Potential Royal Marines Course

Joining the Royal Marines as a General Duties Marine is no easy feat. Once you've passed the Royal Marines Pre Joining Fitness Test, you'll then have to get through the Potential Royal Marines Course (PRMC). A two-day training course at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone, that will put your body to the test. 

It's physically and mentally demanding, involving gym tests, endurance and obstacle courses. As well as an interview with your course corporal or course officer. Train efficiently and keep a positive state of mind, and you’ll stand a good chance of passing. 

Find out more about what's involved below.

What the PRMC involves

Day one


Make sure you arrive at CTCRM, Lympstone the night before your course. You'll receive a PRMC briefing, clothing and boots. It's also an opportunity to meet other PRMC candidates and view the facilities that will be available during your training. 

To start with you'll complete a computer-based skills test to assess your maths and English abilities.

Your first physical test is a three mile run in two parts. You'll have to run the first 1.5 miles as a group in 12 minutes and 30 seconds. Then run the second 1.5 miles as quickly as you can on your own in less than 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

The you'll have to complete a series of gym tests (remember to bring and wear non-slip trainers):

  • Progressive shuttle run (the ‘bleep test’): run between two lines, 20 metres apart, at a pace dictated by bleeps, beginning at level 1. Each level has several shuttles at the same pace and the  pace gets quicker at the start of each new level. Your target is to reach level 13.
  • Press ups: complete as many full press ups as possible in two minutes. 60 press ups will get you a maximum points.
  • Sit ups: complete as many full sit ups as you can in two minutes. 80 sit ups will get you maximum points
  • Overhand grasp pull ups: carried out on a wooden beam, your target should be eight quality pull ups. You will need to do the pull ups to bleeps for both the upward and downward movements to make sure you are moving correctly and not using momentum to help you.

You then have an interview with your course corporal or course officer. This interview is for you to show you are serious about a career in the Royal Marines and that you have a broad understanding of the Corps. You should study the literature given to you from your Careers Adviser.

Day two


Confidence test and assault course: this is carried out in all weather conditions and you will be outside and active for over two hours. This is your opportunity to show your determination and stamina.

High obstacle course: this involves climbing ladders, moving across ropes and negotiating obstacles up to 30 feet off the ground.

There is also a timed run around the obstacle course. Listen and watch your demonstrations carefully as this will save you time and reduce your chance of injury.

Endurance course: this is the last physical test. It lasts about 90 minutes and covers over 2.5 miles of cross-country ground in Woodbury Common (four miles from CTCRM). You will tackle tunnels and water obstacles – which includes the ‘sheep dip’ (submerged tunnel) before going on a run through country lanes.

The endurance course will test your dedication. We will expect you to keep going while staying positive, despite being wet, cold and tired.

Night out: you will spend the night out under canvas experiencing a side of recruit life that is less about fitness to become a Commando soldier. You will work alone and as a team to prepare food and shelter and look after yourself and your equipment. In the morning you will run back to camp (about 3.5 miles) as a group.


Now the real work begins with basic training at Royal Marine training centre Lympstone. Have you got what it takes to make it through and join the ranks?

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    RM training diaries

    Read fascinating training diaries written by the recruits and young Officers at Lympstone Commando Training Centre as the develop their skills.

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