Navy: Recruitment

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Steve Rotheram Steve Rotheram Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will undertake a review of the medical criteria for applying for positions within the Royal Navy to prevent the exclusion of people with (a) autism and (b) ADHD.

Photo of Julian Brazier Julian Brazier The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

It is our policy that all Armed Forces personnel should be recruited to be fully fit for deployment worldwide on operations. For this reason, the Services do not recruit personnel with existing medical conditions which may adversely impact on the effectiveness of the Armed Forces, or which may themselves be exacerbated by military circumstances.

Whilst those diagnosed with autism are excluded from joining the Services on medical grounds, those individuals suffering mild or entirely non-disabling Asperger’s Syndrome may meet the entry standards following an assessment by an occupational health physician and gaining a favourable assessment after pre-entry tests of suitability for military service.

Recruitment may be permitted for those with ADHD where there is no history of violence or delinquent behaviour, there has been a period of more than three years freedom from symptoms and the candidate has been off all treatment for three years prior to application and is functioning normally.

The medical entry criteria undergo a rolling programme of revision and that for autism and ADHD have recently been reviewed. Unless new evidence is brought to our attention there is no requirement for a further review at this time.

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