The Candidacy Process | Explore the calling of Officership
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the candidacy process


Candidates for officership go through a six-step process to final preparation as an officer.

Step 1


1 Expression of interest phasePeople can ‘put up their hand’ for officership in many ways—through a conversation with the corps officer (CO), at an event like Summer Carnival or by filling out an expression of interest form. The corps officer is the first port of call when exploring officership and other forms of ministry in The Salvation Army.  When the time is appropriate, the corps officer undertakes a formal interview with those exploring the option of officership.  From there, a potential candidate will enter the intention to apply phase. This begins with the completion of a self-assessment tool.

Step 33 development phase

The candidate appraisal affirms a person’s strengths and identifies areas needing development, which can then be addressed through the development plan. Regular meetings with a mentor are a must.
Other development activities may include leadership experience, becoming a senior soldier and formal studies. Every development plan is customised to the individual. The divisional candidates council reviews a progress report on the development plan to determine whether the candidate is ready to advance to the application phase.

Step 5


5 Assessment Phase

Stage 2 of psychological screening is conducted in Melbourne, with non-Victorian candidates flown in for the day. Further tests are followed by an in-depth interview with a psychologist.
From across the territory, a number of officers have been selected and trained to participate in the new candidates assessment panel. In order to bring ‘fresh eyes’ to the application, the three-person panel is made up of those who have, ideally, no previous knowledge of the candidate.
Panel members review all application forms, recommendations and reports, as they prepare to interview the candidate on behalf of the territory. The assessment panel interview can take between two-three hours, with calling, leadership and resilience just some of the areas covered. Panel members then prepare their summary and recommendation report.
The application is brought before the territorial candidates council. With access to all recommendations, interview notes and other documents, council members carefully weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the application in making the decision to accept a candidate for training as an officer.

Step 2

2 Intention to apply phase

The self-assessment tool looks at some of the unique challenges of officership, which are followed up in conversation with the divisional candidates secretary.
This phase also includes completion of an integrity check and an intention to apply form. Based on the divisional candidates secretary’s recommendation, the divisional candidates council will decide whether to confirm the individual’s intention to apply. If they do so, the applicant is now considered a candidate for officership.

Step 4


4 Application PhasePsychological screening stage 1 involves testing and an interview with a psychologist.
The candidate completes application papers, medical check and statement of financial position. Pre-college studies need to be commenced, if not already underway.
Recommendations are sought from the CO and other leaders at the corps, and reference checks conducted. The divisional leader/s also provide their recommendation, after personally meeting with the candidate.
The divisional candidates council prayerfully considers whether the application should advance to the assessment phase.

Step 6

6 Final Preparation

The Accepted Candidates Weekend is a great opportunity to meet other soon-to-be cadets and training staff.
Pre-college studies need to be completed in between packing. For those with kids, there’s childcare and school to sort out. For all accepted candidates, there’s Austudy and Fee-Help applications to fill in.
It’s time for farewells from the corps and division, before entering Catherine Booth College’s School for Officer Training.
Following Jesus is not an easy path, but is an amazing and fulfilling adventure empowered by the Holy Spirit. We don’t do this journey alone. Jesus has promised never to leave us and the body of Christ is always available to encourage, build up and give wisdom. Those who are considering officership need the prayer support of the body of Christ.  If you sense God calling you to use your leadership for God’s glory as a Salvation Army officer, fill out the expression of interest form.