Guidance Notes on Medical Standards For Entry

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Ninja_Stoker, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Please note that the AFCO staff are not medically qualified and that the decision regarding medical suitability for enlistment is determined by selection medical staff.

    The aim of this thread, probably about to become longer :thumright: , is to clarify the medical standards laid down to all applicants joining the Armed Forces. In general terms if an individual fails to meet the medical standard for a specific trade in one of the services, they will most likely do likewise in the equivalent trade in one of the other arms of the Services.

    Despite individual experience expressed to the contrary, the medical standards for entry are different for those currently serving personnel who may develop a condition “in service†which precludes entry, but does not always stop them continuing to serve after they have joined.

    Rather than enter into the semantics or “fairness†of the standards outlined below, those wishing to complain about it would be better off directing their complaint at the medical authorities who set the standard – they get paid a lot more than me anyway. The following is an extract from the AFCO Form 5, Application Form Information and Guidance Booklet that is given to every applicant (which invariably remain unread!). Any spelling errors are mine, my apologies:

    AFCO FORM 5 Revised Mar 07

    APPLICATION FORM INFORMATION & GUIDANCE NOTES

    MEDICAL

    Fit to Serve. The Armed Forces require anyone who enters to be medically fit to serve world-wide.

    New entrants to the Armed Forces undergo Intensive training which is physically demanding and mentally taxing, therefore the Service medical authorities have to be made aware of your medical history. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

    The following initial medical examinations will take place for the:

    (1) Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. It will take place locally as arranged by the Armed Forces Careers Office.

    (2) Army. It will take place in an Army Development and Selection Centre. For that reason the Army additionally uses a detailed questionnaire to be completed by your Doctor as part of the eligibility process in order to help avoid unnecessary travel away from home.

    (3) Reserve Forces. Under single service arrangements as notified by the recruiting personnel.

    Unsuitable conditions.

    The conditions in the table on below and overleaf make a person permanently unsuitable for entry into the Services.
    Please also note:

    (1) Height and weight Height should be within normal limits for the recruit’s age and weight should be in proportion to height (see also paragraph 1.8b).

    (2) Visual standards: The minimum standards for both uncorrected and corrected visual acuity on recruitment are determined by single-Service authorities and are dependent upon the proposed employment and trade group. Spectacle or contact lens correction must not be greater than -7 dioptres or +8 dioptres in any meridian. Impaired colour perception (colour blindness) is not a bar to service but may limit career choices.

    This table below and overleaf is not exhaustive and is for general guidance only. Many conditions that are compatible with civilian employment and sport may be considered incompatible with military service. If you have a medical condition that is not mentioned below, or you are unclear about the impact of your medical
    history, you should seek further advice from the AFCO staff. Please note that the AFCO staff are not medically qualified and that the decision regarding medical suitability for enlistment is determined by selection medical staff.

    Eye Disorders

    Eye disease e.g. glaucoma, keratoconus, retinitis pigmentosa. Double vision.
    Visual field defects. Corneal grafts or recurrent corneal ulcers. Cataract or cataract surgery. Detached retina. Vision only in one eye. Squint surgery in the previous 6 months. Laser eye surgery in the previous 12 months.

    Ear Nose & Throat disorders

    Ongoing ear, nose, throat or sinus disease. Deafness. Presence of grommets.
    Current perforated ear drum. Certain surgical procedures.

    Heart and Cardiovascular disorders

    Heart disease. Certain congenital heart conditions e.g. repair of tetralogy of Fallot, coarctation of the aorta. Certain heart valve abnormalities. High blood pressure. Reynaud’s disease.

    Respiratory disorders

    Asthma, wheeze or asthma symptoms or treatment within the past 4 years. Lung
    disease Including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis.
    Active tuberculosis.

    Abdominal and digestive disorders including diet

    Ongoing abdominal, digestive or liver disease. Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis.
    Loss of spleen (splenectomy). Chronic hepatitis. Untreated hernia. Requirement for specific dietary restriction.

    Neurological disorders

    Ongoing nervous system disease. Epilepsy or more than one Seizure/fit after
    the age of 5 (although Benign Rolandic epilepsy is acceptable). Single seizure/fit
    within the last 5 years. Multiple sclerosis. Complications following head injury.
    Hydrocephalus (with or without shunt). Severe or recurrent headache (including
    migraine).

    Endocrine Disorders

    Diabetes. Adrenal disorders. Pituitary disorders. Certain thyroid diseases.
    Abdominal and digestive disorders

    Skin disorders

    Chronic eczema or dermatitis. &ere psoriasis. Severe acne.

    Female reproductive disorders

    Chronic breast pain. Chronic pelvic pain or Inflammatory disease. Endometriosis.


    Male reproductive disorders

    Current cancer of the testicle or prostate gland. Chronic pelvic pain.

    Musculoskeletal disorders

    Any abnormality that interferes with the ability to undertake military training.
    Spinal abnormalities. Certain spinal operations. Recurrent back pain or sciatica.
    Joint disease, pain or limitation of joint movement. Hypermobility (laxity)
    of the joints, Bone or joint operations within the last 12 months. Anterior
    cruciate ligament reconstruction (subject to single Service policy). Recurrent
    joint dislocations. Severe deformity following fractures. Loss of a limb. Foot
    abnormalities (e.g. club foot, hammer toe). Complete loss of either big toe.
    Complete loss of either thumb. Arthritis and similar conditions.

    Blood disorders

    Certain blood diseases, such as G6PDD, sickle cell disease, congenital
    spherocytosis, haemoglobinopathy, Any bleeding disorder or abnormality or blood clotting.

    Infection

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HN) / acquired immune deficiency syndrome
    (AIDS). Carriers of hepatitis viruses.

    Malignancy (cancer)

    Most cancers are considered to place an applicant below the medical entry standard. Exceptions - some cancers in childhood or early adult life that have
    been successfully treated and are regarded as cured.

    Allergic disorders

    Severe allergic reactions and/or anaphylaxis. A need to any adrenaline
    injections (EPIPEN etc.). Nut and peanut allergy. Egg allergy. Latex allergy.
    Vaccine allergy (including Tetanus allergy). Gluten sensitivity (Coeliac disease).

    Conditions resulting from exposure to extremes of temperature

    Heat illness. Frostbite and non-freezing cold injury.

    Psychiatric disorders

    Ongoing psychiatric illness. Psychosis. Schizophrenia Obsessive-compulsive
    disorder. Autism. Personality disorder. More than one episode of deliberate
    self-harm of any type. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alcohol, drug or
    substance dependence. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) unless
    free of symptoms and not requiring treatment for at least 3 years. Anorexia and
    bulimia.

    Kidney disorders

    Ongoing kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease and kidney stones. Donation
    of kidney in the past 6 months.

    Other - Transplanted organs.

    Temporary conditions.

    The following conditions Incur a temporary hold on the selection procedure and or entry/attestation until fully recovered, discharged from hospital follow-up and fit to undergo arduous training:

    Waiting list for an operation

    Temporary illness or injury

    Pregnancy

    Your application may be rejected due to other medical reasons, which are subject to the discretion of Service Medical Authorities.

    MINIMUM HEIGHT AND WEIGHTS

    Royal Navy and Royal Marines. There is a minimum height requirement of 151.5cm. Naval Airman aircraft handlers must be between 166 and 193 cm. The Royal Marines also have a minimum weight requirement of 60kg.

    Army. There is an overall minimum height requirement of 148cm except for driver trades when the minimum height is 158cm. This will be indicated when those specific jobs are discussed as an option along with other selection criteria.

    RAF. There is no overall minimum height; however, certain trades have a minimum height requirement. This will be indicated when those specific jobs are discussed as an option along with other selection criteria

    TATTOOS/BODY PIERCING

    The Armed Forces have a policy on Tattoos and Body Piercing as follows:

    a. Tattoos. Any tattoo(s) which is/are offensive or obscene will be a bar to entry or re-entry. Additionally tattoos should not be visible on the head and neck. Furthermore any tattoo(s) excessive in size or number may be a bar to entry or re-entry. You may be asked to complete a form describing your tattoos.

    b. Body piercing. For Health and Safety reasons you will be asked to remove certain items of body piercing jewellery before undergoing physical activity as part of the application and selection process. You will not be allowed to attempt the physical activities if you do not remove the body piercing jewellery as requested. . If you are successful in your application you will be advised by
    Service authorities on what the rules are for wearing body jewellery when on and off duty.

    Again:

    Rather than enter into the semantics or “fairness†of the standards outlined, those wishing to complain about it would be better off directing their complaint at the medical authorities who set the standard.

    Please note that the AFCO staff are not medically qualified and that the decision regarding medical suitability for enlistment is determined by selection medical staff.
     
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    LASER EYE SURGERY

    Standard reply sent to all persons considering laser surgery, it's worth reading in depth:

    Thank you for your enquiry regarding eyesight corrective laser surgery (corneal refractive surgery) and the relevant Royal Navy Policy. The Naval Service does not endorse the use of laser surgery as a method to gain entry and there is no guarantee that such treatment will improve vision to an acceptable standard.

    The Naval Service requires individuals to serve anywhere in the world, in extremes of climate and operational situations, which are remote from primary and secondary care. Therefore, even minor conditions such as the use of correcting lenses can take on much greater significance when even basic support is limited. As a consequence, medical screening is stringent and to a higher standard than might be expected for normal civilian employment.

    In general, any defect or weakness of sight will be a bar to entry if these defects render an individual incapable of, or likely to be incapable of performing general duties in the Naval Service. The tri-Service standard for uncorrected visual acuity is right eye 6/60 and left eye> 6/60.

    With regard to surgical correction of myopia or hypermetropia, it is acknowledged that the following methods are now considered suitable for entry on an individual case by case basis for non-specialist employment groups and subject to single Service requirements:

    (a) Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

    (b) Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)

    (c) Laser in-situ Keratomileusis

    (d) Intrastromal Corneal Rings (ICRs), otherwise known as Intrastromal
    Segments (ICS).


    Entry will not be considered for Radical Keratotomy (RK), or Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK), or any other form of incisional refractive surgery, other than those procedures listed above. All invasive intraocular surgical procedures will remain a bar to entry.

    In order to be considered a candidate must fulfil the following criteria and provide documentary evidence to support that:

    (a) The pre-operative refractive error was not more than +6.00 or 6.00diopter (spherical equivalent) in either eye and;

    (b) The best spectacle corrected visual acuity is 6/9 or better in each eye and;

    (c) At least 12 months have elapsed since the date of the last surgery or enhancement procedure and;

    (d) There has been no significant visual side effects secondary to the surgery affecting daily activities and;

    (e) Refraction is stable; as defined by two refractions performed on each eye at least 6 months apart, with no more than 0.50 diopter difference in the spherical equivalent in each eye.

    (f) Specialist visual function testing has been carried out with satisfactory results at least 12 months following surgery, including assessment of refraction, symmetry of visual acuity, high and low contrast sensitivity (with and without glare sources), astigmatism, glare, corneal clarity, masked mild hypermetropia and night vision.

    An applicant who has undergone eyesight corrective laser surgery must supply evidence of the above and may be subject to evaluation by a Service Ophthalmic Consultant. Each case is considered on an individual basis and if all the criteria are met it may be possible to consider an application to enter the Naval Service.

    Decisions regarding any kind of ophthalmic surgery should be discussed with an Ophthalmic Consultant.
    This letter should be taken to ophthalmic consultations where eyesight corrective laser surgery is to be discussed with a view to achieving the necessary eyesight standards for entry.
     
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    Colour Perception (CP)

    There are four standards of colour perception graded as follows:
    Standard Test Specification

    CP 1
    The correct recognition of coloured lights shown through the paired apertures on the Holmes-Wright lantern at LOW BRIGHTNESS at 6 metres (20 feet) distance in complete darkness

    CP 2
    The correct recognition of 13 out of the first 15 plates of the Ishihara Test (24-Plate abridged Edition 1969) shown in random sequence at a distance of 75 cm under standard fluorescent lighting supplied by an artificial daylight fluorescent lamp (British Standard 950: 1967)

    CP 3
    The correct recognition of coloured lights shown through the paired apertures on the Holmes-Wright lantern at HIGH BRIGHTNESS at 6 metres (20 feet) distance in complete darkness

    CP 4
    The correct recognition of colours used in relevant trade situations, and assessed by simple tests with coloured wires, resistors,
    stationery tabs etc.


    Personnel who fail to reach the minimum standard of colour perception are to be graded CP5 - failed trade test and colour
    expanses.

    Methods of testing colour perception –
    Ishihara test

    1. Ishihara plates are used as a screening for all entries.

    2. Candidates who pass the Ishihara test are graded CP2 and require no further testing except for those whose critical visual task requires a categorisation of CP1.

    3.Candidates who fail the Ishihara test are further tested for CP3 or CP4 according to requirement.
     
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    Current Visual Acuity Standards

    Standard I (VA1)
    Visual acuity to be achieved without correcting lenses Right 6/12N5, Left 6/12N5

    Visual acuity to be achieved with correcting lenses Right 6/6N5, Left 6/6N5

    Refraction limit:
    Total hypermetropia +3.00 sphere
    Astigmatism +1.25 cyl
    Myopia (in any meridian) -0.75 sphere or cyl +3.00 sphere


    Standard 2 (VA2)

    Visual acuity to be achieved without correcting lenses Right 6/60, Left <6/60.

    Visual acuity to be achieved with correcting lenses Right 6/6N5, Left 6/9N5

    Refraction limit
    Spectacle correction (in any meridian)
    +6.00 sphere sphere or cyl


    Standard 3 (VA3)

    Visual acuity to be achieved without correcting lenses Right 6/60, Left <6/60

    Visual acuity to be achieved with correcting lenses EITHER Right 6/6N5, Left 6/24N10 OR Right 6/9N5, Left 6/18N10 OR Right 6/12N5, 6/12N10.

    Refraction limit
    Spectacle correction (in any meridian)
    +/- 6.00 sphere or cyl

    Below VA3, unacceptable for Naval service.

    [align=right]Optician Report (CHG31 dated 04/01/2008)[/align]

    Edited to reflect ammended VA2 standards incorporated 18 July 08
     
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    ASTHMA

    Any treatment for, or diagnosed history of, asthma within the preceeding 4 years is a bar to entry. Candidates for aircrew should be aware that any earlier respiratory history will be subject to detailed examination, more stringent entry standards and may prove to be a bar to entry
     
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    Night Vision Tests

     
  7. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    you know the conditions all listed above? If u have one will they decline you?

    Only asking because i have acne, dont know if its severe or not....

    I dont want to be declined because of something trivial and thats gona go before long
     
  8. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    be positive soloman if you want it do it
     
  9. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    aye your right...ill prove em that theres no way it can get in ma way....:)
     
  10. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form 5 )

    I have a slight problem
    Had a physical assesment today

    And apparntly i have high blood pressure
    How do i get this down and fast?
     
  11. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form 5 )

    Stop stressing so much....

    No seriously the more you stress about it the higher it will be, which could be why it was high at the assessment.
     
  12. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form 5 )

    I was laughing during it, would that have alterd it?
    Also i kinda took a few pro plus's before. =/

    Maby i should get it checked again to make sure it was right.
     
  13. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form 5 )

    Yes, either of those things could affect the reading, as can talking while you have it done, especially if it's an automated majobie.

    And yes, book an appointment with your practice nurse or HCA and get them to tell you the numbers.

    Did they tell you how high it was?
     
  14. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form 5 )

    It was my friend at a fitness center, so yeah i will just ask him to re-do it.
    I had like all my lung capacity and everything done and im okay on that, was kinda wierd lol

    It wasnt high as in like the danger zone.. just like high.
    I cant rember the readings i will have to ask my friend again.

    Thanks for the advice anyway =]
     
  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    Assuming your friend is qualified to assess your medical suitability for Naval Service, the obvious answer is to ask him/her to advise.

    Alternatively, rather than stress-out needlessly, you could let a qualified Naval Medical Officer check & if necessary advise.
     
  16. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    It wasn't the fact I'd had acne, it was the medication i'd taken for the treatment of acne. Roaccutane can damage the rods and cones at the back of your eyes, affecting night vision. They shouldn't discriminate against people with acne in any way. Hope that helps!
     
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    Correct, the Royal Navy is an equal opportunities employer & welcomes applications from all minority groups, genders & orientations.

    Even spotty ones.
     
  18. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    I wish to apply for the royal marines, i have good fitness, and i am in good health. Ive wanted to be in the royal marines for the past 7 years, and now when I finally have the chance to join, i am told that i will be rejected because i have a peanut allergy.

    All i wish to know is;
    1. Are foods with nuts in supplied to marines as part of their diet, rations etc, or is it just a precautionary measure?

    2. Are medical records checked? If not in theory, on the application form, if i was to leave the information out about a certain medical condition, would it not be picked up, there for enlistment is granted ?
     
  19. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form 5 )

    If you lie on the application form, then you are both stupid and also breaking the declaration you will make at the end of it which states you have answered all questions to the best of your knowledge.

    If you are allergic to peanuts and don't tell us, you won't get your medication. Then when your allergy gets set off by some indirect method (eg someone who's eaten nuts shakes your hand), treatment may be delayed because we didn't know your background.

    Medical standards are there for a reason - not simply to piss you off. I sympathise with you, as you state you have always wanted to be a Marine, but please do not lie.

    Medical records are checked, by the way. And if it were to arise that you had lied, then you would be booted out.
     
  20. Re: All about Medical Standards for Entry -FAQs. ( AFCO Form

    Ok, thankyou for the advice, on the flipside, if i were to be honest about the condition and explain the details, would i still be able to join, or is it clear cut, such as, you have a peanut allergy, you will not be permitted to join.

    I dont get reaction from coming into contact with peanuts, in the sense you have mensioned, such as shaking the hand of someone who has just eaten some, i only get a reaction if i ingest them, it does not cause analphalaxis, well i suppose it could if i were to eat a bagfull, from past experience when i was young and had a reaction, it caused me to cough alot, followed up by a pretty bad rash all over my body.
     

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