What do I need to do?

I am 32 years old and want to join the RFA Cadet/Officer programme. However I fall short of the qualifications needed. I have Grade C in English, Science and Spanish and a Grade D in Maths. I left school 16 years ago. I have since gained some relevant qualifications in that time. I have passed my Yachtmaster and also have the STCW95 (Basic Training). I also have sailed The Atlantic 3 times and have a lot of sea miles. Would this get taken into account? Or do I need to go away and spend a year getting GCSE's again? My maths these days really isn't that bad. I have worked in a Plumbers Merchant for the last 10 years and have to number crunch in various ways in this job role.

I would say that the RFA are stringent on potential Cadets meeting their requirements. If you have other qualifications such as the RYA Yachtmaster then that may assist with your application nevertheless it's not a requirement.

Best practice would be to get in touch with your nearest Armed Forces Office or telephone RFA Recruiting directly.

Failing that, I would suggest looking at the MSSC and their courses/funding and other civilian companies such as SSTG and Clyde Marine.

Good luck and all the best.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
The RFA like the stated grades not experience.

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Lantern Swinger
Unfortunately the RFA entry requirements are set buy the nautical colleges for entry into their college courses and will be the same through the industry.
Not the case. I know of individuals rejected by the RFA for not having the precise GCSEs and grades demanded by the RFA but who were otherwise excellent candidates and have obtained sponsorship and college places with other Merchant Navy employers. The RFA chooses to employ a narrow, blinkered, inflexible Civil Service mentality on this matter.

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