, commonly abbreviated to P Coy, is a rigerous training and selection organisation based at the Infantry Training Centre
, North Yorkshire
. P Coy run pre-parachute selection courses for trainees in the Parachute Regiment
, all-arms candidates for parachute training (Regular and Territorial). P Coy is also responsible for delivery of the TA Combat Infantrymans Course for candidates for the TA Parachute Battalion, 4 Para.
Pre-parachute selection must be undertaken by all army candidates for parachute training who have not already undergone a strenuous form of training, such as Royal Marines or UK Special Forces.
Training in P Coy culminates in a series of eight tests undertaken over one week.For recruits directly joining the Parachute Regiment, the tests are attempted at week 20 of training, All-Arms candidates attempt the tests after two and a half weeks of build-up training.
Candidates passing the course can then be loaded onto the Basic Parachute Course at RAF Brize Norton.
The 8 Tests
A march conducted as a squad over undulating terrain. Each candidate carries a bergen and a rifle. The march is currently to be completed in 1 hour 50 minutes (TA candidates have 2 hours).
A unique assault course set several metres above the ground, designed to test a candidate's ability to both overcome fear and follow simple orders at considerable height. This is the only event which is a straight pass or fail; all the other events are scored. The total score required to pass is known only to the P Coy staff.
A team event, in which eight men carry a log (a telegraph pole
) weighing 60 kg over 1.9 miles of undulating terrain. This is reckoned to be one of the hardest events.
2 Mile March
An individual effort over of undulating terrain, carrying a bergen (not including water), rifle, combat jacket, and helmet. Regular candidates have 18 minutes, TA candidates have 19 minutes to complete the run.
A cross-country run, followed by an assault course
. Candidates are under a time limit to complete the event.
In this event, each candidate is paired with another of similar size and build, and is given 60 seconds to demonstrate 'controlled physical aggression' in a milling contest - similar to boxing, except neither winning, losing, nor skill are pre-requisites of passing. Candidates are instead scored on their determination, while blocking and dodging result in points deducted. Candidates now wear head protection, and boxing gloves.
20 Mile Endurance March
A squadded march over diverse types of terrain. Candidates carry a bergen and a rifle. The march must be completed in four and a half hours. TA candidates do not participate in this event, due to their reduced opportunity to prepare for the course.
Candidates are divided into teams of 16 men, and have to carry a stretcher over a distance of , each individual candidate wearing webbing and a helmet. No more than four candidates carry the stretcher at any given time, swapping round at regular intervals so that all candidates carry the stretcher for a certain distance.