Introduction to the Candidates Application Process

Key Terms & Definitions

Before proceeding with the Candidates Application Process it is important to understand with crystal clarity the appropriate key terms used when referring to Candidates in the Candidate process. They are as follows:

Prospective Candidate:

A new applicant is viewed as a Prospective Candidate from the moment the application forms have been completed and submitted to the Corps Officer, right up until their file has been tabled or reviewed by the Territorial Candidates Council (TCC).


Once the file has been reviewed by the TCC, this prospective candidate is now officially registered on the roll as a Candidate in the territory.

Not Recommended Candidate:

Not Recommended Candidate means that the journey towards Officership for this person has been stopped, whether by the TCC or through the Candidates Assessment Conference, this candidate ceases to be a candidate any longer.

Recommended Candidate:

Recommended Candidate means that a Candidate has been recommended by the TCC to enter the College for Officer Training (CFOT) for the next session of Cadets. Only the Recommended Candidates will receive the Candidates Badge and collection card.

Deferred Candidate:

A deferred Candidate means that a Candidate needs a little further development or experience before proceeding. This deferral may mean returning to the division for development, support and regular evaluation for a set period of time. Or, the candidate may be invited to enter the Candidate Helper Programme for the period of one year prior to entering the CFOT.

NB: It must be clearly stated that no Candidate is automatically guaranteed entry to the College for Officer Training, even if the Candidate has been recommended for the next session of cadets.


CO: Corps Officer
DC: Divisional Commander
DYO: Div. Youth Officer
TCS: Terr. Candidate Secretary
DCB: Div. Candidates Board
TCC: Terr. Candidates Council
CFOT: College for Officer Training

Candidates Application Process

The Candidate application process now functions or operates as a six step process. The steps or stages are as follows:

Step 1 – Corps Level
Step 2 – Divisional Level
Step 3 – Pre-Assessment Level
Step 4 – Territorial Candidates Council Level
Step 5 – Assessment level
Step 6 – Recommendation Level

Step 1: Corps Level:

There are a number of avenues open to investigate a calling specifically to Officership. Such as through Corps ministry or Corps Officers (CO), the Salvation Army Explore webpage, or through the Divisional Candidates Fellowship/programme. Alternatively, we anticipate that there will soon be special EXPLORE events or meetings hosted in the division or Territory specifically geared for those who have a calling on their life. (Please speak to your respective Divisional Commanders or Divisional Youth Officers, or click here for more information regarding the events mentioned above)

The journey towards Officership begins when an expression of interest is shown by an individual. At this point, the following information and documents are available and should be obtained, from the local Corps Officer or by clicking on this link

(a) Information details Issued:

  • General publicity available for becoming an officer
    Once an individual has confirmed within their own heart and spirit God’s will and calling over their lives, the potential Candidate should visit the Explore website to find out more about becoming a Candidate. The Candidate application forms can be obtained from the Corps Officer or by clicking on the following link (link to forms).

(b) Application Forms (Includes)

  • Personal Information
    Personal information will need to be supplied by each applicant that includes contact details, family history, an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae, matric certificate, estimated financial fees, the applicant’s history in The Salvation Army and a full account of their own calling.
  • Health Assessment (Non-Discriminatory)
    A full medical and dental check-up will have to be carried out by a local GP and dentist. Every detail of the health assessment should be populated and completed and then sent in a sealed envelope to the Divisional Youth Officer (DYO), who will then forward the sealed envelope directly to the Territorial Candidates Secretary (TCS). The health assessment is regarded with the utmost confidentiality and will only be viewed by the TCS and a trusted General Practitioner/doctor. All costs related to the health assessment should be covered by the applicant.
  • SALT Studies Application form (Intro to TSA – Foundation Level)
    Introduction to The Salvation Army (Intro to TSA) and Soldiership are the two SALT study courses that have now been prescribed as mandatory studies for Candidates. It is recommended, that once a prospective Candidate has been interviewed and recommended by the Divisional Candidates Board (DCB), that the SALT application form for Intro to TSA should be completed, signed by the DC and submitted to the Extension Training Officer (ETO) at Territorial Headquarters. There is a registration fee that will need to be paid by the applicant, the details of which can be procured from the ETO. This first course must be completed prior to a Candidate attending the Candidates Assessment conference.The SALT Soldiership course should be applied for immediately after the Candidate Assessment recommendations have been communicated by the TCS, and must be completed prior to entering the CFOT. Failure to do so will result in a Candidate being denied entry to the CFOT.
  • Police Clearance & Form 29 (correct clearance must be obtained)
    There are now two forms required by law for any involvement in ministry to Young people and children. The police clearance form is one of the mandatory documents and can be obtained from any local police station. Form 29 is the other document and can be obtained from the department of social welfare. Both forms are non-negotiable and must be obtained and accompany the other aforementioned application forms.
  • Local Officers assessment (x3 LO’s)
    A minimum of three local Officer (LO) Appraisal forms should be completed in full by Local Officer’s/leaders who know the applicant well. These forms should be completed individually and be an honest reflection and appraisal of the applicant. The CO should then sign each of the LO appraisals, if in agreement with the comments made therein.

(c) What Next?

  • All forms forwarded to Divisional leaders
    Once all forms have been completed and populated by the prospective Candidate, they should be forwarded, via the CO or LO/s, in the absence of a CO, to the DYO.

Step 2: Divisional Level

Once the application has been received by the DYO and communicated to the DC. An invitation to attend a DCB assessment interview will be issued to the applicant by the DYO. A day, time and venue should be secured for the interview, where the following minimum quorum of DCB assessment members should be present to conduct the interview.

(a) Quorum of members for interview:

  • Divisional Commander (Chair)
  • Divisional Candidates Secretary (Secretary)
  • Officers x2
  • Local Officers x2

Interview forms will be individually populated during, or immediately following the interview, by each member the DCB. The DCB then discuss the case and make their recommendation.

NB: No matter what the decision or recommendation of the DCB, the prospective candidate’s application file will be forwarded to the Territorial Candidates Secretary, and a copy kept in the office of the DC/DYO at Divisional headquarters.

At this particular juncture it is important to understand what terms will be used when the DCB make their decision. The terms or definitions used are as follows:

(b) DCB Terms & Definitions: Not Recommended/Recommended/Deferred

Not Recommended:
The DCB, after much deliberation and prayer, may decide that an applicant is not yet ready, or is unsuitable to proceed to Officership. Therefore, Not Recommended means that the applicant will not proceed to Officership. Their file will be forwarded to the TCS and a copy kept at DHQ.

Should a new applicant meet the required competencies and set criteria to proceed to Officership, the prospective candidate will then be Recommended by the DCB. Their file will be forwarded to the TCS and a copy kept at DHQ.

If the prospective Candidate being interviewed by the DCB is Deferred. An individualised and tailored deferral programme should be created by the DCB. This programme should place the prospective Candidate in a suitable environment for their development, assisting them to reach the standard required and develop strengths where necessary, so that the prospective Candidate can proceed further with the application process: Their file will be sent to the TCS and a copy kept at DHQ.

Deferral programme:
Here are a few important details with regards to the Deferral programme:

  • Following the interview: The DCB will meet to ascertain and identify key areas of experience, skills or character of the prospective candidate that need attention or development.
  • Decide on placement: The DCB will also consider if the prospective candidate will receive, from their current Corps, the necessary skills and experience required to develop in the areas of concern. If not, the DCB will decide where the Candidate should serve within the Division, until suitable progress and maturity has been achieved.
  • Divisional Candidates Development Programme: Each division should aim to facilitate and run a localised divisional Candidates fellowship or development programme to train, equip, nurture and encourage each candidate. This programme will encompass a basic practical discipleship course/module, studies on the doctrine, Corps administration and financial training, training and experiential learning in evangelism and ministry, Corps and social leadership development etc.
  • Numeracy and English Literacy courses: One of the greatest challenges facing cadets over the last few years, has been the low level of functional numeracy and literacy. The Franca lingua, or common language of commerce, business, universities and the CFOT is English. Therefore, every potential Candidate needs to have a functional level in English and numeracy prior to entering the CFOT. The intention is that the localised divisional Deferral programme will, in the near future, include suitable studies in numeracy and literacy to meet this challenge.
  • Monthly Interviews: The DCB will also need to ensure that each prospective candidate on the deferral programme is assigned a suitable Supervising Officer (SO). Regular coaching meetings should be held where the SO evaluation interview forms should be completed, filed and forwarded to the DC/DYO and TCS. This evaluation interview form should be reviewed at each DCB to see if any progress has been made and decide if the potential Candidate is ready to proceed to the next step in Candidate Application Process.

(c) The Next Step:

File to be reviewed at TCC
Once a satisfactory result has been obtained, the DCB should then recommend to the TCS that the applicant’s case be changed from Deferred to Recommended and be reviewed at the next TCC. The Applicants file will then be forwarded to the TCS and presented at the TCC.

NB: Application forms are valid for a two year period only – should the deferred Candidate require longer than two years to mature and develop, the applicant will have to submit a new application.

Step 3: Pre-Assessment Level

The Pre-assessment stage is designed to ensure that all outstanding documents and forms have been submitted to the TCS, and all other requirements have been met. Prior to the case being reviewed by the TCC, the TCS ensures that the following documents and forms have been received:

a) General Medical Results & recommendation from the GP (Completed and submitted)
b) Original Police Clearance & Form 29 Documents (Completed and submitted)
c) Educational Assessment of SALT studies

I. Intro to TSA Lessons received and Exam completed.
II. Second SALT foundational course issued to Candidate (Soldiership)

Step 4: Case/s presented to TCC

Once all the requirements of the pre-assessment have been achieved. The prospective candidate’s case will be presented to the TCC by the TCS for approval to proceed to the Candidates Assessment Conference. The prospective candidate is now officially registered on the role as a candidate.

NB: There is no guarantee that the TCC will recommend every new applicant to proceed to the Candidates Assessment Conference. In some cases, the candidate may be Not Recommended for Officership, in which case the journey ends, or the candidate will be deferred back to the division for further assistance.

Step 5: Assessment Level (Candidate Assessment Conference)

(a) Invitation to Candidates Assessment Conference:

Once you have been registered as a Candidate, an essential part of the process of acceptance is that you are required to attend a Candidates Assessment Conference. During which you will be interviewed and assessed on your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical suitability for Officership. Issues pertaining to your health & medical history, financial position, academic standard, spiritual maturity, practical ministry skills, as well as your basic psychological profile will be reviewed during this four day assessment conference.

The assessment conference is usually held at the College for Officer Training based at Territorial Headquarters in Johannesburg. As well as panel interviews, you will be required to complete the following battery of tests and assessments.

  • Psychological testing
  • Medical review (Feedback from health assessment results)
  • ELSA test (Online English Literacy Skills Assessment)
  • Educational  (General Knowledge, Theology)
  • Team Building assessment

(b) Faculty Recommendations to TCC:

Once the conference has finished, the assessment faculty will discuss each case and make their recommendations to the TCC. It is important to note that the Assessment faculty are not a decision making body but are there to assist the TCC in making their final recommendations where Candidates are concerned.

Step 6: TCC Level (TCC Final Recommendations)

The TCC will meet the week following the candidates Assessment Conference and make their final recommendations with regard to each Candidate, to recommend, not recommend or defer.

In this final part of the process, once the TCC has made their recommendation, the TCS will communicate the decision of the TCC with the DC/DYO and the candidate. Recommended Candidates will receive their Candidate badge & collection card in order to prepare for entering the next session of cadets at the CFOT.

In some instances a Candidate may be deferred and placed on the Candidate Worker Programme (CWP) for a period of one year. Only Candidates with a few minor challenges or development issues will be asked to enter the CWP in order to prepare them for the CFOT. A Candidate entering the CWP will be required to sign the CWP undertakings (Link to Undertakings here). Other deferred Candidates will be asked to return to the division for further development.

NB: It should be reiterated that a recommendation from the TCC does not guarantee a Candidate will enter the CFOT. In much the same way that a cadet at the CFOT is not guaranteed that they will be commissioned at the conclusion of their training.

Follow us

Latest News