I'm thinking about joining the RFA

Hello All, This is my first thread. Anyhow, I am considering joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary has a Chef. I am 38 years old. Unfortunately, I would not be allowed to join the Royal navy because I have scoliosis and I would likely fail their medical examination. Does anyone know the medical requirements for the RFA? Is it more lenient or, the standards still high? Thanks All


War Hero
Book Reviewer
You are required to pass an ENG1 seafarers medical that must be conducted by an MCA approved doctor. The RFA may however decide a medical by a naval doc is necessary. Best bet, give the RFA occupational health specialist a bell - 02392 725243


I failed the RN medical couple of times and made PMU. I applied for the RFA and start in January! I was sent to see a Naval doctor at Drake because of my previous failings, and passed so it is definitely worth trying.
I said I keep you updated........Unfortunately, I am unable to join. Because, scoliosis is a musculoskeletal condition. Oh well never mind.
I gave them a phone call. And, they stated anyone with a musculoskeletal condition are unable to join. I am a bit gutted because I consider myself fit. And, I'm as mobile has an able-bodied person. So, I don't think my condition would have any effect on my job performance. But never mind I will pick myself up and dust myself down.


Lantern Swinger
Disappointing, given that the RFA currently employs a number of people with similar conditions, and yours is unlikely to stop you being issued an ENG1. I'd be tempted to go ahead with an application to see if you can slip through. Maybe someone who has been through the process recently can comment on what medical examinations there were, or questions asked, beside the ENG1. Do they push you to an RN doctor for the ENG1, or let you choose the most convenient? Does anyone have a copy of the RFA's current medical requirements for new recruits, as they don't seem to be explicitly listed on the careers website?
Thanks Jenny. Sorry for my late reply been working. Does the RFA people employ with similar conditions to mine Megaopteron? I wasn't aware of that.
I think I will apply to the RFA. After all, what do I have to lose? They can only say "no" at the end of the day. Thanks for your help guys.


Following on from what Megaopteron said, I think you should apply too. I have an acute spinal compression issue and made it through the sifts etc and have my medical with a doc in Portsmouth on Jan 27th. I too am fit, able bodied and not impaired by my condition so I am hopeful this becomes apparent once they see me. I'd go ahead and apply if I were you, nothing to lose. I can update you on how it goes as and when, with what they focus on, look at as far as such conditions go.


Following on to the above...I had my medical yesterday and all went smoothly, was given a two year unrestricted. I was advised to see the company docs again for my next one but thereafter I am able to see one of the approved docs. It was fairly standard and routine as far as examining my muscle strength, coordination, reflex, sensation etc. The rest was the usual once over + hearing, vision, colour recognition, BP. I was fairly paranoid/nervous as to how I'd be assessed via my GP's report. The doc went through it with me, to ask me about a few specifics and how I felt now. My main concern is getting enough meds to cover time at sea but I was told most GPs understand the role, and dispense them accordingly. If there's any trouble the RFA can give you a letter explaining your situation to provide "evidence" as such. So yeah, all in all went really well.

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