The Pre Royal Navy Course (ratings) a review

The Pre Royal Navy Course (ratings) a review

When I first applyed for the navy and was told about the course, I wanted to find out as much information as i could about what was expected of me, what I would get to do and what was PASS/FAIL.
I found very little about the course apart from some very iteresting advice from RUM RAT who said and I quote

"The two replies thus far whilst bieng comical are of course flippant.
What you should strive to portray is smart but practical.
I always found A loose fitting dress with a decent pair of thigh length boots to be fetching.
And a sword. Always carry a sword. Mine is Pork but very practical"

So as I have now attended and passed the course Iwould like to pass on some of what my class did:

Before i start the best source (sometimes) of accurate information is your AFCO always check any information with your AFCO

So you arrive at fareham train station where you are met by a member of the RNAC staff and transported to HMS COLLINGWOOD via mini bus, you are taken straight to your mess block where you are issued with your passes and locker keys Do Not Lose Your Pass it is an official document and if you lose it no one will be allowed to leave the base until it is found.
The RNAC staff are some of the nicest people you will ever meet funny and fair as long as you fall in line and dont piss them off you will have a right laugh, anyone who has met the older scottish guy will know what I mean. Now for the important points

  • The morning after you arrive they will ask if anyone has any injuries one person was removed from the course that day because he had a pain behind the knee (the lesson being inform your AFCO before you go)
  • You will be sat in a breifing room for many hours throughout the cource watching powerpoint presentations about the navy (DO NOT FALL ASLEEP)
  • You will be made to stand infront of your class (in my case 28 people) and talk about yourself what you like to be called, where your from,why you want to join the navy etc
  • you will be told to get out of bed at 6:30 you will however get up at 6 so you can make your beds and tidy your rooms ready for inspection (p.s theres a prize for the best one)
  • The food is really good there cantine is not unlike a motorway service station (not really selling it am I)


  • The 2.4km run is undertaken on a all weather 5 a side football pitch its 8 and a quatre laps
  • You are given extra time for your run, I was given (as a 28 year old male) 12:48 to do the run
  • DO NOT use your extra time for your run you will be expected to give 100% at all times and be so ****ed at the end of your run that you are unable to speak
  • PRESS UPS and SIT UPS are done under the instruction of a PTI
  • Do not piss of the PTI they are the only members of staff that can give you more than 10 press ups as a punishment
  • Things that piss a PTI off are fidgeting, swearing ,lazyness, fidgeting, fidgeting and fidgeting
  • Always run in the gym no one walks in the gym
  • PRESS UPS and SIT UPS are done to a bleep recording to a maximum of 40 press ups and 60 situps you will be expected to hit the beep every time and are given one warning before being told to stop
  • THE SWIM TEST is in three parts the first is simple just swim 50 meters in a swimming costume and get out at the deep end
  • IMPORTANT the edge of the pool at the deep end is about a foot higher than the surface of the water
  • For the second part you are given a boiler suit and told to get in at the deep end (do in all the way up and make sure to roll the sleves up so you dont have extra material flapping around) you tread water for 4 minutes then swim about 60 meters (two lengths of a 33 meter pool but you stop at some flags so you dont go into the shallow end)
  • For the third part you jump/step off a three meter high (it seems higher when you up there trust me) wearing your boiler suit and swim to the side of the pool and get out, you can use the steps

THE FUN STUFF :smilebox:

  • MARCHING: you will march everywhere to lunch, gym everywhere, we had a royal marine teach us he was right laugh (he will take the piss out of you)
  • DISMOUNTED COMBAT TRAINING: if you remember those big time crysis arcade machines with light guns its that but with camo nets and sa80 rifles
  • TEAM BUILDING: great fun stuff like simonsays (petty officer says), problem solving (get the bomb out of the contaminated zone), egg and spoon race and so on
  • CIRCUITS: give 100% the OIC will be watching and it will be the best workout ever
  • SHIPS VISIT: we were lucky enough to go on HMS ILLUSTRIOUS
  • MAKING FREINDS:if you arent good freinds with at least half the class by the time you leave you have some serius social flaws
  • CHAPLAINCY VIST:yes church.its alright they dont shove religeon down your throat you watch a video about what the bish does the you go play pool or fifa and have a drink (non-alcholic) and have a chat with your class mates for a bit

and thats just a small,very simplified list of what my class got up to and the prize at the end is a certificate , a class photo, remember to smile they took ours straight after the run and i dont look very happy lol

Good Luck

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War Hero
Good post!

Missed this previously - I was busy camping in a muddy field in Wales at the time, the monsoon always follows me.

Anyone got the link to the excellent PRNC video that was on the RN website? I wanted to post it on this thread but it appears to have moved. (This happens on average, about every other month, it's such a marvelous website, honest)


War Hero
One question for the OP - Can you give examples of occasions when you felt your AFCO was unable to give accurate careers advice or when the advice offered was misleading or inaccurate?
What I meant by the afco being a good source of information (sometimes) was that when the person dealing with me was on leave I was forced to ask the person who answered the phone and was consequently given conflicting information about fitness tests, what I would have to achieve and what was pass fail at the RNAC which is why I decided to wright this guide , this experience is probably unique to me but it left me in doubt as in who to believe

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Got my PRNC tomorrow and just a quick one. Are you required to wear your trousers and shirt when you go to eat? So is it worth bringing a spare shirt?

Let us know how you got on!
I passed. The course was really good and all the PRNC staff were really friendly. The atmosphere was quite relaxed and you could have a good laugh while you're there.

3 people failed the course, one had been on the course previously but twisted his ankle on the 2.4k and had come onto this one but strangely left just prior to the run. The second failed to run the distance in time and suddenly picked up a limp upon crossing the line. The third failed the swim test! If you're a weak swimmer then get down the local pool and practice don't just hope for the best.

The Raleigh swim test in overalls I also passed and it was actually a lot easier than I imagined. They let you tread water in a circle and talk to each other which helps pass the time.

Don't get caught with your hands in your pocket or it's 10 push ups.

Best part was probably the circuit run by a PTI as it was quite difficult but I could see most of the people who will be on my intake do try hard on the phys so there shouldn't be as much group punishment.

The ship visit for us was the training ship HMS Bristol as unfortunately all currently operational ships were unavailable. Still, the HMS Bristol was a good insight to what ships are like on the inside and it was interesting to learn about its history.

If you're a smoker you get regular cigarette breaks and even more if the instructor taking you is a smoker. You will also get a chance each evening to go across to the shop all together and buy whatever so bring money, also you can have extras with your meal that you may need to pay for.

Also don't be the one who asks silly questions, a few examples:

Instructor briefs us on the swim and asks if anyone has any questions. Candidate raises his arm and asks "Is the pool cold?".

On the virtual range (Air pressured SA80 laser range) we were briefed on how to use the equipment. Candidate raises his hand and asks "are we using semi-automatic or are we going trench clearing?" To which the instructor responds "what?!", Then he obviously said how the rifle was either single shot or full auto anyway.

Anything else you want to know just ask. All else I can say is if you put the effort in to prepare yourself then you will not have any problems while you're there and you will have a laugh.
Congratulations omm! Even though it was enjoyable must be a relief to have it out of the way now. I am working hard on my phys but still worried it ain't enough. Probably have about ten years left to prepare anyway :D
Congratulations omm! Even though it was enjoyable must be a relief to have it out of the way now. I am working hard on my phys but still worried it ain't enough. Probably have about ten years left to prepare anyway :D
I found that all the girls said they were worried about the fitness side but they all passed anyway. You also get an extra 10% on your time at PRNC but you shouldn't need it.
If you're a weak swimmer then get down the local pool and practice don't just hope for the best.
You're definitely right there; some guy on my PRNC couldn't do the Raleigh swim test and he was meant to be going in 2 weeks time.

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

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