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Joining RFA as apprentice rating (but have a CoC)


I'm thinking of applying to join the RFA as either an apprentice comms rating or potentially as an apprentice engineer (motorman).

However, I have a commercial MN background but had to leave sea a couple of years back for family reasons but now looking to return. I have a unrestricted ETO CoC and all associated certification (HV, GMDSS maint etc), all safety certs (just need to refresh PST and FF/AFF). I also have MCA endorsed GMDSS general operators certificate. Good ref from previous company.

I fancy a total change on going back to sea rather than going in the RFA as a SE officer - however, are RFA recruitment likely to think I am "over qualified" for a apprentice rating role? (even though it would be a new area of work for me)?

I do understand the training, lower pay as an apprentice and sharing cabin when training at sea etc!

Grateful for any thoughts from those in the RFA.


Lantern Swinger
Grateful for any thoughts from those in the RFA.

Well as an SE I would like you to join my branch. However go for what you want, branch transfers are rare. What type of ETO were you? If you are up on the computer world the Comms (Computer Information Systems dept.) Might be very keen. As an apprentice engineer you will find the job no surprises. But as you have a CoC the RFA might pay for you to spend a year or so picking up your ME class 4 if you fancy the clanky world (that's the offer for university graduates without sea time).

Feel free to pm for a chat


I fancy a total change on going back to sea rather than going in the RFA as a SE officer.

Joining the RFA would be a total change for you if your coming from a MN background. The culture and 'The RFA Way' of doing things is quite substantially different to the commercial world.

In my experience the direct entrants we've recruited, universally feel the job is quite different to their previous role as a commercial ETO. I'd be surprised if recruitment could look past your CoC & experience given our current campaign to bring in qualified ETO's.

Out of curiousity have you spoken to any ETO's that have joined the RFA from a commercial background?
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