Armed Forces: Conditions of Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the length is of the defined return of service period by role in the (a) British Army, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) Royal Navy.

Answered on

16 December 2021

The following information has been provided by the single Services.

British Army

Returns of service (RoS) are not directly linked to roles. However, recruits and soldiers wishing to enter certain trades and career paths may be required to complete specified training courses to do so and then become subject to a return of service.

Royal Air Force (RAF)

The Initial Training RoS required of Aviators (RAF Service personnel), following their initial Phase 2 professional training, is three years for most personnel and six years for Aircrew. The RoS are not focused on the role an individual is undertaking, but based on the training provided to an individual in order to seek a return on the investment made by the Ministry of Defence in the individual. In addition to an Initial Training RoS, personnel may attend additional training courses throughout their career, some of which also carry a Training RoS requirement.

Naval Service

Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel are required to complete a RoS if they have undertaken a course of funded training, taken up a secondment or placement within industry or been assigned into a designated command appointment. Training falls into two areas: initial training, undertaken by Officers, Ratings and Other Ranks prior to joining the trained strength; and further training, undertaken by those who have joined the trained strength.

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