New selection process - Feedback

Ninja_Stoker

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The aim of this thread is to hear, particularly from an applicant's perspective, what you think of the new selection process.

The reason for this is because pretty much every element of selection, apart from the medical aspect, has had to change almost beyond recognition due to the Covid 19 restrictions and constraints placed upon the whole of the world, not just UK, in less than 4 months.

Feedback from trained ranks, recruits and former recruits rejoining is very much welcomed together with those currently undergoing selection.

In short, could it be done better, faster, is it fair, is it confusing, are you disadvantaged or empowered, how could it be improved & what do you think about the demise of the original PRMC?
 

Griff149

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Hi Ninja,

Luckily from my personal standpoint I had managed to get things such as the medical and eye test out the way before things kicked off with Covid so can’t comment too much on that.

I had however been preparing to do a PJFT then a PRMC(R) so have since completed a VPJFT+ and am due to start a RROP (reserve ROP) soon.

For me, I personally found running the PJFT on a treadmill not particularly difficult, and whilst I appreciate that the VPJFT+ doesn’t test an applicants running phys in any way, I do think it’s a pretty well rounded test that will highlight any weaknesses you have and I actually found it harder than the treadmill test. It made me realise that my shoulder and core endurance wasn’t as good as I’d thought and something I likely would have struggled with in RT had I not rectified it to get fit for the VPJFT.

In terms of the ROP it seems a good idea in theory and with the CAA at the end due to replicate the tests done on a PRMC, hopefully people won’t feel like the standards are lower but I can’t comment too much on that. It has been brought in for health reasons I understand, but the only real downside of it seems that lads who are good at circuits but poor at running could probably get a place at CTC pretty easily. These people will struggle to pass ROP I’d imagine but at the expense of a months pay.

Overall I think given the circumstances, from an outside perspective of a new recruit it would seem RM have done well to adapt.
 

Mattys

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Me personally I don’t think it’s made to much difference if anything I believe I will have more chance of passing the vpjft than the pjft so that plays well for me in that regard.

I’m a bit confused with the ROP itself is it run monthly? Just thinking when F2F medicals come back will their be a backlog of people waiting to go on the ROP once they pass the medical or will this be run more regular?
I’m a fan of the ROP where you get paid and it’s a learning curve for those who may struggle to pick up things quicker if they just started week 1 RT , Also once you arrive there and if successful you go straight into RT rather than having to return at a later date.
The only issue I currently have with the ROP which I understand it’s new is the testing requirements compared to the PRMC,
With PRMC you knew exactly what each day consisted of and what level of requirement you had to achieve to pass/fail before you arrived there.
So me personally I feel at a bit of a disadvantage with regards to the journey itself there (7+hours) and the age aswell as not actually knowing the whole testing requirements as it could be several times harder than the PRMC for all anyone knows! So relatively sacrificing a job to attend the ROP when the passing requirements over the whole course is unknown at this period!
So yeah with the ROP I just think what if the bft is a pass/fail 9.30 return or if there’s a new testing requirement that has never been tested on before so just being so unsure of the course itself currently is the only downside for me!
 

thirdtry

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This is my 2nd time through the actual application process/3rd 'period' in training hence my username - originally an RMR nod in uni, transferred to regular training after uni, had a welfare issue so had to leave, now rejoining 5 years later as a very different person very committed to seeing it through.

I have been mega impressed and it has been VERY quick if I deduct the delay that was caused by a greedy/uncooperative GP at my local surgery.

Applied late March. Did all the admin the same day it came through. Interview was conducted within a few days which itself was a much quicker affair on the phone (as a rejoin it was also shorter, essentially explaining what I've done since leaving and justifying why I think I can succeed now). I had to do a residency waiver so there was a week or so between interview and submitting that whilst I waited for old colleagues and managers to write up their references but obviously that's case by case for each candidate.

Medical Triage call was only a week or so later. At this stage, had that been a pass first time and not TMU, I could have gone from applying online to doing VPJFT within about 3 weeks.

I won't go on Send about the medical stuff again - I made a ranty post at the time - just essentially a new GP at my local surgery caused a 2.5 month stalemate with Capita because they wanted a lot more money than usual and wanted it upfront. Capita were actually mega helpful and would occasionally phone me with updates so credit to them for that.

As soon as that medical stuff was sorted and passed 2 weeks ago the AFCO booked my VPJFT and I passed that on Wednesday, now have a start date for ROP. Managed to book my eye test on the first day they resumed last week too, so just F2F Medical left now.

Still waiting on Security Clearance because I've worked overseas a lot but the AFCO called me yesterday and the CA reassured me that now a start date is allocated they can chase SC up and make sure it gets actioned faster.

------

The one thing that has been missing obviously due to COVID and what I guess will be coming back is that face to face element. The RN/RM careers advisers are brilliant and I remember the nerves/anticipation of suiting up for each selection element in the AFCO, putting faces to names, picking up copies of the G&L and Navy News each time and really "getting into it". Doing an RMAD was really valuable too. Right now you could go from applying to ROP without ever physically meeting anyone in RN/RM.
If PRMC isn't coming back but vPJFT is a trial then maybe a middle ground would be that you have to pass an RMFA on an RMAD to get an ROP date (that's a lot of acronyms in a sentence!).
 

Devon_Bey90

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On having completed my PRMC(R) earlier this year and lined up to begin RT in April, being told of the delay in RT until September (suggested back in March) was an upset but completely understandable.
Then being advised we will likely have to complete a RROP before RT proper, was initially another blow to morale. However, now a few weeks away from my RROP I am grateful for the extra time in preparation for the additional selection tests. In addition to this, when I finally get to put on that Green Lid I know I will be able to say I have passed every test the RM have thrown my way :P

As for content and format of the RROP, I believe the 1.5 mile BFT has been removed from the course which came as a surprise to me. I am pleased that the training and assessments are incremental in difficulty and duration as this reflects what the RT process will be.

Hats off to the training teams for adapting so soon to a new system and best of luck to all the lads in 120 trp for the upcoming RROP.
 

smashlegs

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I applied late May and the process has been extremely quick and smooth, I’m currently waiting for my Eye Test appointment that unfortunately was fully booked up until next month, and the Triage Call I’m awaiting also.

As for the physical side of things I believe both vPJFT and PJFT target cardio, I think the vPJFT is more of an overall test of someone’s physical abilities and is a better overall gauge of an applicant as it targets multiple areas. However from a personal stand point and this is just my opinion, I think the vPJFT should be at-least 4 rounds to test someones determination that little bit more.

As for ROP, it looks like a very good system, a way to ensure lads aren’t picking up injuries before training, and looks to bring everyone to a better overall standard before Training in every area which may allow the TT to focus on the more soldiering aspects of training more once Training commences.
 

Griff149

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This is my 2nd time through the actual application process/3rd 'period' in training hence my username - originally an RMR nod in uni, transferred to regular training after uni, had a welfare issue so had to leave, now rejoining 5 years later as a very different person very committed to seeing it through.

I have been mega impressed and it has been VERY quick if I deduct the delay that was caused by a greedy/uncooperative GP at my local surgery.

Applied late March. Did all the admin the same day it came through. Interview was conducted within a few days which itself was a much quicker affair on the phone (as a rejoin it was also shorter, essentially explaining what I've done since leaving and justifying why I think I can succeed now). I had to do a residency waiver so there was a week or so between interview and submitting that whilst I waited for old colleagues and managers to write up their references but obviously that's case by case for each candidate.

Medical Triage call was only a week or so later. At this stage, had that been a pass first time and not TMU, I could have gone from applying online to doing VPJFT within about 3 weeks.

I won't go on Send about the medical stuff again - I made a ranty post at the time - just essentially a new GP at my local surgery caused a 2.5 month stalemate with Capita because they wanted a lot more money than usual and wanted it upfront. Capita were actually mega helpful and would occasionally phone me with updates so credit to them for that.

As soon as that medical stuff was sorted and passed 2 weeks ago the AFCO booked my VPJFT and I passed that on Wednesday, now have a start date for ROP. Managed to book my eye test on the first day they resumed last week too, so just F2F Medical left now.

Still waiting on Security Clearance because I've worked overseas a lot but the AFCO called me yesterday and the CA reassured me that now a start date is allocated they can chase SC up and make sure it gets actioned faster.

------

The one thing that has been missing obviously due to COVID and what I guess will be coming back is that face to face element. The RN/RM careers advisers are brilliant and I remember the nerves/anticipation of suiting up for each selection element in the AFCO, putting faces to names, picking up copies of the G&L and Navy News each time and really "getting into it". Doing an RMAD was really valuable too. Right now you could go from applying to ROP without ever physically meeting anyone in RN/RM.
If PRMC isn't coming back but vPJFT is a trial then maybe a middle ground would be that you have to pass an RMFA on an RMAD to get an ROP date (that's a lot of acronyms in a sentence!).
I think that’s a really good point that lads should have to pass a RMFA to start ROP. I think you might worry if applying for regulars, as mentioned above by Matt that you give up your civvie career and don’t pass ROP.

Obviously that puts it on applicants to really make sure they’re fit enough before they start (which I know they should be doing anyway), but at least if they pass an RMFA you’ve got a pretty good idea they’ll have the base line fitness levels needed.

Edit: Fully appreciate this obviously wasn’t possible during Covid however going forward it would certainly seem like a good idea if logistically possible.
 

A350-800

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Thanks for creating this thread,

I am sorry to sound negative but I was quite frustrated this week because last week my careers office sent me all my paperwork for my vPJFT having passed my triage medical and taken off TMU only to be told there is a new rule which came out this week that you have to do the face to face medical before vPJFT, unless you do the vPJFT before starting your medical process completely. With it likely to be a few months before my face to face medical and there will probably be hundreds of applicants waiting for their face to face medical, I am worried there will be big bottleneck of people trying to do vPJFT after their delayed face to face medical potentially adding months on to the whole process, which is strange when people are ready to do it now and have had an invite for it. I understand the rules are the rules but this seems a bit arbitrary, a waste of time and to be honest a bit unfair as people have already been able to do it without a face to face medical, and there was no explanation offered as to why this decision was made with an invite offered that should really now be honoured to people who have applied, or at least an explanation. I did also start the PJFT process before the medical, only my treadmill tests were invalidated by the introduction of the new vPJFT, which is understandable but considering I have already done some form of PJFT it seems a bit odd I can't to this one!
 

A350-800

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I apologise if my previous post seemed a bit negative, my careers office have been working really hard during the pandemic to keep all their applicants updated via emails and have been really helpful with enquiries and helping me move through interviews and security clearance, and from what was inferred to me on the phone I don't think the rule about the PJFT came from the navy or careers office anyway but some legal thing they don't have any control over so its just something I have to accept and there is plenty of map reading and admin I can work on in the meantime :)
 

Halcyon

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Before Covid I had a PJFT date and had passed my face to face medical, then lockdown happened and the gyms closed. Currently my vPJFT is on Tuesday the 14th (feeling confident, but like with any test there's some level of nerves). Personally I hate running on treadmills, and generally prefer calisthenics or lifting to running, so the vPJFT is more beneficial to me. From what I can tell ROP seems like a good idea in general, and I feel better going into that, and then RT, than I would have doing PRMC. Honestly it makes it easier work wise as well, to just be able to hand in my notice when I pass my vPJFT and get my ROP date, rather than taking time off for PRMC, going back, and then handing in notice when I get my RT date. The process has been quite simple to understand (the only issues have been trying to explain the differences between the old and new process to my parents). As my Careers Adviser said, I'm lucky to have been in the spot I was when it happened (having passed my medical), as for me it's just a simple, pass vPJFT, we'll give you a ROP date, and you're good to go.
 

Johnwayne

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As with many guys on here I was lucky enough to have completed my F2F medical before lockdown happened. Was made TMU and waited for a review which came through about a month after my F2F - all clear.

Then I took some time to get myself ready for VPJFT and passed it on 2/7/20.

I’m a South African applicant, but I live in Scotland now. Spoke to my CA today and was told I’ll get my ROP date on Monday. Likely 14 September, but possibly the one after that. Also just waiting for my Security Clearance and Residency Waiver to come through, not expecting any issues.

My opinion on ROP - I’m sure this is costing the Corps a lot more money when taking into account that you’re keeping lads on for an extra month. That being said, I believe that ROP will produce a much higher calibre nod going into RT. Hopefully you’ll lose less guys due to injury and shock of capture.
If the CAA mimics PRMC and is able to test guys to the standards they expect us to arrive at on day 1 of RT, then I think this is a very good idea.

Side note - hopefully this doesn’t cause a riff between guys who came in the old way and guys who are coming in through ROP. At the end of the day we are all going there for a Green Lid and we will all have to face the 32 weeks to earn it. How we get in shouldn’t take anything away from that.
 

Royal2010

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As with many guys on here I was lucky enough to have completed my F2F medical before lockdown happened. Was made TMU and waited for a review which came through about a month after my F2F - all clear.

Then I took some time to get myself ready for VPJFT and passed it on 2/7/20.

I’m a South African applicant, but I live in Scotland now. Spoke to my CA today and was told I’ll get my ROP date on Monday. Likely 14 September, but possibly the one after that. Also just waiting for my Security Clearance and Residency Waiver to come through, not expecting any issues.

My opinion on ROP - I’m sure this is costing the Corps a lot more money when taking into account that you’re keeping lads on for an extra month. That being said, I believe that ROP will produce a much higher calibre nod going into RT. Hopefully you’ll lose less guys due to injury and shock of capture.
If the CAA mimics PRMC and is able to test guys to the standards they expect us to arrive at on day 1 of RT, then I think this is a very good idea.

Side note - hopefully this doesn’t cause a riff between guys who came in the old way and guys who are coming in through ROP. At the end of the day we are all going there for a Green Lid and we will all have to face the 32 weeks to earn it. How we get in shouldn’t take anything away from that.
The whole ROP concept is a great idea and if it's done well the TT will benefit and in the long run, a better marine will be produced.

The argument of "Training was harder back in my day" happens to every soldier as training evolves, strives to become more efficient, to a higher standard but at the same time balance costs.

The key thing for TT is setting the 'adverse' conditions to make training challenging to produce a mentally and physically robust marine and not be dictated by science too much.

It should be the hardest thing you will ever have done in your life training and it sets you up to be amongst the best soldiers in the world and gives you a decent baseline to set you up for SF.
 

HAWJ94

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Hello

Without doing the previous PJFT and PRMC I can’t compare that with the current program.

I applied back in April, had a very smooth processes with my AFCO, interview over Zoom was fine - however I feel a F2F interview is always best - the medical call took 5-10 minutes and again ran smoothly.

VPJFT+ is a solid test - I come from a strength background and the constant effort was a great way to get stuck in with the cardio aspect. Started off hard on the first few attempts, but had it nailed down smooth after a good bit of practice and successfully passed in June.

opticians has been booked and passed, and like many others I’m just waiting for my F2F medical - I understand Covid makes the timescale of this quite difficult, although this is something which possibly could be discussed more by the AFCO in regards to where the current process is (I’m checking emails daily waiting for the message off the doctor! ).

The ROP phase looks exciting - if anything its an extra 4 weeks to improve conditioning, get clued up on RT and to make sure the core is really for you. CAA still looks tough but that’s good! Hopefully the ROP will help people be more successful on this!

If anyone lives in Bath and fancies some training sessions then let me know.

Best of luck all!

H
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Some really good feedback in this thread - many thanks to all contributors, hopefully the information provided can help fine-tune and continue to streamline the selection process.

Many of the changes to selection were brought about through necessity due to the constraints imposed by Covid 19 however, in truth this brought forward many changes that were already in the recruiting pipeline, yet to be implemented.

Further contributions to this thread are extremely useful and positively encouraged.
 

browner467

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I view the change as a step forward. We now live in a virtual world and the Royal Marines have simply come in line with that. I think that with the correct processes in place it could speed up the recruitment processes considerably.

I’m still a civi (in the recruitment pipeline) and I feel that the only downside to the new process is the physical aspect. I am still training how I was before, whilst regularly practising the vPJFT+. With the new physical testing standard, there isn’t an emphasis on running or pull ups. People new to the recruitment process, who aren’t aware of the previous standards required, may simply focus on passing vPJFT+, neglect their running and pull ups. This in turn will have a knock on affect when they rock up to RT.

This is my personal opinion and people may view it differently.
 

Saracen1

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Some really good feedback in this thread - many thanks to all contributors, hopefully the information provided can help fine-tune and continue to streamline the selection process.

Many of the changes to selection were brought about through necessity due to the constraints imposed by Covid 19 however, in truth this brought forward many changes that were already in the recruiting pipeline, yet to be implemented.

Further contributions to this thread are extremely useful and positively encouraged.
My thoughts as a Dad of a recruit who is in ROP now.

He was at the stage of having failed his first PJFT, he did struggle with the treadmill, but it also turned out he was unwell on the day.

Whilst training for attempt two, lockdown occurred.

As soon as the new process came about his AFCO got in touch, discussed the vPJFT, pointed him to the videos and said give a call when ready.

When he could do four sets of the circuit he booked his vPJFT which took place two weeks after.

All of the above went smoothly, the vPJFT Zoom method worked perfectly and the PTI was quite clear in explaining the process and requirements and on completion gave appropriate feedback, and as my son passed, explained the next steps (I was present during all of this).

Although I have seen some comments about the lack of the 1.5 mile BFT in the vPJFT or CAA they do plenty of distance running in ROP, I assume to the required times.

His AFCO kept in touch and just over a week later confirmed an ROP date and all the paperwork was sent by email.

Nearer his start date he had a final call from his AFCO to confirm everything was going OK and provide some advice and tips.

Two weeks before ROP there was a Zoom conference call with one of the TT Officers and the recruits to finalise details and answer any questions.

All of the above went smoothly with no problems encountered.

My opinion is that ROP will prove to work.

As has been said many times on this forum RT it is as much about the ‘state of mind’ as it is about fitness, if not more so.

Therefore potential recruits would get themselves super fit for PRMC, pass it, then within days or a few weeks of starting RT wrap because they have found it is not for them or can’t manage the shock of capture.

In my sons ROP Troop, as with the previous ROP Troops, those losses have already occurred, as well as from injuries.

There is definitely support from the TT to ensure those that reach the end of ROP and pass the CAA that the ‘standard’ and preparedness of recruits entering RT will be far higher than previously encountered, allowing the TT to crack on with training, the basics of personal admin, drill, weapons handling etc. etc. already learned in ROP.

All recruits who have reached RT have already proved their commitment over the previous four weeks and are in the right mindset to get stuck into training.

So hopefully, whilst there still may be some who wrap as RT progresses and losses through injury, the numbers who complete RT will be higher than under the previous regime.

I can say my son is ‘enjoying’ ROP and appears on track to realise his ambition to become a RM.

All in all from my Dad perspective, the route to recruit training as it is has been smooth and worked well.
 

Saracen1

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Well it was all smooth until yesterday when he was MD for shin splints and during the examination was found to have hypermobility which almost certainly means he’ll be unable to reapply:(

Frustration is this should have been picked up by doctors for Capita who carried out his medicals.

When they carried out the Beighton Test, of which he had two due to length of application neither reported a problem and passed him fit!

Med Centre say he should not have been allowed to join!

Doesn’t help that he is now stuck doing nothing at CTC until final discharge next Wednesday.
 

Chelonian

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Doesn’t help that he is now stuck doing nothing at CTC until final discharge next Wednesday.
Sorry to learn this. I'm not qualified to comment on the apparent inconsistency of diagnosis but hoping that the inconsistency eventually works in his favour. Let us know how he gets on.
 

The guide

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Hypermobility is fairly clear cut in it,s definition -so to be made UNFIT at CTC he would very likely have met the required criteria - how well Capita test is another thing - but if he was discharged purely for shin splints it is somewhat irrelevant as he was not discharged for that issue so Capita may escape via default.
 

Saracen1

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Sorry to learn this. I'm not qualified to comment on the apparent inconsistency of diagnosis but hoping that the inconsistency eventually works in his favour. Let us know how he gets on.
Thanks Chelonian

I have been on the forum long enough to see the negative comments regarding Capita medicals.

Sadly I suspect the CTC diagnosis is probably more accurate but he’ll take onboard advice given by them and reflect on whether it is worth looking at an expert opinion and the realistic chance of getting to a position where he could try again in twelve months.

From what I have read this would be extremely slim to no chance.
 
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