How To Apply

The first step is to choose which of our 19 Officer roles you want to apply for. Once you’ve decided, you’ll need to fill in our online application form. This is simply to gather your personal details, and there’s no commitment to join at this stage. One of our careers advisers will then be in touch to talk through your options. The next step will be to take a number of different tests and interviews, including medical and fitness assessments.

How long will it take from applying to joining?

The process generally takes around six months, which can be longer or shorter depending on the role that you apply for, and your personal circumstances. You can start the application process for all roles while you’re still at university. If you are successful, your pass will remain valid for four entries to Britannia Royal Naval College after you graduate, so you can start phase Phase 1 training at a time that suits you. Getting your application underway sooner rather than later means you will have more flexibility deciding when you want to join.

When are the deadlines?

Unlike most graduate schemes, applications are open all year round, so there’s no ‘deadline’ for most roles. Britannia Royal Naval College (where successful recruits begin their Phase 1 training) has four intakes each year, in February, May, September and November. For Medical Officers and Royal Marine Officers, however, there is only one intake each year. This is in September, so ideally you should begin your application at the start of the academic year in which you wish to join, or earlier.

How to join

Joining process

  1. Find the Job role for you using our Role Finder Tool.
  2. Check your eligibility.
  3. Fill out your application online.
  4. We'll book you in for the Recruitment Test (RT). Find out more.
  5. We'll then review the results with you and chat through the most suitable jobs.
  6. Take the medical tests and the Royal Navy pre-joining fitness test. Take a look at our fitness programme.
  7. Pass the Admiralty Interview Board.
  8. Once you’ve passed all the tests, we’ll make you a formal job offer.
  9. Join the Royal Navy.

Find out more about the joining process

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.

What can i do?

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Find your Officer role

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What do I need?

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What's it like being an officer?

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Meet us

Meet us on campus to find out more about life as an Officer and how to join

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Officer training phases

Phase 1.1 - Militarisation


Your transformation into a fully-fledged Royal Navy officer is an action-packed, challenging affair and starts with ‘militarisation’.

In this ten week phase, you'll learn all the basic skills and knowledge you need to go from civilian to a member of the Armed Forces. These include team based physical training, map reading and navigation and field craft and survival skills.

You'll spend two weeks out of the ten at the Royal Navy's other initial training base, HMS Raleigh, where you undergo weapon training. You will also go through Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Damage Control (CBRNDC) training. A set of skills vital to overall safety when you’re serving in the Royal Navy fleet.

The militarisation phase comes to a close  by putting all your new knowledge to the test with a  four day, assessed, practical leadership exercise on Dartmoor. You’ll have to pass this in order to go on to the next stage of training.

Phase 1_2 - Marinisation


During these next ten weeks you’ll build and be tested on the skills you learned during militarization – and applying them to a maritime environment. To start with you will receive tuition on topics such as Strategic Studies and Maritime Operations. You will then go on to spend a lot of time on the River Dart, learning boat handling skills in the college's training vessels.

Like the first ten weeks, you’ll be put to the test during an assessed four day basic maritime skills exercise that includes boat handling in scenarios simulating disaster relief and combat situations. They’re your chance to show more highly developed command and leadership skills. Succeed, and you’ll get to experience life on board a warship during the third stage of training.

Phase 1.3 - Initial fleet time


In the third part of your initial officer training, you will gain your first taste of life at sea in one of the Royal Navy's major warships. You will learn everything from the fundamentals like on-board safety, fire fighting, damage control drills and how to use all the sea survival equipment. To working in every department on board, learning how they operate and how they contribute to the ship as a whole.

This is invaluable first hand experience of life on a warship which will give you the foundation skills you need for your first job as a qualified officer.

There are two oral assessments and one written assessment, which you’ll need to pass before you head back to BRNC for your final week. In this final part you’ll hone your ceremonial marching and drill for your passing-out parade where you officially become a Royal Navy officer.

Phase 2 - Professional training


Once you’ve got the essential basic military and maritime command skills, you begin the journey of becoming a specialist in the officer role you’ve chosen – a combination of being at sea and in the classroom. But this is just the start.

To help you stay at the top of your game, we’ll make sure you that you can continually develop throughout your career, gaining qualifications that are recognised and valued by many civilian employers too.