Step 3 of 5

Application process

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

These include:

  • Recruitment test
  • Initial Officer Candidate Interview
  • Medical and eye test
  • Pre joining fitness test
  • Admiralty Interview Board
  • Security and Reference Check

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


You have to meet certain height criteria:

For all Royal Navy jobs you need to be at least 157cm tall. 

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Tests and interviews you must pass

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)

Initial Officer Candidate Interview


This interview immediately follows the Recruitment test for officer candidates.  It is a chance for you to meet your Area Careers Liaison Officer (ACLO), a chance for the ACLO to make an initial assessment of your suitability and an opportunity for you to ask questions and be guided through the application process.  There is a set of documentation that you must submit in advance, which will be discussed during the interview.

Medical & eye tests


To join Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College you will also have to pass an eyesight test since good vision is critical in the Royal Navy. You will be reading maps and charts during a mission, monitoring screens and radars, and working complex equipment and navigational instruments.

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.

Pre Joining Fitness Test


The Pre Joining Fitness involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a fitness centre near you. Below are the times you’ll need to meet according to your age and sex.

Royal Navy Pre Joining Fitness Test
Age Men Women
15 - 24 11 mins 09 secs 13 mins 10 secs
25 - 29 11 mins 33 secs 13 mins 37 secs
30 - 34 11 mins 58 secs 14 mins 05 secs
35 - 39 12 mins 23 secs 14 mins 33 secs

Admiralty Interview Board


If you want to become an officer in the Naval Service you will need to attend the two day Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) at HMS SULTAN in Hampshire and show us that you’ve got what it takes – both mentally and physically.

The competency based assessment process  is designed to assess whether you have the qualities needed to successfully become an officer, once you’ve completed your training. 

AIB Day One
On your first day, you’ll need to arrive at HMS SULTAN by mid-day where, after ‘in-processing’ you will be welcomed by one of the Permanent Board Presidents.  During the remainder of the day you will write an essay and be given a series of detailed briefs about the activities ahead of you on day two.  You will then be accommodated overnight at the AIB.

You'll need to choose from one of six topics and write an essay, on a computer, within 45 minutes.  This will help us assess your written communication skills.

AIB Day Two
The second day of the AIB includes a Practical Leadership Task (PLT), a planning exercise and a competency based interview.  You’ll find out whether you will be forwarded for selection, later in the day.

Practical Leadership Task
In the gym, you and your group will be set a series of tasks, involving crossing a space using various planks, ropes, poles and spars.  You may have to take an item with you and cross the gap more than once and the task may be over a water filled tank.  Each candidate will lead one of the tasks.  Before the tests begin, you'll each be given a written brief for the task you'll be leading, including the objective of the task and a list of the equipment you'll be using.  You'll have 15 minutes to study it on your own and develop your plan.  The task is designed to test your teamwork and leadership ability, your verbal powers of communication, your resilience and strength of character.

Planning exercise
You will get a written brief containing the details of a fictional scenario.  You will have 15 minutes to study the information.  After entering the Boardroom we’ll then introduce some problems into the scenario setting, and you’ll have 15 minutes to discuss possible solutions within your group and reach an agreed plan.  You will then present this, to the Board, as a group.  We will question each member of  your group to examine everyone’s grasp of the situation, before you individually present your own final solution to the problem.

This involves a 30-40 minute interview where we will explore your motivation to join the Naval Service and examine your courage and values.  You will be able to provide examples of things you have done in support of your answers so, in preparation, it is worth recalling activities and events during your life.  You may also be asked about how your chosen career will contribute to both the Naval Service and to wider Defence Policy.

You will complete computer-based psychometric tests on the second day and these will be conducted around your interview.  These tests include the following:

  • A verbal test designed to demonstrate your general reasoning and ability with words
  • A non-verbal reasoning test, again measuring your reasoning power, but this time without the emphasis on verbal skills
  • A numerical test covering numerical fluency, reasoning and statistics


Fitness assessment
On completion of the tests and interview you will undertake a fitness test consisting of an outdoor, timed 2.4km run.  In addition to counting towards your overall grade this is a pass or fail assessment.  If you do not reach the required standard for your age and gender you will not be considered for selection, no matter how well you did in the rest of your time at the AIB – so you need to give it your all.  Take a look at our fitness programme and preparation guidelines before you come.


AIB results

You will know whether you have been forwarded for selection that same afternoon.  But be aware, that being forwarded doesn’t guarantee your entry into training.  Everyone is placed in an order of merit.  The final selection will depend on the number of vacancies available at the time and the number of successful candidates who reach the required fitness, medical and educational standards.

But whether you are forwarded for selection or not, most people enjoy their visit to the AIB and go away having learned something about themselves in the process.

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