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Title:PERSONNEL SELECTION IN THE BRITISH ARMY: OFFICERS [Main Title]
Film Number:UKY 591A
Other titles:REPORT FROM BRITAIN No 3 [Alternative Title]
REPORT FROM BRITAIN [Series Title]
Summary: A detailed study of the work of the War Office Selection Board in selecting candidates for officer training. Eight officer candidates from varying backgrounds, but all apparently in their late teens, are observed as they go through a variety of tests and interviews. It appears from the credits that although what is shown is unrehearsed this was not the actual interview process for those candidates.
Description: The selection panel is led by a president and vice president advised by four Military Testing Officers who are looking at the candidates' spontaneous behaviour, a psychiatrist who is looking at possible personal problems and a psychologist who is looking at personality in general.
The candidates start with written tests. They are then observed in a number of situations, the first being group leaderless ones to observe who comes up with ideas and who naturally takes the lead. The first situation is a group discussion, followed by a group task, pretending to be prisoners of war escaping, followed by a team obstacle course.
The President interviews Robert Kenneth Thomson (No. 4) about his background and schooling, general ambitions in life, and touching on his interest in communications and wish to join the Signals. In view of that interest he is also given a rather basic technical interview.
The candidates move on to a leaderless semi-group test with the emphasis more on the individual in smaller groups. It is an obstacle course with challenges such as crossing a gas contaminated road. Notice is taken of how the men treat each other i.e. are there natural leaders who command respect?
As individuals the candidates do an obstacle course planning which obstacles to tackle (each of which has a value) and estimating the score they expect to receive. The MTO is looking for effectiveness or co-ordination of efforts with good reports for those who set themselves a high standard and make a determined attempt to achieve it.
In the Command Scenario each candidate is given a chance to be in command showing how they deal with people and things.
The psychiatrist sees candidates where there are doubts, disagreements within the selection board and even some obviously suitable candidates. One discussion, with candidate No. 8, focuses on his being accident prone, his claustrophobia and nightmares.
Finally the Board meets and compares its assessments and reaches a decision on each candidate. Their decisions are monitored within the officer training programme and as the successful candidates become officers in the field to assess the effectiveness of the selection tests procedures and observations.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Shell Film Unit (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 3
Footage: 3448 ft; Running time: 87 mins
Notes: Summary: Analyst identified by Institute of Psychiatry as possibly John Rickman. (KG 19/10/2006) or Dr Emmanuel Miller (letter of Ms Sarah Miller 30-4-1986)
SKC 480 consists of longer versions of the interviews with Candidate No. 4 contained within this title.
Candidate No. 4 ( Robert Kenneth Thomson) answers to the name Sergeant McNaughton in SKC 480.
There appears to be some material missing from the beginning of Reel 3.