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Armed Forces: Recruitment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 166451, tabled on 10 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average time taken was to process applications to join the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answered on

15 March 2021

Responses from the single Services are as follows:

Naval Service

At the end of Recruiting Year 2019-20, applicants to join the Regular Naval Service took a median of 244 days from the point of application to being offered a start date for basic training. For the Maritime Reserve, the median was 256 days.

Army

At the end of Recruiting Year 2019-20, applicants to join the Regular Army took a median of 176 days from the point of application to being offered a start date for basic training. The average for Army Reserves is not measured.

Royal Air Force (RAF)

Recruiting Year 2019-20 (Regulars)

Career Type

Average Days between Application submission to Entrant

Regular Officer

469

Regular Other Rank

315

Regular Senior Non-Commissioned Officers

425

Recruiting Year 2019-20 (Reserves)

The average time taken to process applications to join the Royal Air Force Reserves, in the last recruiting year 2019-20, is shown in the following table:

Average Days between Application submission to Entrant

RAF Reserves Officer

618

RAF Reserves Other Ranks

437

Notes:

Data for Officers and Other Ranks is shown separately as the length of time in the RAF recruitment process differs for Officers and Other Ranks. The Officer data includes sponsorship candidates who can stay in the system for 2-4 years.

The data provided for the RAF spans the time a candidate fully completes their application form to the point that they commence phase one training (rather than the point at which they are offered a start date for basic training). Individuals are not recorded as entrants to the RAF until they have commenced their phase one training and have attested into the RAF. Figures include all application scheme types, except for reactivated applications.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.