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  • FAQ

    Please note that some of these originate from late 2008 so pay etc may have increased since;

    Q: Please could you supply a complete list of the pay scales for each rank above 3rd Officer and each yearly increment as is usually available for police and military services?

    A: Only by post.
    Very Roughly:
    Capt. 55-65k
    C/O 45-55k
    1/O 35-45k
    2/O 30-40k
    3O Starting ?25,500
    3rd Year ?15,477
    2nd Year ?13,637
    1st Year ?12,800
    Starting ?12,078 (FD)


    NB: In adition to the salaries shown, all RFA peronnel receive an annual allowance of ?3,077 in recognition of the specialised work they carry out. This is paid monthly with salary, so in effect, you can add that to the rates quoted.


    Q: How quickly can you realistically get promoted?

    A: Probably about once every 4 or 5 years, if you're good.


    Q: What do the "classes" mean?

    A:
    The "class" refers to the class of Certificate of Competency held.
    Class I = Chief Engineer ticket
    Class II = Second Engineer ticket
    Class III = Engineering OOW ticket
    Class IV I think was an older/lesser OOW ticket. New CoCs do not refer to "class" in this sense but it is still used for the RFA pay scale. It appears in the pay scales to reward professional development.

    The deck equivalents are:
    Class I = Master's ticket
    Class II = Chief Mate's ticket
    Class III = OOW ticket


    Q: The sponsorship deal seems to mirror the RN UG sponsorship deal:
    http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.6253
    Is that so?


    A: Don't know.


    Q: Is it possible to train for both the ME and SE specialisms and other skills, even if that would not make a transfer across streams possible.

    A: You cannot transfer from one speciality to another and additional quals will not make any difference to that. There are various training courses necessary to gain promotion but these would be specific to the branch.

    NOTE: It has been stated since the original post that this is NOT the case, and that transfer IS possible.


    Q: Are you able to do distance learning (OU, college of the sea, etc...) for pleasure and career development?

    A: You would certainly have the opportunity and encouragement to achieve higher quals in your chosen field.

    NB: We don't know if this means support to get OU MEng degrees; or EngTech, IEng, and CEng certificates, but some RN officers have them...


    Q: Can you provide info about the syllabus contents; and how long each phase is.

    A: You can get a rough idea from here: http://smile.solent.ac.uk/SI_Content/un ... tfiles.asp


    Q: What's the SE (Systems Engineer) deal?

    A: If you already hold an HND or Degree in Electrical or Electronic engineering you may apply to enter as a qualified Systems Engineer officer. Direct entry systems engineers would enter at 3rd officer level, current salary ?26,284.
    New entries attend a 6 week course at BRNC Dartmouth, followed by a course specific to RFA systems on the ships, held at HMS Sultan in Gosport (I believe it is 5 months).
    After this you would go to sea - trips are for 4 moths followed by 3 months leave. Pay is increased each year up to a maximum of ?34,503 as 3rd Officer.
    Promotion is dependant upon appraisal reports. At Dartmouth and Sultan, as an officer, you would be accommodated in the Royal Naval officers mess (Wardroom). You are paid as a full officer from day one of your appointment.


    Q: How long does a cadetship last?

    A: Cadetships are approximately 3 years (although if choosing engineering, with a relevent degree this would probably be shortened, as you would already have a lot of the academic content, but of course you would still need to put this into practice at sea).

    NB: Warsash say that regardless of prior qualifications, you have to complete the whole course.


    Q: How much time do you spend at sea whilst on a cadetship?

    A: The training is split into college and sea phases (5 phases for engineers, 7 for deck) and at the end of the cadetship, as well as a foundation degree you would achieve the necessary Maritime & Coastguard certification to stand watches on a vessel. Currently as a cadet you would start on ?11,632 rising each year of training until qualified as 3rd officer with ?25,277. Again, prmotion is dependant upon appraisals but also in gaining additional MCA certification.


    Q: Where do you live during your cadetship? Are you "allowed" or "encouraged" or "required" to live out from the beginning of year 2 onwards when at college? (i.e.: is there pressure on accommodation space? or is it no problem or guaranteed that you can remain where you are if you want to?)

    A: For the first college phase students are required to live in halls of residence, after that they make their own arrangements if they wish. On board ship cadets share cabins of either 2 or 4; qualified officers of course have single cabins.
    Accommodation costs are currently ?96 per week including Breakfast and dinner included. Cadet's have to live in on their first year and are allowed to live out (rented accommodation) from year 2 onwards when at college. There are no accommodation or food charges whilst on board.


    Q: How do you qualify for tax free earnings (SED and FED)?

    A: A person who spends 6 months of any one year out of the country MAY be eligible for a tax rebate for that year. This does not necessarily happen frequently and should be considered as a possible bonus not a foregone conclusion.

    NB: You can only qualify for tax free earnings for one year (not consecutive years) if you only spend 182 days in the UK (within 12 miles of the coast) and visit at least one foreign port. In order to qualify for consecutive years you have to spend less than 90 days in the UK for each consecutive year in a five year period, by spending most shore leave in a non-EU country that does not tax your world income, or buying residency in a tiny tax haven country probably... it's fiddly, get advice from a company like this one (there are others): http://www.seatax.ltd.uk/newsDtls.aspx?id=52


    Q: What pension is available?

    A: The Civil Service pension is available, with a contribution of 3.5% of salary and there is a good welfare support system in place to assist personnel and their families. NUVOS or the other one... [link needed].
    The RFA is a civilian organisation, not part of the armed forces and we would hope that our entrants anticipate a full career - currently retirement is possible at 60, but 65 is the normal age (subject to health) and as the RFA is governed by Ministry of Defence (Civilian) legislation, employment up to 70 may be a future option.

    NB: Do you have to chose one of these, or can you find your own?!


    Q: Do RFA personnel and their families qualify for the same free medical and dental treatment as the RN?

    A: !


    Q: Terms and Conditions?

    A: Terms & Conditions are civilian and in accordance with merchant navy legislation, but with the additional requirement to sign up to a "Sponsored Reserve" status with the Royal Navy, as RFA ships do go into conflct zones in the course of their duties and need some additional protection and legal status for the crew. SR status means that you become an RNR recruit as soon as you enter troubled waters (cue Led Zeppelin riff...). It affords you protection under the Geneva Convention of POWs.


    Q: Can a Systems Engineer Officer gain promotion to Chief Engineer and are there any qualifications that would help you get promoted?

    A: Only as a C/O (SE); not as a C/O (ME) of a ship... but we wait the future Platform Engineer thing with baited breath!


    Q: How about keeping fit and slim on board, do the ships have gymns an fitness regimes?

    A: Decent gyms: a couple of jogging machines; rowing machines; maybe some weights (?); not too busy unless the USCG come for a visit.


    Q: Do you get any recognised qualifications from your training at HMS Sultan?

    A: No.


    Q: What do you do at the BRNC course?

    A: Leadership and teamwork training, and RN knowledge.

    NB: We don't know how mixed-up with the RN cadets this training is.


    Q: How much free time; and how often can you get away to see friends and family whilst training.

    A: Free to go home most weekends; but not all.


    Q: What's the recruitment schedule?

    A: You ask for a form; fill it in; post it off. You then get a date for a preliminary test at an AFCO. If successful you get an AIB time scheduled, and some more info sent about it to prepare. If successful at that, you attend a 7-week course at BRNC in the following June; then have a break and start college in September.


    Q: How fit do you have to be to pass AIB?

    A: You ought to be able to pass the sort of test a policeman or fireman has to... the good old bleep test. But you will get marks for visibly pushing yourself to the point of miocardular infarction, gurning in pain, and collapsing in a sweaty pool of blood, puke, and tears on the gymn floor.
    Forum Admin

  • #2
    Re: FAQ

    I've got a lot more on this...

    Perhaps you could make a list of contents for the RFA section of the wiki, ready for when I get the skin sorted?
    Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: FAQ

      Originally posted by hontoir
      Please note that some of these originate from late 2008 so pay etc may have increased since;

      Q: Please could you supply a complete list of the pay scales for each rank above 3rd Officer and each yearly increment as is usually available for police and military services?

      A: Only by post.
      Bull****! Pay scales and allowances are available as an Excel spreadsheet and have been for years. Which useless **** in the office told you that?

      Obviously I don't have a copy at home or I'd paste it up.

      Q: What do the "classes" mean?

      A:
      The "class" refers to the class of Certificate of Competency held.
      Class I = Chief Engineer ticket
      Class II = Second Engineer ticket
      Class III = Engineering OOW ticket
      Class IV I think was an older/lesser OOW ticket. New CoCs do not refer to "class" in this sense but it is still used for the RFA pay scale. It appears in the pay scales to reward professional development.

      The deck equivalents are:
      Class I = Master's ticket
      Class II = Chief Mate's ticket
      Class III = OOW ticket
      HNC = Class 4 payscale, HND = Class 3, unless it's changed. There was a bit of a stooshy about this with HND 3rd mates being wrongly put on the Class 4. But if you're a baby purser you start on Class 1 equivalent pay, 'cos that's fair and equitable innit!

      Q: Where do you live during your cadetship? Are you "allowed" or "encouraged" or "required" to live out from the beginning of year 2 onwards when at college? (i.e.: is there pressure on accommodation space? or is it no problem or guaranteed that you can remain where you are if you want to?)

      A: For the first college phase students are required to live in halls of residence, after that they make their own arrangements if they wish. On board ship cadets share cabins of either 2 or 4; qualified officers of course have single cabins.
      This should not be taken to indicate that cadets always share cabins. Some cadet cabins are single berth. I have never seen more than 2 per cabin and AIUI the 4 berth cabins were being reduced to 2 berths. These answers were written by a moron.

      [color=#0000BF]
      NB: You can only qualify for tax free earnings for one year (not consecutive years) if you only spend 182 days in the UK (within 12 miles of the coast) and visit at least one foreign port. In order to qualify for consecutive years you have to spend less than 90 days in the UK for each consecutive year in a five year period, by spending most shore leave in a non-EU country that does not tax your world income, or buying residency in a tiny tax haven country probably... it's fiddly, get advice from a company like this one (there are others): http://www.seatax.ltd.uk/newsDtls.aspx?id=52
      Tron, did you write this bit? It's wrong. Mostly wrong.

      The RFA is a civilian organisation, not part of the armed forces and we would hope that our entrants anticipate a full career - currently retirement is possible at 60, but 65 is the normal age (subject to health) and as the RFA is governed by Ministry of Defence (Civilian) legislation, employment up to 70 may be a future option.
      Normal retirement age is/was 60 but thanks to age discrimination etc. there is no longer a forced retirement age. Pension reaches maximum after 40 years service so if you work beyond that, you're a mug. Or have a high-roller lifestyle to support.

      Q: Do RFA personnel and their families qualify for the same free medical and dental treatment as the RN?

      A: !
      No. You get "emergency" medical treatment. In fact the med-tech (paramedic) onboard can deal with minor complaints and will refer you to a doctor ashore if required. If in a foreign port this will be paid for by the RFA, as will medevac if necessary. Medevac to include being flown directly off an operational ship by helicopter if required. There are a couple of private healthcare providers specialising in or giving heavy discounts to civil servants.

      Q: Terms and Conditions?

      A: Terms & Conditions are civilian and in accordance with merchant navy legislation, but with the additional requirement to sign up to a "Sponsored Reserve" status with the Royal Navy, as RFA ships do go into conflct zones in the course of their duties and need some additional protection and legal status for the crew. SR status means that you become an RNR recruit as soon as you enter troubled waters (cue Led Zeppelin riff...). It affords you protection under the Geneva Convention of POWs.
      You don't need to be SR to be protected by the Geneva Conventions but they make all new employees sign up to SR anyway.

      Q: Can a Systems Engineer Officer gain promotion to Chief Engineer and are there any qualifications that would help you get promoted?

      A: Only as a C/O (SE); not as a C/O (ME) of a ship... but we wait the future Platform Engineer thing with baited breath!
      Chief Engineer is Capt(E), not C/O(E). C/O(E) is MEO/"2nd Engineer" in naval/merchant parlance. If you're qualled up the yazoo you could be both SEO and MEO at different times, it has happened, but maybe under an older regime.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: FAQ

        I've got a (hard) copy!... 3 years old, but the relative amounts should be about the same.

        The author might be 1/O SE!

        Steve... look at TOOTP for Megalopteron and promsan dialogues on this... they could have been edited...
        Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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