Admiralty Interview Board
The Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) is an assessment centre used by the Naval service as part of the Officer selection process for the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve, and Royal Fleet Auxiliary. It is an equivalent of the Army Officer Selection Board and the Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre of the Royal Air Force. The board is based at HMS Sultan in Gosport, Hampshire within a self-contained compound.
Officer applicants for the Royal Navy undertake initial suitability testing and interviews at an Armed Forces Careers Office. Once initial suitability has been assessed and a preferred specialisation identified the candidate will be loaded onto a board. Boards are undertaken over a two-day period with candidates loaded as Royal Navy, Royal Marines or Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Successful completion of the board is a precursor to possible selection as a candidate for training.
The Board is not itself competitive, with candidates being scored on the performance. The score is then used to assign places on initial officer training.
The Board consists of a range of academic, physical, mental and aptitude tests assessing suitability for future employment. Potential Officers for the Royal Marines will also be required to undertake a Potential Officers' Course at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) at Lympstone and Aircrew candidates will have taken Flying Aptitude Tests at RAF Cranwell prior to attending the AIB.
Each board is presided over by a Board President (a Captain or a Commander) who is assisted by a Lieutenant Commander and a Lieutenant (or their Royal Marine equivalents). Each board considers a syndicate of four candidates and up to three concurrent boards could be ongoing. Each Board is supported by a senior rating or senior NCO, responsible for the administration and briefing of candidates
Candidates arrive at the AIB complex on the evening prior to commencement. Following a site briefing there is an opportunity for candidates to meet with peers and establish the relationships required over the course of the assessment.
The first day on the board is predominantly taken up with academic testing exploring the candidate's intellectual and practical abilities. Areas assessed include verbal and non-verbal reasoning, numerical ability, speed and accuracy, spatial orientation, and service knowledge. After these are completed, candidates are given 45 minutes to write an essay on a subject chosen from a prescribed list, as an assessment of written powers of communication.
Upon completion of these tests the candidates are presented with a sample Planning Exercise, a significantly simpler version of the exercise that they will complete subsequently. After being briefed on this they are conducted to the gymnasium where they will be briefed on the Practical Leadership Tasks; practical techniques, equipment familiarisation, and health and safety issues.
The day completes with a Multi-Stage Fitness Assessment, to determine fitness, motivation and determination.
The second day is assessed by the board president and staff through observation and interview.
Each candidate will lead a Practical Leadership Task in the gymnasium. Syndicates attempt tasks selected from a range of scenarios; load carries across chasms or pools using supplied equipment.
The assessed planning exercise is undertaken under assessed condition. The syndicate is given a short period to study the scenario, a problem is then introduced which must be overcome. Candidates discuss possible courses of action as a group, presenting a group plan to the Board. Each candidate is then questioned on the scenario and the group plan. After this, each candidate presents an individual plan arrived at on their own, which may or may not be the same as the group plan, depending on the flaws that the questioning turned up.
The final task is the interview. Here, over a period of thirty minutes, candidates are interviewed about their past achievements, experiences of difficulty overcome, and examined as to their motivations in joining the Naval Service.
Candidates are given the outcome of the assessment before being released. Based on the score achieved candidates may have reached the required standard, be required to be reassessed following a period of 12 months or are considered as not-suitable.
Notwithstanding the outcome candidates with marginal scores may not meet the required performance threshold to be loaded onto training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. In some cases candidates not reaching the required score for their preferred branch may be offered an alternative. A candidate who meets the required score for consideration and is not offered a training place will be required to re-present at AIB after 12 months.