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Eligibility & qualifications

Did you know?

Both men and women can become RFA Chef Apprentice you do need to be a:

  • British and Commonwealth nationality

What’s more, if you have tattoos that are above your neck that visible in parade uniform you won’t be allowed to join. There are other eligibility criteria that you need to meet as well. Please take a look at the tabs below.

To join you must be a:

British or Commonwealth national.

Before continuing make sure you meet the residency requirements for this role.

What nationality are you?

Select an option below:

Eligibility in detail



To join you must be:

  • At least 16 years old when you apply 



To join you need British nationality.

Criminal convictions


If you’ve been convicted you may still be able to join. Certain kinds of offences or serving certain types of sentences, might however permanently prevent you from entering or re-entering the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Security and CRB Checks

For all branches of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary you will need to complete a full Security Check. This is done online and checks your details against Government data. You will have to declare all previous convictions, whether spent or not. To find out more, take a look at the MoD Form 493 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Tattoos and piercings


Most tattoos or piercings are not a problem but if they’re offensive, obscene or excessive in size or number you won’t be allowed into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. 

If your tattoos are visible in parade uniform you won’t be able to join. This means any tattoos on your head and neck.

When you apply you'll need to fill in a form describing your tattoos and their locations and show them to us during your medical.


If you have body piercings which cause holes that don’t close up (known as flesh tunnels) you will not be able to join the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. If the holes have healed up or are in the process of doing so without leaving a hole, you will be eligible.

For health and safety reasons you will have to remove certain body piercing jewellery before taking part in any physical activity during the application and selection process.

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