All about Ratings entry into the Royal Navy/Royal Marines


War Hero
Follow the link for a guide to the Selection Process:

Selection process

Admininstration Tips to ensure your selection runs smoothly:


Ú¤ FULLY complete & return all application forms- Check Full postal addresses of nominated referees.

Ú¤ Pass Recruiting Test

Ú¤ Pass Selection Interview

Ú¤ Return FULLY completed Security Questionnaire- must be BLACK ink, covering a full 5 years of previous addresses of yourself & parents (& partner, if applicable)

Ú¤ Pass eyesight test (Ideally before medical)

Ú¤ Pass Medical

Ú¤ Ensure both references are completed & returned by your nominated referees- CHECK.

Ú¤ Pass Pre-Joining Fitness Test

Ú¤ Pass Selection Boards (Nurses, Musicians & Royal Marines only)
Ú¤ Provide 4 X colour passport photographs.

Ú¤ Return all completed entry documentation upon receipt- do not delay

Ú¤ Possess a valid passport- CHECK



War Hero
Re: How to join the Royal Navy/Royal Marines

leeblease said:
During the application process I couldnt find any info about what to expect at each stage so Ive decided to share my experiences so far.

Apologies for grammatical errors, its saturday afternoon and Ive been on the cider.

My Guide to the Royal Navy Selection Process

Step 1
Informal chat with a careers officer.

Pop into your local armed forces careers office (AFCO), all this is an informal chat were you can discuss your options and ask any questions that you want to know. You don’t have to sign anything, and you’re not obliged to go back if you decide the navy is not for you.

They will give you an application form and some information on branches (Jobs) that you have shown an interest in. Discuss branches that YOU are interested in, don’t get pushed into a branch you don’t want to be in.

You don’t have to wear a suit but its worth looking smart, first impressions are very important.

Step 2
Application Form

Fill this in using a BLACK ball point pen. Read it very carefully and make sure you understand what it is asking you before you fill it in. It might be worth photocopying it and having a practice copy. This might sound daft but in my opinion you look a **** if you have to go back and ask for another copy.

You will need the following:
National Insurance Number
NHS medical number
Birth Certificate
Driving Licence (If you have one)
Educational Certificates

Make sure you have these when you go to return your application form to the AFCO, as they will need to take copies.

It’s worth buying a folder to keep all this stuff in because it shows that you’re organised and it’s harder to lose it.

After your application has been processed you will be invited to the Aptitude test.

Step 3
Aptitude Test

This is were the panic usually sets in, there is no need to panic it is NOT difficult. For most people you will have just done your GCSEs, I found it easier than that.

The test consists of a 4 part written exam (multiple choice) so you’ve got a 1 in 5 chance of getting each question correct.

The 4 parts are:
Verbal Ability
Mechanical Comprehension

You will be given a Procedures and Practice Test Booklet, read this very carefully and complete the practice tests. They are in the same format as the real test.

The test is timed, do not keep looking at your watch, this will waste time just hit the questions hard and get as many done as you can, if you don’t know the answer and you think your running out of time just guess it, remember you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting it right. Usually in multiple choice exams there are a few answers that you can easily tell are not right, just use some common sense.

After the exam you will watch video about life at HMS Raleigh whilst they collate your results. Watch this very carefully as it will help you in the interview when they ask you about what you know about HMS Raleigh.

They will tell you straight away what you results are. If you got an acceptable mark for your branch of choice, you will be invited to attend an interview, if your not then you will discuss other branch options with an advisor.

You will be told to get an eye test done before the interview, they will give you a list of places that do it free, if you cant get into one of these you can claim your money back, I think its about £20 for a test, I got my money back within a fortnight.

Step 4

Again it arse twitching time! But there really is no need to panic, I was shitting it but I found it very relaxed and informal, more like chatting to a bloke on the bus than an interview.

Very important things to do before you attend the interview:
Make sure you have researched the branch that you want to join. You can do this by searching on the net, speaking to people, reading the literature form the AFCO. You’re going to look a twat if they ask what your job entails, and you don’t know.

Make sure you know what happens at HMS Raleigh, they will ask you about this.
Go the extra mile and learn about naval history, it looks good if they ask.
Learn some basic facts about the Navy:
Who is the first Sea Lord?
What types of ships they have?
What Operations are the Navy currently deployed on?

They will ask you questions about:
Your family life
Your pastimes
What clubs have you been involved in?
What’s your fitness like?
What sort of education have you had?
Why do you want to join the navy?
Financial commitments

There are no trick questions they are just trying to paint a picture of your life to see if you are suited to the navy life. They don’t want and divs!

Make sure you look very smart for the interview; wear a suit, if you can’t get one get a shirt, tie, trousers and shoes. Go to Tesco or ASDA, you don’t have to spend a fortune to look smart. During your time in the navy you will be judged on your appearance all the time, so you need to show them now that you can scrub up.

Get there a little bit early, plan you your route to the AFCO, DO NOT be late!

Don’t try and bull shit your way through it, you will lose.

They will tell you on the day if you are successful.

Step 5

Cough please! This tends to worry a lot of people, including myself.
Right then you will be given a sample bottle to splash your load in when you arrive at the medical centre. Make sure you haven’t been on the ale the night before.

Firstly I got tested for Hearing, Colour Blindness, Blood Pressure, Lung capacity, then you get weighed and they measure your height. All very straight forward.

Then a doctor examined me. You have to strip down to your trolleys for this, its not embarrassing, remember he sees it every day.

He made me bend my legs, stand on one foot, bend my arms, do a push up, do a sit up, and do a squat thrust. They just check to see if all your joints are ok. He had a look at my chest with a stethoscope, looked in my ears and mouth.

Now then this is were some of you might start to get nervous, the old cough and drop! I didn’t have to do it, but he did have a quick look at my old soldier, he didn’t get his hands on it and give it a shake or anything like that, just a quick glance.

Pop your kit back on and answer a few simple questions about your health.

One thing worth mentioning, which I learnt from experience is that the safe alcohol limit is no more than 21units a week for a male. Don’t tell them you have any more, because they will put you on an alcohol diary for 6 weeks and you will have to have a liver function test.


Its all straight forward nothing embarrassing, don’t worry about it.

Step 6
Fitness Test

Run 1.5miles/2.4km on a treadmill in a gym in the set times for your age.

This is easy if you can’t do it there’s something wrong. Make sure you can do it before you go, you only have 2 or 3 attempts.

The AFCO will give you a list of fitness centres to book your test. You have to book it, it doesn’t cost anything.

They will run you through some warm ups and then you have to do the test on a treadmill.

It’s worth going to a gym and getting used to running on a treadmill because if you’ve never been on one before it can be a little strange.

I did it 10m17s.

Step 7
The waiting Game

This is where I am at the moment I am waiting for my security clearance and provisional joining dates. I am off in as ET (WE). Can’t wait!

Good luck, I hope this helps. :thumright:


War Hero
Re: All about Ratings entry into the Royal Navy/Royal Marine

stufish said:
Hi All,

I have finished the RN recruitment process and I'm just waiting my final interview before leaving on the 3rd of December 2007. I thought I would write down my experiences and the information I have found to help anyone else following along this path in future.

Is the Royal Navy for you? Well there is only one way to find out and that's to pop down to your local RN recruitment centre and make some enquires. Don't be apprehensive about doing this you can change your mind even up to the morning your due to start and no one will make it hard for you or try to make you feel bad about your change of heart.

I would advise you to take a good look over the jobs on offer and have an idea of which roles interest you. Because how are you going to ask the right questions about the job so that you can find out if it’s for you if you have no clue what job you'd like to do. I jest you not during the first presentation I attended at the RN carriers centre in London when asked one guy said that he wanted to be a "fighter on a ship" oh dear!

You can find all the roles here use the button in the top left with jobs written on it.

The application form you have to fill out are pretty straight forward, you may have to refer to the same information quite a few times so it worth getting all your documents together and say keeping them in a large brown envelope.

I would expect the application process to take around six month from start
to starting basic training.

You will have to complete a Psychometric Testing as part of your application and this is done at your local careers centre. I would advise getting this book "Practice Tests for the Armed Forces: Entry Level (Succeed at Psychometric Testing)" you should be able to get it from any good book store or if not you can order it from ISBN-10: 0340926554 ISBN-13: 978-0340926550. This test is nothing to worry about as long as you take a couple of weeks and go over all sections in the book and the sample sheet you get from the RN recruitment centre you will be fine.

Fitness Standards for the Royal Navy come in two parts. The Pre-joining Fitness test and the Royal Navy Fitness test. The Pre-joining fitness test is as is says the level of fitness you have to achieve to begin your basic training and is as follows.

The Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) must be completed before you will be accepted for training; this consists of a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a selected civilian fitness test centre which must be completed within the following times:

Age Male PJFT Female PJFT
15 - 24 12 mins 20 secs 14 mins 35 secs
25 - 29 12 mins 48 secs 15 mins 13 secs
30 - 34 13 mins 18 secs 15 mins 55 secs
35 - 39 13 mins 49 secs 16 mins 40 secs

I would highly recommend getting down to one of your local fitness centre and practise running on a treadmill, running on one it an art form of it own. I would also make sure you can beat the time required twice in three days with a day’s break in-between. You will probably find like I did, you will smash all previous times on the day as adrenaline rush will push you on that bit harder.

The Royal Navy Fitness test will be completed as part of your basic training and you will be required to pass to complete the train and pass out. It's as follows.

In order that you complete Phase One Training, you must pass the Royal Navy Fitness Test (RNFT) which, like the Pre-Joining Fitness Test is run of 2.4 km in length and formally assessed in Week 5. However unlike the Pre-Joining Fitness Test, the Royal Navy Fitness Test is run on a track outdoors and the times are more demanding. (see table below)

Age Male RNFT Female RNFT
15 - 24 11 mins 13 secs 13 mins 15 secs
25 - 29 11 mins 38 secs 13 mins 50 secs
30 - 34 12 mins 05 secs 14 mins 28 secs
35 - 39 12 mins 34 secs 15 mins 09 secs

During your training at HMS Raleigh you will also be required to pass a series of physical tests looking at cardiovascular and upper-body strength. These will vary in length and complexity and will be challenging for most individuals. The exercises are carried out using modern controlled techniques and required scores are determined by gender only.

Exercise Male Female
Press Ups 23 17
Sit Ups 39 29
5 x 55 metres Shuttle Run 59 secs 72 secs

I would strongly advise you to train for these time even for your PJFT, also make sure you can complete these time running outside as its much more challenging than running on a treadmill, in fact I wouldn't bother running on a treadmill again once you have completed the PJFT.

Note: don't let the rain or bad weather stop you running your PTI's will take great pleasure in making run in all kinds of bad weather so best get used to it.

I have been told that squat thrusts also are included in the RNFT so make sure you practice them as again they take a little getting used to. Make sure you can do two sets of 50.

I have chatted to a few recruits who have been through basic in the last couple of months and they all say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the training.

Fitness Programme:
Once you are accepted and get your start date you should complete the 8 week training program, I’d suggest following it from day one of your training for your PJFT. For some reason most people I have spoken too didn't get the training program until a few weeks before they were due to start which makes it hard to complete 8 weeks’ worth. It has some good info on stretching warming up and warming down. Follow it you will avoid getting injured.

More examples of stretches for running

So here it is

While your training make sure your eating right, there is some good information here:

Plus losing a little weight will make it easier to run and put less stress on your joints.

In your first week you will be required to complete the Military Swimming Test (whilst wearing overalls you must demonstrate that you can tread water for 2 minutes, swim for 40 metres in 4 minutes and exit from the pool unaided).

It is highly recommended that your swimming ability is at a level prior to joining so that you can pass this test soon after arrival at the Recruit School. However, if you're unable to, there is no need to panic. The Physical Training staff conduct extra swimming lessons 3 times a week with the opportunity to take (and hopefully pass!) the Military Swimming Test at each session. Recruits are required to pass the test in order to complete Phase One training.

Most people complete this test using breast stroke, so I'd train for that. Most local swimming pools will allow you to wear a t-shirt in the pool to help with training but make sure you ask and make sure it’s a clean one.

Kit List:
You will also be required to purchase a number of items to take with you for your basic training; you can find that list in the link below.

Something that's not listed I've been told is quite useful is a bar of Vanish soap for washing your clothes with.

If you’re wondering what day to day life is like while your training there is a recruits training diary and you can find it in the link below.

The rates of pay!

I hope you find this useful and I will up-date it as I find out more. All of the information above has either come from the Royal Navy web page or from information I have received from recruits or the Royal navy careers centre. I should also mention I have applied as a rating, so all this information is from that angle, but it may overlap with the officer recruitment in places.

All the best will your career in the Royal Navy!


Lantern Swinger
Re: All about Ratings entry into the Royal Navy/Royal Marine

I am waiting for a date but have not done the things u mentioned in ur first post:

Provide 4 X colour passport photographs.

Ú¤ Return all completed entry documentation upon receipt- do not delay

Ú¤ Possess a valid passport- CHECK
Thanks!! how long does it take to get promoted?? Ive been told its 4 yrs and by that time I'll be 32. Would that restrict my entry for officer as pay as a rate is pants!
Re: All about Ratings entry into the Royal Navy/Royal Marine

hey i passed my phychometric test thank god! and have my interview on the 19th/nov thanx for the pointers its a real help,
Re: All about Ratings entry into the Royal Navy/Royal Marine

have just received a provisional date from the navy and wondered how long it is untill u get ur final date?
or wat the process is now?
Re: All about Ratings entry into the Royal Navy/Royal Marine

What is the time scale for all that recruitment jazz at the top? I.e rough wait between each step.


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