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just called

Quronos

Newbie
hi all

i just called to make an appointment at my AFCO only to be told that i cant gain entry into the navy as an officer unless i have 5 GSCEs.

Now, i've got 3 GCSEs and 2 GNVQs (each gnvq is equivalent to 2gcses) a BTEC and a degree and they just refused my entry on the phone.

I'm really gutted, and totally fuming!
 
Quronos said:
hi all

i just called to make an appointment at my AFCO only to be told that i cant gain entry into the navy as an officer unless i have 5 GSCEs.

Now, i've got 3 GCSEs and 2 GNVQs (each gnvq is equivalent to 2gcses) a BTEC and a degree and they just refused my entry on the phone.

I'm really gutted, and totally fuming!

I think it would be better to go down there and speak to someone face-to-face mate.
Doing this kind of business over the phone is never the best idea in my opinion.
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
From the RN website -

'Officers are the senior managers of the Royal Navy. To join as an officer, you will need 140 UCAS points and 5 GCSEs (A*-C)/ 5 Scottish Standard Grades (1-3)/ equivalent (including English and maths).'

Methinks you should follow Lamri's advice and get down to an ACLO to discuss the equivalencies of your qualifications face to face.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Well put Lamri, it's maybe worth having a one-to-one chat with a careers adviser actually at the AFCO as they can get in touch with the appropriate channels to state what, if any, NVQ's they will accept as equivalents. It sounds like a job for the OCLO!

Sadly, the colleges of further education tell people that this or that GNVQ or NVQ is worth X amount of GCSE's.

It maybe beneficial for the college to advertise courses as such as they generate income from getting "bums on seats".

The reality is that most employers do not accept NVQs in lieu of GCSE's, rightly or wrongly.

The simple truth is that if you want GCSE's, then do GCSE's.

This is why the website clearly states GCSEs or SCE's at equivalent grades, it does not say "NVQ equivalents" unfortunately.

Officer Qualifications

I suspect you may not have Maths & English GCSE or Equivalent.

Just as a point of interest, a young chap with a BSc (Hons) in Engineering, but without the GCSE's, sat the recruiting test for rating at a certain AFCO in 2005. He scored too low for any trade as a rating. OK, it's rare, but that illustrates the reasoning behind the GCSE's.
 

Geordie88

Badgeman
Ninja_Stoker said:
Just as a point of interest, a young chap with a BSc (Hons) in Engineering, but without the GCSE's, sat the recruiting test for rating at a certain AFCO in 2005. He scored too low for any trade as a rating. OK, it's rare, but that illustrates the reasoning behind the GCSE's.

Jesus, even too low for the Bootnecks? Only one lad out of our lad failed the recruiting test to be a Bootneck and another didn't get his chosen trade as a pilot.

To the lad without GCSEs, I can sympathise mate: When I applied for the army, I would have had to join as a private as I only had a D at maths nd Bs and Cs in everything else which stopped my becoming a LCpl, I even considered joining the I Corps to be promoted to LCpl before changing my cap badge to the Paras! I've got enough UCAS points to be an RM Officer, but sadly not the maths GCSE!
 

Quronos

Newbie
As it happens, i have good GCSEs in maths and english as well as electronics. i also have 240 ucas points, so its not that I'm dumb, I just didn't get my head down when i was younger in science or history.

I was just fuming earlier, cus its like a barrier stopping me from doing what I want to do in life. I'm sure some will know how that feels!

Anyway, I spoke to the AFCO guys and we are sorting it all out :)
 
Ninja_Stoker said:
Just as a point of interest, a young chap with a BSc (Hons) in Engineering, but without the GCSE's, sat the recruiting test for rating at a certain AFCO in 2005. He scored too low for any trade as a rating. OK, it's rare, but that illustrates the reasoning behind the GCSE's.

Knowing just a few guys and galls with BSC (Hons) Eng of various types, including one of my sons, I would with all respect suggest that one could not get a pass at honours grade without having the ability to collect a significant number of GCSEs or their equivalent, and it is very unlikely that a University would allow some one to even start the course without proving they had achieved a high enough standard in the basics, unless of course your man had picked up the degree from one of those US Internet places for a few bucks.

If he failed the test then I would suggest it is to do with something else rather than not having GCSEs
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Maxi_77 said:
Knowing just a few guys and galls with BSC (Hons) Eng of various types, including one of my sons, I would with all respect suggest that one could not get a pass at honours grade without having the ability to collect a significant number of GCSEs or their equivalent, and it is very unlikely that a University would allow some one to even start the course without proving they had achieved a high enough standard in the basics, unless of course your man had picked up the degree from one of those US Internet places for a few bucks.

If he failed the test then I would suggest it is to do with something else rather than not having GCSEs

Quite agree Maxi, it's only happened once that I know of I do not know the provenance of the degree in question. Then again degrees, or rather bits of paper, are pretty easy to buy from overseas, as you say.

As you say, if you can do a degree, then you should be able to collect a significant number of GCSE's, although in some cases apparently not. Open University is possibly another route for non-GCSE holders.

However, there are those that have a non-vocational degree who are still not eligible to join if they don't have the basic 5 GCSE's as they obtained their Uni degree, for example as a mature student, having done a foundation course. Another example is a Commonwealth engineering graduate who may not necessarily speak English, let alone have a GCSE or equivalent in that subject.

More & more of the population gain degrees than ever before- are we to believe the population is more intelligent or better taught than ever- if so, how are employers meant to be able to differentiate?
 
It just goes to show that getting into the RN aint that easy and those that do are some of the nations finest.

There was a lad who started RNR at the same time I did had the GCSEs and an Arts Degree, but failed the maths aptitude test when he had to do it. I guess it is because mental arithmetic isn't taught anymore.
 
Ninja_Stoker said:
Maxi_77 said:
Knowing just a few guys and galls with BSC (Hons) Eng of various types, including one of my sons, I would with all respect suggest that one could not get a pass at honours grade without having the ability to collect a significant number of GCSEs or their equivalent, and it is very unlikely that a University would allow some one to even start the course without proving they had achieved a high enough standard in the basics, unless of course your man had picked up the degree from one of those US Internet places for a few bucks.

If he failed the test then I would suggest it is to do with something else rather than not having GCSEs

Quite agree Maxi, it's only happened once that I know of I do not know the provenance of the degree in question. Then again degrees, or rather bits of paper, are pretty easy to buy from overseas, as you say.

As you say, if you can do a degree, then you should be able to collect a significant number of GCSE's, although in some cases apparently not. Open University is possibly another route for non-GCSE holders.

However, there are those that have a non-vocational degree who are still not eligible to join if they don't have the basic 5 GCSE's as they obtained their Uni degree, for example as a mature student, having done a foundation course. Another example is a Commonwealth engineering graduate who may not necessarily speak English, let alone have a GCSE or equivalent in that subject.

More & more of the population gain degrees than ever before- are we to believe the population is more intelligent or better taught than ever- if so, how are employers meant to be able to differentiate?

Clearly dealing with offshore qualifications is always going to be difficult until one gets to know them. We see very few if any, if for no other reason they find it difficult to get clearance. As the new graduate market has changed we rely less on the 'milk round' type recruiting and rather have formed links with places that produce the kind of graduate we need, this is now working rather well and a few years back when I was looking for some new staff my chief engineer was able to get two very good new graduates from the local universities having had a chat with the professor and tutors.

I think most employers these days have a good idea what degrees they are looking for in new applicants and are no longer mesmerised by the miriad of different ones that appear like a rabbit in the headlights.

Mind you as one of the oldest farts here now I think I am probably the last degreeless manager here, they certainly would not even look at my CV if I tried to get a job here now, but 20 years ago at least in some places Lt X(SM) Rtd did open a few doors.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
[quote="Maxi_77]
Mind you as one of the oldest farts here now I think I am probably the last degreeless manager here, they certainly would not even look at my CV if I tried to get a job here now, but 20 years ago at least in some places Lt X(SM) Rtd did open a few doors.[/quote]

I know how you feel- I spent a most enjoyable 3 years at Oxford University (with the URNU) working with some of Britains' finest undergraduates. My CSE in woodwork came in handy, I can tell you! :thumright:
 
Quronos said:
As it happens, i have good GCSEs in maths and english as well as electronics. i also have 240 ucas points, so its not that I'm dumb, I just didn't get my head down when i was younger in science or history.

I was just fuming earlier, cus its like a barrier stopping me from doing what I want to do in life. I'm sure some will know how that feels!

Anyway, I spoke to the AFCO guys and we are sorting it all out :)

If this is the first barrier you have come across in life stopping from doing what you want to do then you've done pretty well so far. Hopefully you'll learn from it , good luck with getting into the mob.
 
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