What is the Air Engineering Professional Command Selection Board?

What is the Air Engineering (AE) Professional Command Selection Board (PCSB)?

The PCSB (AE) selects a pool of Air Engineer Officers (AEOs) for Air Engineering Professional Command (AEPC) assignments (previously referred to as ‘Charge’ jobs).

Career Management versus Promotion Requirement

Whilst assignment to the AEPC stream is a career management process rather than a promotion issue (it is not required for promotion to the next higher rank), selection is based on merit and the procedures used will follow closely those of promotion selection boards.

The completion of an AEPC assignment is not a requirement for promotion to either OF-4 or OF-5.

What are the Designated AEPC Positions?

At the OF-3 rank there are 14 designated AEPC positions:

  1. 815 NAS;
  2. 825 NAS;
  3. 845 NAS;
  4. 846 NAS;
  5. 847 NAS;
  6. 814 NAS;
  7. 820 NAS;
  8. 824 NAS;
  9. 849 NAS-CS (The formation date of 849 NAS Crowsnest has yet to be confirmed, but the first aircraft are programmed to be delivered in 2019);
  10. 17R;
  11. 617 SQN;
  12. 207 (OCU);
  13. 1710 NAS; and
  14. VL SSE.

Composition of the PCSB (AE) Board

The OF-3  board is composed of:

  • Chairperson: DACOS AE (OF-5).
  • Three members:
    • Two AE OF-4s.
    • One non-specialist OF-4.
  • Board Advisor: CM ENG AE SO1.
  • Board Secretary: Engineer Branch Secretary.

The OF-4 board is composed of:

  • Chairperson: AE Head of Specialisation.
  • Three members:
    • Two AE OF-5s.
    • One non-specialist OF-5.
  • Board Advisor: CM ENG AE SO1.
  • Board Secretary: Engineer Branch Secretary.

All Board members must be in date for diversity and inclusion (D&I) training and Sub-Conscious Bias Awareness training.

The aim of the Board is to generate a pool for AEPC consisting of a number of selectees and reserve candidates (which varies from year to year based on the needs of the Service).

What is the Role of the Board Advisor?

  • CM E AE S01 will act as the Board Adviser.
  • Their role is to provide:
    • An initial briefing to cover the selection target, and any special considerations;
    • Relevant appointing factors such as continuity of reporting;
    • Issues not recorded in written reports, for example censures or impending court appearances; and
    • Further advice on the appointing perspective.

The Board Adviser is present throughout the PCSB to gain the necessary background to fulfil their downstream responsibilities for career management and interviews, whilst maintaining the desired separation between selection and assigning functions.

How Long Does the PCSB (AE) Last?

The Board convenes over one day, usually around March/April for OF-4s and November for OF-3s each year.

What is the PCSB (AE) Process?

  • Phase 1, Eligibility:
    • The Branch Secretary confirms the eligibility of all candidates.
  • Phase 2, Pre-Reading:
    • The Board will consider all substantive AE OF-3’s who meet the eligibility criteria for selection to OF-3 and OF-4 assignments.
    • Board members independently pre-read candidates’ files and vote.
    • During this phase, Board Members are invited to assess the merit of each candidate eligible for AEPC and record their conclusion on the appropriate voting sheet.
    • Candidates will be given a grade of: A, B+, B, or C. There is usually a limit on the number of A and B+ grades awarded.
    • For those candidates graded ‘A’, the mark is differentiated, ranging from (for example) low (A1) to high (A9).
  • Phase 3, In-session (‘Main’ Board):
    • Compile and review the order of merit (OOM) generated by individual members’ votes.
    • Consider any additional matters placed before the board by the Board Adviser.
    • Select the required number of professional command and reserve officers and identify any C grade candidates who warrant a grade of NS.
    • As necessary, update the list of officers who have suffered poor continuity or other adverse reporting.
    • The Board selects the required number of candidates, and reserves, for AEPC.
    • Board members consider the CV, copies of appraisal reports, and the quality and continuity of candidate’s reports.
    • Candidates are considered on the basis of their whole record and boards are not bound to accept the recommendation of a current reporting officer.

What are the Selection Category Definitions?

  • A9 to A1 (highest to lowest): An officer who is ready in all respects for AEPC this time. Within this category are officers who read more or less strongly, with those showing most potential marked highest on a scale of 9 down to 1.
  • B+: An officer whose records to date do not justify selection for AEPC this time, but who is likely to merit serious consideration at the next PCSB(AE).
  • B: An officer whose records do not justify selection for AEPC but who may develop the potential for selection in the next two years.
  • C: An officer who the Board judges has not yet demonstrated the aptitude, or necessary qualities, to be considered for AEPC. Within this category will be officers who lack the appropriate recommendations or who elect not to be considered due to medical or personal reasons.
  • Not Selected for AEPC (NS): It is not anticipated that the use of the NS grade will be a routine occurrence. However, in accordance with BR3 59A this designation provides the Board with the mechanism to identify an officer who it judges does not and will not demonstrate the necessary aptitude and qualities required to undertake AEPC.
  • AEPC Not Required (NR) – OF-3 Only: An OF-3 officer who the Board judges has already successfully demonstrated all the necessary competences that would be gained from completing an AEPC assignment at the OF3 level. This grade is available for the board to award to those OF-3s who have already successfully completed a Full Level J assignment and will therefore have little to gain from undertaking a similar position.

Successful Applicants

In 2017, the total number eligible for the AEPC was 38, of which 6 were selected.

Successful candidates will undertake a Pre-Charge Management Course before assuming their AEPC position.

You can read the full details of the AEPC: FOI 2018-02188 – Air Engineering Professional Command Selection Board (PCSB) (2018-04-04).




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