Army Medical Services Board

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					Army Medical Services Board
INTRODUCTION. The Army Medical Services (AMS) Selection Boards are held at
Westbury and normally take place each March, June and October. An outline of the
selection process and programme is given below.

The Selection Process

You will be divided into groups of eight or nine, with males and females working
together. The Board is a two-stage affair. First, you will be briefed on some of the basic
techniques used at Westbury; this will be done by experienced member of the AOSB
assessing staff. Afterwards, you will be assessed by a Board consisting of both AMS
Officers and AOSB staff. The officers assessing you will be interested in your approach
to problems and challenges, and your attitude towards other members of the group –
both as a team player and as a team leader.

Board Composition

The Board consists of the following members:
      PRESIDENT. An AMS senior officer.
      VICE PRESIDENT. An AMS officer.
      DEPUTY PRESIDENT. An AOSB Lieutenant Colonel
      BOARD MEMBER. An AMS officer.
      EDUCATION ADVISER. An Education Adviser either AMS or AOSB.
In addition to the Board Members, but not members of the Board:
      GROUP LEADER. An AOSB Captain or Major.
      BOARD SECRETARY. An AMS officer.

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Army Medical Services Board

Programme - Day One - Briefing Phase

ARRIVAL. Candidates should arrive at Westbury by 10.40 am.
INTRODUCTORY TALK. The President of the Board, will give an introductory talk,
which will include some useful tips for the next few days.
MENTAL APTITUDE PROFILE TESTS. These consist of the following elements:
      Verbal Reasoning Exercise. This will test your ability to think logically about
       written information.
      Numerical Reasoning Exercise. This will test your ability to solve numerical
      Abstract Reasoning Exercise. This will test your ability to solve practical
The exercises take 70 minutes in all to complete; examples with instructions and advice
can be downloaded from our website (
PLANNING EXERCISE TUTORIAL. This is a tutorial on how to approach the next day’s
Planning Exercise. An example of the Exercise can be downloaded our website
OUTDOOR TASKS TUTORIAL. Later in the afternoon your Group Leader will introduce
you to some useful practical techniques for use on the Outside Tasks.
500-METRE SPRINT. A short, sharp, best effort run.

Programme - Day One - Testing Phase

WRITTEN TEST. An essay will assess your written communication skills.
OPENING DISCUSSION. The group opening discussion lasts for 40 minutes. During
this time we will invite you to discuss a number of moral and newsworthy topics. A
thorough knowledge of current affairs will help you.

Programme - Day Two

PLANNING EXERCISE. This theoretical written exercise tests your ability to use
people, equipment and time effectively. You are given an hour to study the narrative
and write up your solution. Then each group discusses the problem with the aim of
reaching an agreed plan. Importance is attached to individual contributions and your
reaction to the ideas of others. Finally you will be asked questions about aspects of the
exercise to test whether you can think on your feet. A practise paper is located on our
website (

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OUTDOOR TASKS. These are practical exercises. A typical task might involve the
group crossing a defined space without touching the ground using ladders, ropes, poles
and planks. You will usually have to carry a ‘burden’ with you – a heavy or awkward
object that must be treated with care.
INDIVIDUAL OBSTACLE COURSE. For the final morning task, individuals must
negotiate an individual obstacle course with the objective of completing as many
obstacles as possible within a set time limit.
INTERVIEWS. The rest of the morning is devoted to one-to-one interviews. All
candidates have an interview with the Vice President, as well as with the Deputy
President and the Education Adviser. The style and tone of the interviews are relaxed
and informal. You will probably be asked about your interests, ambitions and why you
want to pursue a medical career in the British Army.
LECTURETTE. In the afternoon, each candidate gives an informal five-minute talk to
the group on a specified subject. There will be five topics (taken from your CV) to
choose from, and you will be given time to prepare. At the end of each lecturette, the
speaker answers questions from the group.

Programme - Day Three

COMMAND TASKS. The last morning is devoted to outdoor Command Tasks, where
each member takes a turn at being in command of the group. The objective is to
complete a specified practical task within a time limit. The Group Leader will brief you
and give you a few minutes to develop a plan. You then explain the task and your plan
to the rest of the group before executing it.
THE FINAL RACE. Your final test at Westbury is the Final Race – an outdoor leaderless
task fought between all the groups. It is a tough course, and is your final opportunity to
show the Board your abilities.

What Happens Next?

The Board Officers start assessing candidates after the Final Race. This is the first time
the assessors discuss the candidates, and every point raised by the Vice President,
Deputy President and the Education Adviser is explored in detail. The results of the
Board are sent by post the following morning.
If you pass, you will have demonstrated that you have the potential to be commissioned
into the Army Medical Services. You will also have rightly earned yourself a place on the
Professionally Qualified Officers course at Sandhurst, provided you pass the Army

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