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Protecting our Nation's Interests

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Careers Fleet

How to join

The seven 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.

    • 1
      Initial careers presentation

      1. Initial careers presentation

      A short chat or filling in a simple form is all it takes to find out if you’re eligible to apply to the Royal Navy. Call us on 08456 07 55 55 or fill in the form. 

      If you’re eligible , we'll book you in for an initial careers presentation (ICP) at a careers office near you. It’s your chance to learn more about us and the job opportunities open to you.

    • 2

      2. Apply

      After the ICP, the Careers Adviser can help with any questions you might have. If you’re still interested in joining the Royal Navy, you can fill in a short application form – and let us know how quickly you want to move it along.

      Remember, this application doesn’t commit you to joining the Royal Navy.

    • 3
      Recruitment test

      3. 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.

    • 4
      Have an interview

      4. 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.

    • 5
      Medical & eye tests

      5. 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.

    • 6
      Take the fitness test

      6. 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)

    • 7
      Get started

      7. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.