Purpose of the Type S Engagement
The British Army uses the Type S engagement for all officer pre-career service and in some cases to afford Army Reserve soldiers an opportunity for Regular service.
Direct Entry Officers
All those who are not in Regular service are attested to a Type S engagement on entry to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) – the officer training establishment – and bursars of all forms serve on one until completion of initial officer training which is the point of commissioning.
Late Entry Officers
Those commissioned from the ranks remain on their Versatile Engagement (VEng) while at RMAS (refer to Late Entry Commissioning Process).
Terms and Conditions of Service
Type S engagements relate to soldier service and as such are described at Soldier Terms of Service Part 3 para 01.081 – 01.084. While the description is generic the key points are:
- They can be for a specified and tailored period of time between 6 months and 12 years;
- Potential Officer Candidates are enlisted on this engagement (as it is a pre-career grouping) prior to initial officer training;
- Importantly for bursars this engagement does not attract a Reserve liability;
There is no right to change to another soldier engagement; and
- Their utility for Professionally Qualified Officer Medical Bursars is that it enables periods of pre-career service.
Soldier Terms of Service was released in July 2020 and was the collation of a plethora of soldier policy, in this case AGAI 46 Regular Soldier Terms of Service which would have applied from 2016.
- The Type S Engagement is extant, and falls under the provisions of Army Terms of Service Regulations 2007 which is accessible at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/3382/contents/made.
- The customisable length is what makes it useful for pre-career service, though this is not its only use (re-joiners sometimes re-enlist on a Type S).
- When considering a bursary to be provided to a potential officer, the Army can provide a regular non-commissioned engagement matched to their expected degree length with the flexibility to extend where there is a Service need (e.g. delayed entry to RMAS on completion of studies).
- That it is a regular engagement allows the Service Personnel (SP) to make the obligations and receive the benefits of regular service (i.e. salaried pay).
- The SP has no right to leave until they are at the four-year point of their engagement.
- As regular soldiers, SP can be subject to Returns of Service where a specific incentive is provided.
- For a financial incentive this could be up to 6 years.
- Refer to The Queen’s Regulations for the Army, Chapter 9.