How to Join

The six steps to joining the Royal Navy

Wondering what the Royal Navy entry requirements are – or how you go about joining the Royal Navy? The step-by-step guide will guide you through.



The first step is to choose which role you are interested in. You can find all of our roles in our Role Finder Tool.

You will find all of the information you need on what your chosen role entails, the qualifications required and eligibility criteria you need to meet. When you have reviewed all of this information you can fill out a simple form to register your interest in the role. We will then contact you to discuss your options.

Remember filling out this form doesn't commit you to joining the Royal Navy.

Recruitment test


We'll arrange for you to take the Royal Navy recruitment test (RT). It covers basic English, maths, problem solving skills and understanding of mechanics. It’s a good idea to work through some examples first before you sit the real thing. Now’s also the time to think about which job you’d like to do.

Have an interview


To help you find the best role for you we’ll take a look at your RT results alongside any existing qualifications. We'll then invite you to an interview where we'll chat through the jobs most suited to you. 

And if you don’t pass the RT first time around, don’t worry. You can take it again. Your Careers Adviser will tell you what the timescales are likely to be.

Medical & eye tests


Once you've passed your RT and interview, you'll have to have a medical and an eye exam. These are quite comprehensive – because life in the Royal Navy is physically demanding. So we need to make sure you're in great health.

Take the fitness test


Before you can join you'll have to pass the Royal Navy's pre-joining fitness test. So get yourself in the best shape possible to have the greatest chance of passing. It will also help with basic training too. Want help getting fit? Take a look at our pre-joining fitness programme.

Download the Royal Navy Fitness Guide (PDF)

Get started


Once you’ve passed all the tests, if you want to join as a Rating you'll need to attend the Pre Royal Navy Course. This is your introduction to life in the Royal Navy and confirm you're ready for the challenge. You'll learn all about our ethos, the working environments, fitness standards and weapon handling. You'll need to pass this in order to be offered a place at HMS Raleigh. Once you've passed, don’t forget to stay in peak shape. Because basic training is physically as well as mentally demanding. So we suggest following our fitness programme.

Download the fitness guide (PDF)

What next?

This step-by-step guide runs you through the general process for joining the Royal Navy. For some areas, like the Royal Marines or Royal Fleet Auxiliary, it’s slightly different. To see the specific steps, choose a position using the Role Finder or take a look at officer and rating roles.

View all officer jobs View all rating jobs

Role Finder

Use our Role finder to select jobs based on your skills and interests

Find my role


Everyone joining the Royal Navy has to meet some basic entry requirements. These differ depending on the service you’d like to join, whether you want to be an officer or a rating – and whether you’d like to be a full time regular or a spare time Reserve. See if you’re eligible to join.

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    When can I join?

    You can join most Royal Navy branches from 16, up to your 37th birthday. The age limit for becoming an officer is different – and you must be within it when you enter Britannia Royal Naval College. If you’re too young, we can put you on a waiting list.

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      Pre Royal Navy Course

      If you’ve applied to join the Royal Navy as a Rating and have passed our recruit test, fitness test, medical and interview, you will need to attend this four-day induction course. This allows you to sample life in the Royal Navy and confirm that you are ready for entry.

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        Funding & scholarships

        With the Royal Navy’s generous funding and scholarships, we’ll help you through your studies – whether it’s A-levels or a university degree. And you can earn money while you do it too. Read on to learn about the many funding opportunities.

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          Get fit to join

          If you’re thinking of joining the Royal Navy you’ll need to make sure you’re in great shape – and have the strength and stamina to survive, and make the most of, basic training. To help you get ready, we’ve put together a fitness programme which will get you in the zone.

            Find out more

            Initial training

            Now the real work begins with basic training at either HMS Raleigh or Britannia Royal Naval College. Have you got what it takes to make it through and join the ranks?

            How to join the Royal Marines

            Becoming a Royal Marine involves a different process to the rest of the Royal Navy. Think you have what it takes? And interested in getting the Royal Marine state of mind? Take a look at what’s involved in our joining process.

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