Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre
The Royal Air Force Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre, located at Adastral Hall, RAF Cranwell, is the centre through which every potential RAF officer must go to be selected for Initial Officer Training (IOT) and through which potential non-commissioned aircrew must go to be selected for the Non-Commissioned Aircrew Initial Training Course (NCAITC). The selection centre is attached to two large hangars, plus the candidates' mess. The centre is home to everything required by a candidate during their selection. This includes a large aptitude testing centre, medical centre (including an optician and a hearing testing facility), interview rooms, syndicate rooms and the leadership exercises.
|Part of the RAF|
|Website||RAF Cranwell Officer and Aircrew Selection Homepage|
In 1947 the Aviation Candidate Selection Board was established at RAF Hornchurch following the closure of the Combined Selection Centre at RAF North Weald. In 1952 the name was changed to Aircrew Selection Centre. The centre closed with the airfield in 1962 and was transferred to RAF Biggin Hill. In 1992 it was decided to transfer the selection centre to its current location at RAF Cranwell.
The selection procedure takes three days and is in three parts. Phase 1 comprises aptitude tests. The length of the aptitude test phase will vary depending on the branches that the candidate has applied for or is eligible for. A full debrief is given after the aptitude tests, and those who have failed to make the required standard will leave selection at this point.
If successful you proceed to Phase 2 which consists of the exercise phase. The OASC group will be issued coveralls and bibs, and will be divided into syndicates, in which they will remain until the completion of this phase on day 2. In the afternoon of day 1, syndicates will take part in a Group discussion and Group planning exercise. A briefing will be given before each of these commence so candidates are fully aware of what is required from them. The completion of these exercises concludes day 1 of OASC testing.
Day 2 of OASC sees syndicates completing the Leaderless exercise, Command Situation Exercise and Individual planning exercise. The Leaderless and Command Situation Exercises are conducted in a purpose built hangar. The scenarios generally require the team to travel from one point to another, moving from obstacle to obstacle, whilst observing certain restrictions. i.e. transfer Alpha syndicate and a burden (barrel or drum) from point A to point B without touching the floor, to be completed within a time frame of 15 minutes.
This completes the exercise phase in the afternoon of day 2. A second session of reviews is held by the boarding officers, and candidates will be informed if they have been selected for the final stages of testing. Those who are unsuccessful will be debriefed and return home.
For those who are selected to finish OASC, medicals will commence on the afternoon of day 2. As with aptitude testing, the nature and therefore length of the medical will vary depending on the branch choice the candidate has made. Those applying for aircrew or controller positions can expect their medicals to continue into day 3. Those applying for other branches may finish their medicals early on day 2, and the boarding officers may wish to commence interviews before the end of the day to avoid delays on day 3.
Day 3 at OASC consists of any outstanding medicals that need to be completed, the final interview, and the RAF fitness test. This should take up till lunch time, after which candidates are free to leave. There is no final debrief once selection has been completed.
Successful candidates are notified at a later date and are invited to attend Initial Officer Training (IOT). For those who are unsuccessful, the selection board will aim to provide a full debrief to the candidate via their local AFCO.
- Richard C Smith, Second To None, p134, Grub Street, 2004, ISBN 1-904010-78-4
- Hansard on questions to Secretary of State on move to RAF Cranwell from RAF Biggin Hill
- Guild of Air Pilot and Navigators