will get it back from him later.
     
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  8. Informative post, thanks!


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  9. Great post. Mostly the same experiences as myself but quite a few differences too. We can compare next week if we have any time!
     
  10. Great post, FreedomTea.

    In the spirit of keeping this as useful as possible I’m going to try not to repeat too much of what FreedomTea has written as redundancy is a pain in the backside. Still, I feel a few points can be made not to counter the comments made in the first post but to hopefully add to them and open them up to help cover all bases. The aim of this post is not to negate or counter any points made before, in fact quite the opposite; I’d like to reinforce them and add my own in case they are able to answer any potential recruits’ questions or ease any doubts.

    - My chosen branch is Marine Engineering.
    - Nothing 'confidential' will be posted in this post either.


    A little about myself: I had looked into joining the forces straight from school post-A-levels, however a combination of not being certain of which branch and limited scholarship places available led me to making the decision to pursue a degree myself before returning to look at my options as a graduate later. I studied for an Engineering degree at one university followed by picking up a Mathematics degree from another, after which I found myself employed by yet another university heading up a number of outreach projects and supporting other schemes they had going on. I pretty much fell into this through a healthy dose of chance, but this was by no means unfortunate as I would soon find myself representing the institution at a number of careers events where I had the perfect chance to speak to the RN recruitment team and get the latest info and find out more. My details were taken and an initial trip to the Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) for my Initial Careers Presentation (ICP) was arranged a few days later. This was Early February 2013.

    Time-frame Overview & Dates

    During my initial chats with the recruitment team, I was given an indication of possible timescale for the application process. I was initially told that it took most people in the region of 24 months from the start of their application to starting at BRNC, though I think that there are probably too many variables in place to make such a sweeping statement. All going smoothly, setting yourself 12 months to tick all the boxes is probably a reasonably good time, but expect to have some form of waiting time between passing AIB and starting at BRNC. Fortunately for me there was a large shortage of engineers and as such the staff at the AFCO all seemed keen to push me through the process fairly promptly where possible. This was promising and as you’ll see below a combination of this and taking a few risks made this the case – In total I’ll have gone from my initial chat with the RN to walking through the doors at BRNC in almost exactly 12 months.

    In an effort to retain consistency, I’ll use the OP’s framework to outline the timescales I experienced, which aren’t drastically different to those mentioned at the start of the thread.

    · Talking to the Navy and expressing interest:
    Early February 2013

    · Visiting a Careers Presentation at a local careers office:
    Early February 2013

    · Attending a Recruit Test to judge suitability:
    Early February 2013

    · Arranging my own Eye Test:
    Early February 2013

    · Medical Test:
    Mid February 2013

    (Much like FreedomTea, I had a bit of a delay here due to a suspected heart murmur picked up during my medical. In an effort to minimise this delay I went private and had everything checked out later that week in which nothing sinister was found. A load off my shoulders but a hefty bill, only for there to be more delays with CAPITA processing the paperwork anyway!)

    · Follow-up Medical Test
    Early June 2013

    (This was just to tick the boxes so that I could progress to the Fitness Test; You won’t require this if you fly straight through the first)

    · Fitness Test:
    Mid June 2013

    · Sift Interview:
    Mid July 2013

    · Pre-Admiralty Interview Board brief:
    Late August 2013

    · AIB Development Session
    Early September 2013

    · Admiralty Interview Board:
    Mid September 2013

    · Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) Start Date:
    Early February 2014

    Talking to the Navy and expressing interest

    As mentioned, my initial discussion with RN personnel was at a careers fair where I was also working. Fortunately during the setup/teardown periods I had a chance to chat to the two friendly female staff and do a little digging. They took my qualifications, gave me an idea of what would be open to me (most branches, given my degree subjects) and what would be involved if I chose to follow our conversation up. They kept a record of my details and passed on the direct number for a colleague who I proceeded to call the next day to book in my first visit to the AFCO.

    Visiting a Careers Presentation at a local careers office

    I opted to go for formal dress throughout my application – every time I was going to be in the line of sight of a member of RN personnel (actually, this was general forces personnel as the AFCO is shared with crabs/pongos) I wore a shirt and tie. I didn’t always wear a jacket, though a waistcoat was utilised once or twice just because I could.

    My careers presentation was shared with two young lads, both around 15-16 who were looking at joining up straight from school. Both were led in by their mothers and were wearing scruffy jeans and t-shirts. I got the impression that their presence may not have been their own decision!

    We sat and watched the ICP which covered much the same ground as the information I’d seen online, though I suppose this ensures everybody has seen it and is a necessary step. After the DVD ended, I caught the member of staff that’d pressed play for us and had a quick chat – I explained to him my background and he confirmed to me that there was a demand for engineers and that should help me progress fairly quickly and this prompted him to take a few more details from me that were passed on to someone backstage. He explained to me that the next step would be the RT and that somebody would be in touch to offer me a date in around a fortnight’s time.

    Attending a Recruit Test to judge suitability

    The following day at 9am I received a phonecall. I recognised the telephone number that came up so was expecting to be offered a date for my RT in a couple of weeks’ time, however that idea was soon cut short as I was told there had been a couple of last-minute cancellations and that if I wished to sit the test sooner, I could do so later that morning. I accepted the offer and shortly after realised what I’d let myself in for, as a fail at this stage would mean a 12 month delay before I was able to sit the test again.

    This meant that there was no time for them to send me any revision/practice material before my RT, however a quick flick online gave the same practice paper that would have been sent to me anyway. There are only a limited number of sample questions here, however I felt that they were all of around the same level of difficulty as the RT itself. Most of the questions are at roughly GCSE level if that, so for those of you wishing to carry out more comprehensive revision the BBC Bitesize service should do you well.

    Having spent recent years in academia, I was fairly used to the ‘pressure’ of exams, and didn’t feel that the quickfire nature of having such a short timescale in which to answer the paper was too much of an issue for me. From looking around I am well aware that I am fortunate in that respect, as the vast marjority of people did not finish each section. This is not in itself a problem though, and so long as those you do answer are correct will not be a deciding factor in your overall score.

    Once the test had been completed, the 20 or so of us that had sat the paper returned to the waiting area whilst our results were confirmed. We were each called in turn to discuss our results (there were a couple of instances of a group of 3 going together, though I don’t know the reason for this and wouldn’t want to make assumptions) and around an hour later I was sat waiting alone for mine. I suspect this was due to the fact that I was late on the register having been a last-minute addition.

    I was called into a room with an RM Colour Sergeant whose initial words were “Didn’t do too well in the maths section there, did we?!”. I replied with “Actually, Sir, I felt that the maths section went relatively well” at which point he rechecked his documents and realised I’d just completed a maths degree. He seemed to chill right out at that point and we had a good informal chat about my score (I was pretty stoked to have only dropped a few marks in the English sections) and what that meant in terms of my options.

    We discussed that I wanted to join as an engineer, and he passed forwards more details on the routes I could take (again all info available on the RN website) and asked me to have a good think. I was pretty convinced that ME was the way for me at this stage but gave it some consideration to be sure.

    Arranging my own Eye Test

    Following the RT I made my way up to the local Boots Opticians and sat my eye test. All straightforward so no need to dwell on that – all paid for too.

    Medical Test

    In much the same manner as the OP I proceeded to have my medical not long after my eye test.

    I mentioned before that I had a slight delay at this point whilst I had a potential heart murmur checked out, but this proved to be trivial and as such nothing to add here.

    Fitness Test

    The Pre Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) must be completed within 4 weeks of having your medical signed off.

    Unlike FreedomTea I wasn’t granted any free gym use by the RN, however being a jammy git I managed to convince the university gym to waive the £41pm fee and give me unlimited access. Not that I used it nearly so much as I should have, mind…
    Given the 4 week limit, I was keen to see where my fitness was in relation to the target laid out by the pass level. I’d not really run in years -in fact when I stopped playing rugby around 8 years ago that was probably it on the most part – however I’ve been a fairly competitive cyclist over several disciplines ever since so my fitness in general was not too poor. I hopped on the treadmill and set the pace to come in at 10 minutes for the 2.4km that would be required of me. At this pace I would pass, so I knew if I struggled it would take some work before sitting the test.

    Fortunately I found the run relatively comfortable and proceeded to book my PJFT for 2 weeks later. I figured this would give me a little time to put in some training runs without delaying the process longer than necessary.

    A fortnight rolled around and I found myself at the local Nuffield Gym (as mentioned, they’d recently acquired the contract over Fitness First). Met the PT who was to oversee my run, didn’t get offered a warm up but had walked there fairly briskly so wasn’t too worried, and off I went.

    The PT started the treadmill at the minimum average pace required to pass, which I promptly put up to a faster speed aiming to hit around 9m30s or so. At least, that was the plan… As the distance ticked over to 2.04km, she leant across and pushed the STOP button on the treadmill! I quickly stuck the speed straight back up and explained to her as best I could whilst breathing out of my backside what had happened. All good though, and I came in under time. Phew!

    Sift Interview/Follow-Up

    I’d agree with OP’s points here. This is where it seemed to step up a notch. For me, this was also the first time I met the officer recruitment liaison I’d then be in contact with until after my AIB. Pleasant chap.

    My naval knowledge let me down a little here, but not to enough of an extent as to give a negative result, just that it showed me what I needed to work on most. So I did – picked up a few books and trawled the RN website compiling folders of information, subscribed to Navy News (which I’d highly recommend for any applicants – invaluable for keeping up to date)

    Another thing I did here was have a chat to my new contact about any potential ship visits I could make. I was told that there was one coming up on HMS Montrose and that there may be a submarine visit soon after, so I expressed an interest in both and was told more info would follow.

    A short while later I received my formal invitation to the Montrose visit, which was a great day. I met most of the crew, spent a good while chatting to their MEO and the Captain as well as meeting a handful of other Potential Officer Candidates (POCs), several of whom I would meet again in passing.

    It was at this point that I also received a date on which I would be able to visit a submarine docked locally (I live near Plymouth which is somewhat handy for this!), shortly to be followed by a date to attend AIB. Unfortunately these clashed. Having been undecided about the concept of ticking the submariner volunteer box, I was keen to look around a boat and put myself in a position where I could make an educated decision. I am aware that this may not ultimately be my own choice, however this would give me a better view of both environments whatever happens. Speaking to a family friend who’d recently left the RN, I was able to organise my own visit and after a chat with the AFCO to gain clearance managed to squeeze this in before AIB which was very valuable. Didn’t make my decision one way or the other any clearer, but certainly helped me realise that I would be happy to do either.

    Pre-Admiralty Interview Board brief/Similar

    Unlike FreedomTea, I think I had a slightly different experience between SIFT and AIB, though certainly not worlds apart.

    I was invited to an “AIB Development Day” at HMS Flying Fox in Bristol which proved to be hugely valuable. Not only did I meet/re-meet a number of other POCs but we discussed the different elements of AIB, were given some useful tips and were generally immersed in the type of environment that we’d find ourselves in come AIB. Speaking to a number of the POCs there it became clear that around half a dozen of us had our AIBs overlapping across one week in September. I took one girl’s number and offered her a lift to HMS Sultan since we had the same dates.

    My AIB Brief was conducted over the phone, rather than at a meeting. No biggy there though, as at this point I was pretty clued up on the process.

    Admiralty Interview Board

    The Journey

    As the OP has mentioned, there’s a huge wealth of information on here and other forums/sites/resources that you can build up a realistic view of the AIB fairly comfortably. Nonetheless an up to date account is always good.

    I picked up my new acquaintance near Exeter and we made our way across to Gosport. Uneventful really, pleasant enough day for it and considering we’d met for a total of around 30 seconds previously conversation flowed really well. Turns out I’d employed her younger sister, small world.

    We arrived, showed our letters at the gates and were let through where we parked up and hauled our kit in to the lobby. Signed the half-dozen or so pages that needed signing and dropped our bags to our rooms. Nothing too taxing there. The first evening was uneventful, just a little food (which I actually thought was rather good, contrary to other accounts) and a chance to get to meet the other candidates. It’s really important to remember that you’re all in it together and that although technically you’re all aiming to be the best on your given waiting list, for the duration of AIB you’re not competing against each other so encourage everyone to do the best they can. There is a whole host of information in the common room, including more books, papers, images etc. Use your time to have a flick through this. Also take a bit of time to look at the photos on the walls in your rooms/corridors, as these are much the same as those in the interview room. We didn’t do this, but I’d recommend going around together and working out what each image shows – some are more obvious that others – as you never know if that may make the difference on the final day.

    We had a brief introduction to the process and the staff, and the 12 of us trotted off to the pub for a quiet social and chatter. By all accounts online we were expecting for there to be somebody in there keeping tabs on us, but there wasn’t any obvious sign of this in person over the few days. I’m almost certain that if required the AIB team could get some info out of the numerous bar staff, locals and matelots in there though, so always best to behave yourself. No Jagerbombs for a few days, denied.

    Reasoning and Written Tests

    Test day. Exactly as expected again for the morning. Sat in a room, sit the exams on the computers, write an essay (massive range of topics to choose from, something for everyone) followed by a bit more info on the PlanEx. I was pretty stoked for one of the essay titles to concern university fees, the value of a degree etc as it had been my job to keep up to date with this for the past 12 months or so. Sorted.

    Physical Tests and Example Leadership Tasks

    Heads up folks, this is a fairly sizeable chunk of the marks and although not completely make-or-break, there are some fairly easy points to be picked up here.

    A lot of people on Rum Ration have mentioned cheering people on during the bleep test etc – I actually got barked at a little for not sitting quietly at this point, so perhaps save your comments for a mere pat on the back as people finish. Likely to vary with different PTIs though I’d imagine.

    Planning Task

    The final day is the big one. Pretty manic as there’s a lot to fit in but if like us you manage to stay dry through the PLTs then you’ll not be quite so rushed ;) They’ll give you loads of info during the run-through; take it all in and go over it with your team the night before to drive the point home.

    The planning task is good fun like FreedomTea says. Enjoy it and don’t get too hung up on any of the quickfire questions you get wrong. Ah Skullduggery Island, you are a cruel mistress!

    Board Interview

    Surprisingly chilled out I thought, but bear in mind at all times that as friendly as the folks the other side of the table are, you’re still there for a very serious reason. People often seem to get confused between something being serious vs formal and you’ll do well to remember that these can on occasion be independent rather than constantly interlinked.

    If you’re up to scratch on your Naval knowledge, including your full training pipeline/career pathway then you shouldn’t have too many issues here. A large chunk of this will be about yourself, so you should be pretty clued up…

    After the Interview

    Following our interviews, everyone returned to the common room whilst the baskstage process was underway. There were people in tears, people hysterical and others that couldn’t bring themselves to say a word. You could cut the tension with a knife. Still, nothing else you can do at this point, so try to stay relaxed if you can.

    We proceeded back into the smaller waiting rooms in our syndicates once everyone had been interviewed, at which point most of the candidates were called in one by one to discuss their performance and find out their result.

    We, however, didn’t get this. After sitting in near-silence for what seemed like an eternity, we could hear shuffling around outside the door. A muffled voice whispering “…so I’d like to go in and speak to them all together first.” Bricks were laid, as we weren’t sure whether this was us or someone else, positive or negative etc. Fortunately the Captain of the board stuck his head in and gave us the good news; we’d all passed and they were very impressed by how well we’d worked together as a team. What a load off!

    One by one we were called in for a further explanation of our performances and discussions about what happened next. It turns out that there simply weren’t enough engineers on the list to run the course at the next opportunity in November, so myself and the other engineer there were told we’d be offered a place in Feb.

    After informing the front desk of our result, we returned to the common room with the rest of the candidates. It turns out that around half of us in total passed, which was great on a personal level but tricky knowing others you’d become close friends with hadn’t quite made it. Still, most were keen to return in 12 months and smash it so fingers crossed for them.

    The girl I’d given a lift up was convinced she’d failed and had decided to get the train home before we found out results so as to avoid any awkwardness – turns out she’d actually had a really strong pass and as such jumped in the car. Great trip back!

    I’ve been in touch with all the passing candidates from AIB since, as well as a few of the others who didn’t quite make it this time. A number of them started in November so it’s been good to hear from them how they are progressing and to get the heads up on where we’ll be as of next week. It’s all pretty real now! Fingers crossed the next chapter goes so well as the last; I’m sure there’ll be some ups and downs but I can’t wait to get stuck in and find out!


    I hope that having another recent account of the recruitment process is of some use to somebody rather than just taking up bandwidth. I’d be happy to answer any other questions I can to help people in a similar position, though being off at BRNC from next week my time will be severely limited I’m sure. Either way, good luck, folks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
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  11. Thanks for that account Guzzbird, we just need a Logistics account now. Goes to show that the wait really is varied and relevant to branch but that makes complete sense. I've always had the feeling that different AFCOs run the pre AIB bits differently and they seem to bunch the engineers, warfare candidates etc in their own seperate flocks during it.

    A second to this, I think I read that you should give others encouragement during it on RR yet we were also shouted at for attempting to support the others, that being said, most of those who did were already "out" which is quite condescending but in my opinion that drove me on more.

    If this is to be locked our posts should be merged with expanding quotes / spoiler tags if such things exist here to keep it all in once place.
     
  12. I'll write a logistics account soon... My process has taken four years so will have a think how best to sum it up!


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  13. Remove all advertising
    Hello all,
    having had a quick scan of these threads there're clearly more than enough people helping and advising people on how to pass the AIB. However, Shameless Blog-Plug: if you want to subscribe to my blog which is all about my journey through the RN over the last 3 years including the AIB, Dartmouth, my time working at an armed forces career office, as well as general posts about living on a warship and travelling abroad on deployment, feel free to subscribe here. Navalmusings.wordpress.com
    it has only just started so subscribe to get notifications when I put up new posts about deployments in the southatlantic and the Gulf. Enjoy!
     
  14. I was considering writing a similar post myself but having found this (which by the way is an excellent post) I will just add my own experiences where they differ or I politely disagree with ‘Freedom Tea’ or that may have changed since this was posted.

    Basic Info:
    Started Applying September 2013
    Going for Warfare (Submariner)
    Completed AIB June 2014. (My board president told me to be ‘very very confident’ of a place in September)

    Just Completed lantern test and security clearance, know impatiently waiting for a letter with a BRNC start date.
    Recruit Test
    Make sure you fill out the booklet, I thought the tests in the booklet were of a similar standard to those in the real test. The booklet will show you what your weak areas are make sure you address them. Personally the only area I had any difficulty with was mechanical comprehension so I bought a book of Amazon and practiced, passed with Flying Colours.

    Eye Test
    I think the Navy know has an agreement with Boots, I was sent a form which was essentially an invoice all I had to do was book an appointment at a Boots opticians and hand the form in to them.


    Medical
    They seem to run a series of Medicals once a month so if you can’t make the date your given then you have to wait another month before you can attend a medical.

    Fitness Test
    All I have to add is that everybody runs a quicker time on a treadmill then at AIB (or any other outdoor circuit for that matter) so don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security.

    Sift
    Mine was very similar, Spanish inquisitor one minute best friend once you have passed.
    Brush up on your Naval Knowledge beforehand and general interview technique is the only advice I can offer.

    Pre AIB Brief
    Mine was one on one, take a pen and paper and note down everything he says then go home and act on his advice.

    Potential Officer Courses (POC’s)
    I was fortunate to be able to attend two POC’s.
    The first my AFCO asked me if I wanted to attend. It was a 2 day warfare officer’s course at Collingwood, it was truly invaluable experience, it hugely enhanced my Naval knowledge and also reassured me that I was choosing the right role. They arranged for us to have drinks with some young officers and then we met more Officers later who were all happy to give advice and generally spin dits (Captains included). There was a bit of death by power point but all the information was interesting and we got to go on a type 23 and have a go on their simulator.

    The second POC I went on was Submarine specific which I had to ask my AFCO to try and arrange (which he was more than happy to do). Similar experience of power points, drinking with serving officers (once again all hugely helpful and enthusiastic) and a tour of a T-boat.

    AIB
    There is a tonne written about this in this post and in all the other forums so I will keep this section short.

    Take spare shirts you will sweat a lot
    Prepare for the planning exercise thoroughly; This is the first proper look that the board gets of you so make it a good one. Practice lots of speed, distance, time questions especially without the aid of pen and paper. Download practice planning exercises and practice reading through and taking down key bits of information and separating it into relevant categories (Timings, distances, group members, equipment etc.) they test you on the little facts in the narrative (team members names, the name of your boat etc) as much as they do on timings. Of my group the two of us who dominated this exercised ultimately passed and the two who weren’t very good at it failed despite what I thought were good performances in the leadership tasks. I personally think this is the most crucial element of AIB.

    It’s important to get on with your team but don’t be intimidated by them or worry too much about politeness, my group had two big characters in it but once things got serious in day 3 I took charge in the planning exercise and leaderless task, where as in any other situation I would have probably of sat back and let the two most domineering take charge. Remember you only get one shot (at least for 12 months) and you may well never see these people so politeness goes out of the window (but obviously don’t be a dick).

    Lantern test
    Mine took no more than two minutes. Don’t worry about it, if you are colour blind then you already know (in which case worry). Was a bit annoyed to have to make a six hour round trip, but what can you do.


    The whole process for me took 10 months, It could have been quicker but I delayed my medical due to a holiday and then asked for a later AIB date due to exams. I didn’t meet anyone who had taken longer than 12 months other than by personal choice. The process is bureaucratic and can be very frustrating as you are just given dates to be in place with little or no consultation, which for me was not such a big issue being a university student, but could imagine it would have been an issue had I been working full time.
     
  15. Very informative post, a great help to those currently in the application process such as my self. I am Currently applying as a warfare officer. I have passed my medical and fitness, just awaiting a date for my SIFT interview at my AFCO. Im currently preparing a fact file of all things navy related as revision, although I am unsure how much emphasis is required regarding naval history. Is a brief over view of dates etc all that is required or do you need some depth? Does this also apply for the AIB test too?
     
  16. Obviously don't get complacent about it however I was asked no questions about Naval History at my SIFT back at the end of April.
     
  17. Thanks for the replies, they are very helpful! I have subscribed to navy news already, it's very informative. With regards to history, I'm going to go over it knowing major events, dates etc. Been told provisionally that my SIFT will take place in September as the officer doing it is on leave in august. Gives me loads of time to prepare. I've also been offered a place on an aquatint course in November for warfare officers at HMS Collingwood. Really looking forward to that as I've been told it's a good insight into the training pipeline post BRNC.
     
  18. JCT

    JCT Badgeman

  19. Hi everyone,

    One thing I've noticed there is very little on on RR is what you should be doing in the run up to AIB to prepare for it- both in the long run and in the immediate days before. I know revise your service knowledge and work on your fitness, but is there anything else you'd recommend doing to prepare. What about the few days before you go down? Should you be spending those at home really focussing on practice and preparation or should you carry on with life as there's not much you can really do in those last few days before hand?
     

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