Joining as an Logistics Officer with foreign education certificates


First of all, thanks for this forum; the best source of information outside of the RN's official website.

I would like to join the RN as an Logistics Officer. I'm slightly worried that AIB may not take into account my foreign education certificates when determining my eligibility. I was born in Poland and that's where I got my AS and A-Levels equivalents from, plus GCSE equivalents in 12 subjects. I obtained a Statement of Comparability from NARIC as a proof of my qualifications. In addition in 2011 I did Access to HE and later BSc (HONS) in International Relations (2.1) at the University of the West of England.

I was wondering if anyone here has any experience in applying for an officer role with foreign equivalents of A-Levels and AS. Last year I got as far as the briefing stage for the Army officer selection but couldn't go any further because of my age (29). Furthermore, when I applied for an officer role with RAF they accepted all my qualifications apart from GCSE Maths equivalent. On Monday I'll visit my local AFCO to give them all my papers so AIB can take a look at them; nevertheless in the mean time I was wondering if anyone here has any experience in applying for an officer role with foreign educational background.

For those that are curious, I do have a British passport.

I would appreciate any advice etc.



War Hero
In other words, as your last option, will the Navy be any different?

The accepted equivalent overseas qualifications will be no different than already determined by the Army or RAF. If a minimum Grade C maths is required by the RAF, the same equivalency applies in the RN - regardless of higher educational qualifications in most cases.

Best o' luck, third time around.
Thanks :)

The reason why I first applied for an Army officer role was that I was getting close to the upper age limit of 28 years and 11 months and wanted to give it a go before it was too late. I got my passport and other documents ready in the record time and was given a green light. Unfortunately I got category 3 on the Briefing stage and due to my age I wasn't allowed to continue. Army had no issues with my qualifications. Maybe the fact that I served in the Polish Army in the past worked in my favor, don't know.

After my 'adventure' with the Army I applied for a Logistics Officer role with the RAF; again to make it in time before reaching the upper age limit of 29. The RAF is a bit different and for example does not accept Level 2 in Adult Numeracy as a valid equivalent of GCSE grade C in Maths. They only accept Level 3 which is ridiculous to be honest. Plus they didn't even look at my Polish qualifications which I believe was a bit unfair. When I rang Navy's careers office and asked about accepted equivalents I was told that any nationally recognized equivalents of GCSEs will be accepted. Not sure about A-Levels. Each branch of the Armed Forces has slightly different entry requirements.

I'll be taking GCSE Maths exam in May/June next year so even if AIB won't allow me to carry on with my application I'll still pass the basic eligibility with the RAF.

I can see why some people get fixated on just one branch but that's not me. It's interesting to see how different the recruitment procedures are. So far I must say that RAF was the least 'welcoming' of the three ;)
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War Hero
Whilst the job titles & roles maybe similar, the day to day job will be quite different when serving on a ship as the Logistics Officer leads the Damage Control, Firefighting & First Aid teams during action.

The RN doesn't accept NVQ 2 either unfortunately, same as the RAF. BTEC/NVQ Level 3 is accepted in lieu of the A Level requirements if passed at merit or better for triple awards, distinction/merit for dual award. Single awards are not accepted.

Non-vocational degrees are not accepted in lieu of the A Level requirement, although a second degree can sometimes be accepted in lieu of a missing A Level. RN educational qualifications & their accepted equivalents are the same as the RAF. The Army will often waive the A Level requirement for graduates if it's a shortage branch.

If all else fails, it maybe worth considering joining as a rating then later applying for a commission from within the service. This route only requires the 5 mandated GCSEs and does not have the age limits applied to direct entry.

Good luck.
Thanks Ninja_Stoker

I got a phone call from my local AFCO today saying that AIB has reviewed my education certificates and I'm free to proceed to the next stage of the recruitment. Looks like having foreign equivalents of GCSE / A Levels does not prevent from joining as long all relevant documentation is submitted before proceeding; I'm not required to even translate them from Polish to English, they just need them on record.

I've got my recruitment test scheduled for 1st of March. Fingers crossed.


War Hero
Good news!

AIB are the definitive guide to academic equivalents for entry into the Naval Service. Sometimes, providing all the other boxes are ticked and there is an under-par manning requirement, they may grant a "One Off attempt" at AIB, subject to age constraints being met. Under these circumstances the AFCO would usually send copies of all academic qualifications held to AIB (sometimes with a supporting, branch-relevant CV) for a yes/no decision.

Best of luck with selection.

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