Introduction: RN Submariner - Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme (UGAS)

Incorrect on the evolutions front. As a missile mary we were attack BA, wooly bag team, electrical DC party for the MC and generally fixing all your hiss and piss leaks in the MC during any heave.

On Vanguard boats the slop drain and sewage tank was taken down after every patrol for cleaning. Piss poor design from the heads to the tank as well. Insufficient run off meant the pipes were forever getting calcified.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
All boats suffer from calcified pipework and require acid washing, it's actually due to lack of sunlight and the body not being able to process calcium. It's all to do with Vitamin D dontcha know, which sunlight makes the body produce, which in turn causes the calcium to absorbed by the body.

Short answer, don't drink milk at sea, even if it is that Longlife crap :)
 
All boats suffer from calcified pipework and require acid washing, it's actually due to lack of sunlight and the body not being able to process calcium. It's all to do with Vitamin D dontcha know, which sunlight makes the body produce, which in turn causes the calcium to absorbed by the body.

Short answer, don't drink milk at sea, even if it is that Longlife crap :)
Perk of being a bomber queen (middle bit) is that we were 1 in 3 so could have our daily beer ration when under way so no worries about the long life milk! Back afties and ourselves used to have one or two sociable drinks after the first.
Never understood why they made the control room team 1 in 2 on bombers when they had more than enough people to go at least 1 in 3 with cover available for comfort breaks etc. Often resulted in someone doing SCOOW for 1 hour out of 6! As for work up, poor buggers doing the long middle were completely knackered as they would only realistically get time to sleep between 7pm and midnight.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Perk of being a bomber queen (middle bit) is that we were 1 in 3 so could have our daily beer ration when under way so no worries about the long life milk! Back afties and ourselves used to have one or two sociable drinks after the first.
Never understood why they made the control room team 1 in 2 on bombers when they had more than enough people to go at least 1 in 3 with cover available for comfort breaks etc. Often resulted in someone doing SCOOW for 1 hour out of 6! As for work up, poor buggers doing the long middle were completely knackered as they would only realistically get time to sleep between 7pm and midnight.
All SSN's fwd are 1 in 2, it was the only "culture shock" I had when I finally escaped from back aft and went wrecker.
 
Never had the option of retraining and going SSN. Once they have you in the SWS the only way out is to return general service or leave the RN. I would have liked the opportunity of seeing more than just Faslavatory and Coulport (plus the occasional East Coast USA jaunt) but it was what it was.
 

Sharkfan

Midshipman
All SSN's fwd are 1 in 2, it was the only "culture shock" I had when I finally escaped from back aft and went wrecker.
I remember setting off on an S boat being the standard 1 in 3 back aft with two trainee Reactor Panel Operators; the first qualified really quickly so we went 1 in 4 with a 'big 12' off every couple of days, then toward the end of the trip the next guy qualified and we went 1 in 5 for a couple of days before the constant dripping from everyone else got too much and one went onto day work.
 

Sumo

War Hero
on one trip we had 5 pannel qualified per watch, we chose every 5th watch, at sea, we had on watch movie and scran, still standing fire party
 

TNSL101

Midshipman
Hi, I'm a UGAS applicant. I first applied in March, went through many months of back and forth correspondence with Capita then passed my PJFT almost a month ago. My careers advisor said he is going to bid for a place for me on the PRNC but still haven't heard anything. There are no messages on the online portal either. Does anyone know when the PRNC is likely to be? I understand UGAS PRNCs are at set times - I just wondered when and how often? Thanks
 

Sumo

War Hero
Hi, I'm a UGAS applicant. I first applied in March, went through many months of back and forth correspondence with Capita then passed my PJFT almost a month ago. My careers advisor said he is going to bid for a place for me on the PRNC but still haven't heard anything. There are no messages on the online portal either. Does anyone know when the PRNC is likely to be? I understand UGAS PRNCs are at set times - I just wondered when and how often? Thanks
Calling @Ninja_Stoker
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
My understanding was you get allocated a provisiojal entry date first and then a place on PRNC is offered. If in doubt, call your AFCO.

There's a new recruiting software system which is a bit of a nightmare but you should get a clearer picture of where you are at if you call your careers adviser.
 

TNSL101

Midshipman
Thanks. I’m still waiting for my start date.

Does anybody have any info on the numbers of people who get turned down from the UGAS role following the specialist interview? I’m guessing there are lots of applicants but limited number of places available. I just wondered what my chances are of actually being offered a place on the scheme...
 

Al1902

Midshipman
Put it this way (in week 3 of basic & got UGAS), 3/4 that were interviewed at the PRNC were offered UGAS. Currently with a cohort of 20 ish UGAS personnel at Raleigh.
 

NUGAT

Midshipman
Hi Ninja, just to keep it all in one place, is the information in your OP still accurate in regards to the required UGAS points being 160, as opposed to 48 and the age-limit being 29, as opposed to 34?

Much appreciated !
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Hi Ninja, just to keep it all in one place, is the information in your OP still accurate in regards to the required UGAS points being 160, as opposed to 48 and the age-limit being 29, as opposed to 34?

Much appreciated !
Good shout - VMT :)

I'll amend post #1 and the thread title (if it'll let me).

For those unaware:

The first iteration of the Royal Navy Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme (UGAS) for ET(MESM) was introduced as indicated in post #1 The scheme was then expanded to include ET(WESM)specialisations. A single application was then introduced to replace separate MESM/WESM options with UGAS candidates being streamed MESM or WESM during Phase II of training. Further amendments have since been made to support the main objective which continues to be mitigating shortfalls of MESM and WESM operators/ maintainers at the Petty Officer level.

UGAS offers an accelerated training route to Petty Officer Engineering Technician (POET) and is aimed at recruits with a minimum of Level 3 STEM qualifications who will join on an 8.5 year tailored career (TC). They start as probationary Leading Hands and undertake approximately 3.5 years of intensive training to qualify as POETs before serving at sea as qualified POET (MESM or WESM) operators/maintainers for a minimum of 3 years. Their TC finishes with a 1 year in-service university course that will gain candidates a BEng (Hons) degree.

The main characteristics of the scheme, are:

An 8.5 year initial engagement with the option to extend, A paid in-service BEng(Hons) engineering degree (includes 1 year at university)Joining as probationary Leading Hand with current salary of £31,166.

Confirmed in the substantive rank of LET after approx. 18 mths and POET after approx. 4 years, subject to meeting the schemes’ criteria,

Career choices at the end of the scheme including an option to apply for a career extension to 20 years (ES2), MESM or WESM Officer (if AIB passed and selected) or leave the RN with a degree and valuable technician experience.

Applicability All eligible civilian applicants applying to join as ET(MESM) or ET(WESM).

Standard eligibility criteria for ET(MESM/WESM) will apply, with the following additions and exceptions:

Age on entry of 18 – 34 years old.

Meet academic eligibility – in summary:

5x GCSE at grade A*- C inc Maths, English and at least one science based subject.

At least 48 UCAS points from a range of Level 3 qualifications in STEM subjects (BTEC, A levels, Highers etc).

Currently MESM UGAS is awarded – BEng(Hons) Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, WESM UGAS BEng(Hons) Electronic Systems Engineering.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
RN UGAS ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION ELIGIBILITY

The required academic qualification entry requirements for UGAS SM entry. The criteria detailed is valid for all applicants irrespective of which branch they aspire to be eventually streamed as (MESM or WESM).

To be considered for UGAS an applicant must:

  • meet the Level 2 academic standard
  • meet the Level 3 academic and/or vocational standard;
Level 2 qualifications

Requirement: 5x GCSE at Grade C /Level 4 or better, including:

English Language
Mathematics
At least one Science based subject.


Acceptable GCSE Equivalents:

SCE Ordinary Grade, grade C or above
SCE Standard Grade (Credit)
Scottish National 5 Grade C or above
Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Level Grade C or above

Note - Functional Skills will not be accepted in lieu of GCSEs.

Level 3 Qualifications – either:

  • Minimum 48 UCAS points from A/A2 Levels, Highers/Advanced Highers (at a grade equivalent to 21 UCAS points or more) in MATHS and any combination of the following subjects:
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Further/Advanced Maths
  • Physical Science
  • Electronics
  • Engineering

  • OR

  • Minimum 48 UCAS points from one Level 3 Vocational Qualification (BTEC, City and Guilds etc) in an engineering discipline which meets the following criteria:

  • Guided Learning Hours - consists of no less than 720 hours of GLH. This includes:
  • Level 3 Diploma (minimum grade MP)
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma (minimum grade PPP)
  • Scottish National Certificate from Group C (Pass)
  • Note – the following qualifications are not accepted under this option:
  • Subsidiary Diploma
  • 90 Credit Diploma
  • Certificates
  • Extended Certificates
  • Subject - acceptable engineering disciplines are:
  • Engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical/electronic engineering
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Operations and maintenance engineering
  • Aeronautical engineering

  • OR

  • Minimum 48 UCAS points from a Combination of A/A2 Level Maths and STEM vocational courses from the subject list above in para 7 b. (at a grade equivalent to 21 UCAS points or more). The following vocational qualifications can be accepted under this option:
  • Extended Diploma – minimum grade PPP
  • Diploma – minimum grade MP
  • Subsidiary Diploma – minimum grade M
  • 90 Credit Diploma – minimum grade PP
  • Certificate – minimum grade D
  • Extended Certificate – minimum grade M
Other Qualifications

  • Level 4 or higher qualifications. Level 4 or higher qualifications in, Engineering, Electronics, or Maths and a physical science are acceptable in lieu of level 3 qualifications and include:
HNC

HND

Foundation Degree

BSc, BEng degrees

Alternate qualifications. Any applicant presenting a qualification not listed in this RI but clearly of an engineering discipline and at Level 3 or above may be considered on an individual basis with enquiries directed to the ATA SM.
 

NUGAT

Midshipman
That's excellent Ninja, thank you for clarifying the issue and so quickly as well.

Do those who complete the UGAS TC and go for their officer commission, get to choose which part of the RN to be an officer in afterwards or is it expected/required to re-join Submarines?

If one chooses instead to depart from the RN upon finishing the TC, is there a known upper-age limit for re-joining that one needs to be aware of and do those who seek to re-join, need to join the exact same branch they were originally in? (After all that fishy ME stuff, it could be fun to be an Engineering CIS puff :D)

Third, is there a bar to joining UGAS, if the applicant is a dual-national with another European country? As the RN page only says "You must be a British national", but it doesn't say you must "only" be one.

To what extent does one physically attend a uni campus? I assume all the qualifications are just taken onboard or at a shore base.

If you extend your career without commissioning, does that simply mean you continue as a POET where you left off and then finally, if you're in long enough, become a CPOET?

I'm sorry for the many questions. But I'm so eager to know all I can about this scheme.

Thank you for your time.
 
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Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
That's excellent Ninja, thank you for clarifying the issue and so quickly as well.

Do those who complete the UGAS TC and go for their officer commission, get to choose which part of the RN to be an officer in afterwards or is it expected/required to re-join Submarines?

If one chooses instead to depart from the RN upon finishing the TC, is there a known upper-age limit for re-joining that one needs to be aware of and do those who seek to re-join, need to join the exact same branch they were originally in? (After all that fishy ME stuff, it could be fun to be an Engineering CIS puff :D)

Third, is there a bar to joining UGAS, if the applicant is a dual-national with another European country? As the RN page only says "You must be a British national", but it doesn't say you must "only" be one.

To what extent does one physically attend a uni campus? I assume all the qualifications are just taken onboard or at a shore base.

If you extend your career without commissioning, does that simply mean you continue as a POET where you left off and then finally, if you're in long enough, become a CPOET?

I'm sorry for the many questions. But I'm so eager to know all I can about this scheme.

Thank you for your time.
For definitive advice, you are best off going through your AFCO , who can talk directly to the branch sponsor for definitive guidance.

When you apply for a commission it is usual to go for your source branch but in effect, you could request to branch change to any Officer cadre you are qualified & eligible to join, after completing your Return of Service, but the main thrust is source branch submariner.

The upper age upon re-entry for all branches depends on many factors and the bland "case by case basis" applies. For those wanting to rejoin in a different branch (classed as an UnTrained Re-Entrant - UTRE) the same age parameters apply as for first time joiners.

For those rejoining the branch they left, it's more complex. For example; If you were on a twenty year contract, served twelve, then left, assuming the break in service isn't too long (usually 3-5 years max) then you would usually rejoin up until 8 years before age 60. There's some degree of latitude - an RN engineer who left and kept current in engineering or a RN chef that continued their career as a chef could be considered with a longer break in service, but no guarantee. It's the Branch Manager's call and there's no guarantees as you can be sure contracts will change over time. (Mine has 4 times since I first joined).

Submarine branches only accept people who hold a full British passport. Dual nationals who hold a Brit passport, besides any other, may apply. Those who only hold an Irish or Commonwealth passport, are ineligible.

To give an idea of where the university bit sits amongst the fuller training pipeline, I've copied the ET(MESM) UGAS pipeline below.

The UGAS ET(MESM) training scheme is designed to put successful candidates through approx 3.5 years of intensive training to qualify them as Cat B nuclear watchkeepers. Following an approx 3-3½ year assignment to a submarine as a qualified Cat B, candidates will attend Portsmouth University to gain an in-service BEng (Hons) Engineering degree. The intent is to take very able candidates, with high academic STEM achievement (in comparison to the average ET), and accelerate them along the MESM ET career path by delivering upfront almost all existing training and education necessary to become a sailor, submariner and naval nuclear propulsion operator and maintainer. The training pipeline consists of:

Initial Training Phase. This phase takes approx 6 months and is common to UGAS(MESM) and UGAS(WESM) schemes with UGAS entrants joining the RN as generic UGAS candidates and being streamed approx 20 weeks after entering RAL. It includes:

New entry training at HMS RALEIGH (10 weeks).

Assignment to the Submarine Qualification organisation (SMQ) for approximately 3 months to complete general submarine training, some of which will be on an operational submarine. Candidates will be streamed MESM or WESM towards the end of SMQ training.

Conduct Engineering Safety course at HMS SULTAN.

Attend Developing Leaders Course at the Royal Navy Leadership Academy.

Candidates join as probationary LETs.

Subject to service opportunities (e.g. submarine availability), candidates may qualify as a submariner and gain their Submarine Dolphins during this phase.

First Shore Training Phase. This phase will take approximately 14 months with candidates assigned to HMS SULTAN to attend:

  • Leading Engineering Technician’s Qualification Course
  • Specialist LET training.
  • Leading Ratings Leadership Course.
  • Nuclear Propulsion Systems Course and Maintainer Modules.
During this phase, scheme members will also be awarded an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering. Subject to eligibility criteria, candidates can expect to be confirmed in the substantive rank of Leading Engineering Technician after successful completion of the LET MESM training pipeline (ie LETQC, MESM Specialist training & LRLC).

Sea Training Phase. This ‘journeyman’ phase of the candidates career path takes approximately 7 to 12 months and involves an assignment to an operational submarine to:

  • Qualify or re-affirm their submarine qualification.
  • Qualify as a Category D watchkeeper.
  • Qualify as a Category C Electrical Panel and Main Machinery Space Operator.
  • Qualify as a Nuclear Propulsion Plant Shut Down Supervisor.
  • Conduct Deputy Section Head maintenance and repair tasks.
Second Shore Training Phase. This phase lasts approximately 17 months and concludes the candidates’ shore training. Candidates return to HMS SULTAN to attend:

Petty Officer Engineering Technician Qualifying Course (POETQC SM)

  • Foundation Degree module
  • Nuclear Propulsion Operators Course
  • Senior Rates Leadership Course
  • Further specialist nuclear training

During this phase candidates will complete their Foundation Engineering Degree in Marine Systems Engineering.

Throughout the scheme, candidates will be badged as ETs and for most training courses will be mixed in with conventional and Fast Track ETs. However, the scheme will be planned separate to the current ET career pipeline and managed independently to ensure candidates complete all of their training in the time allowed in this programme.

Two further phases complete the scheme:

Sea Delivery Phase. Candidates will be assigned to an operational submarine to conduct onboard training to:

Qualify as a Category B operator and maintainer.

Re-qualify as a shutdown supervisor.

Serve at least 36 months as a qualified Cat B (due to onboard training this could lead to up to 42 months assigned to a submarine.

Upon qualifying as a Cat B, candidates will be advanced to Petty Officer Engineering Technician.

University Degree Phase. The timing of the end of the sea delivery phase will co-ordinate between candidates serving a minimum of 36 months as a qualified Category B operator, any leave candidates have outstanding and the pre-requisites that candidates need to complete before they attend a one year university course. The university course will build on the Foundation Degree awarded during the second shore training phase and will lead to the award of a BEng (Hons) Engineering degree. Currently the course is the Upper Yardman Degree Scheme held at Portsmouth University which awards a BEng (Hons) Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering degree, but the university and precise engineering degree topic may be subject to change. Whilst reading for their degree candidates will still be serving in the RN. There is no return of service for attaining the BEng.

On completion of the degree the scheme member can chose to:

Apply to extend to 20 years’ service (transfer to ES2) and continue to pursue a career in the MESM ET pipeline. This will almost certainly consist of further training and education to achieve qualification as a Category A2 Nuclear Propulsion Supervisor.

As stated, once they invest so much time, money & effort they would usually expect successful applicants to enter the officer corps as a MESM sub-specialist on the upper yardman scheme or senior upper-yardman schemes (dependent upon age), provided they have passed the Admiralty Interview Board and have been selected whilst on the UGAS.
 

NUGAT

Midshipman
Again, excellent answer. I really appreciate what you do around here.

My thoughts regarding the change at officer came from how it seems you can transfer from GS to Submarines but not the other way around and so, if one wanted to try GS too, the officer stage would be the time (and perhaps only time) to do it I thought.

I'm a little surprised that it's not mentioned anywhere that you either get or could apply for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status and/or progress to Chartered Engineer status (CEng), as mentioned for some other roles. No worries.

The whole scheme is just incredibly exciting and I'm thinking of grabbing it with both hands. Thanks again!
 

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