Step 3 of 4

To start with you must attend an initial interview or presentation. Then you must pass several tests and interviews. These include:

  • Recruitment test
  • Medical and eye test
  • Diver Pre Joining Fitness test
  • Potential Diver Assessment
  • Pre Royal Navy Course
  • Security and Reference check

For the full list of medical criteria, download our Eligibility and Guidance Notes (PDF).


You must:

Be able to swim a minimum of 50m in under 4 minutes…without touching the bottom of the pool.

Can you swim 50 metres in under four minutes wearing a swimming costume without touching the bottom or sides of the pool? Then exit the pool unaided and without using steps?

Select an option below:

Potential Officers Course

Recruitment test


This tests your academic ability. There are four separate parts to it which you have to it which you have to complete within a limited time. These measure:

  • General reasoning
  • Verbal ability
  • Numeracy
  • Mechanical comprehension

We suggest trying some mock tests using our booklet. Download booklet (PDF)

Medical & eye tests


To become a Mine Clearance Diver, you’ll first have to pass a medical exam and eye test to show you’re fit and healthy.

You will also have to pass an eyesight test since good vision is critical in the Royal Navy. You might be reading maps during a mission, monitoring radars, or even working on complex equipment.

You will need to have your medical and eye tests done by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors but don’t worry, they’re based all around the country so there should be one near you. You can find out exactly what we’re looking for during the medical and eye test by viewing the medical criteria page.

Diver Pre Joining Fitness Test


The Pre Joining Fitness involves completing a two runs of 2.4km run on a treadmill, at a fitness centre near you. For each run you will have the treadmill set at 2% incline.

To pass, you will need to complete the first run in under 12 minutes 30 seconds then complete the second run immediately afterwards in under 10 minutes regardless of your age.

Potential Diver Assessment


The Potential Diver Assessment’s (PDA) aim is to assess the potential diver’s attitude and aptitude to undertake military diver training, as well as test his or her physical fitness against a strict criteria set by the Institute of Naval Medicine.

Under the watchful eye of a Leading Physical Trainer (LPT) and RN Diving Instructors, the 2 and a half day programme begins with the Diver Personal Fitness Test (DPFT) which must be successfully passed to gain a recommendation to enter the Royal Navy as a Clearance Diver. Please note it tests to the minimum standard required.

Further physical assessments include a 1000 metre lake swim in a dry-suit and fins and a team-building challenge based on a 30 minute mud-flat crossing exercise. Trial self-contained breathing apparatus dives to a maximum depth of 5 metres will take place in an enclosed dive tank and Horsea Island Lake, the home of military diver training. The potential diver will also receive briefings on the RN Diving Branch.

You can find more detailed information from the PDF here

Pre Royal Navy Course


Once you’ve passed our recruitment test, fitness test, medical and interview, you will need to attend the Pre Royal Navy Course, which is a four day induction. This will allow you to sample life in the Royal Navy and confirm that you are ready for entry.

The course runs at our Acquaint Centres in two locations: HMS Collingwood in Hampshire and MOD Caledonia in Rosyth. 

The course is designed to give you an introduction to life and work in the Royal Navy, including:

  • Our initial training programme for Ratings at HMS Raleigh
  • Our ethos and values
  • Kit, drill, discipline, teamwork and personal responsibilities
  • The working environment of a surface warship or submarine
  • Fitness standards and healthy living
  • Weapon handling

You will also have to complete two fitness tests successfully:

  • A 2.4km run completed on a track within specific times
  • Swim 50 metres in under four minutes wearing a swimming costume without touching the bottom or sides of the pool. You must enter and exit the pool unaided and without using steps

If you make it through, you'll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh.

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