Royal Navy Ratings: The joining process

As a Royal Navy Rating, you’ll be right at the heart of challenging operations, in unique environments, all over the world. It’s a tough job, which is why the joining process is really in-depth and can seem long. It involves interviews, plus mental and physical tests, to ensure a career in the Royal Navy is right for you – and that you’re right for the Royal Navy. It might seem a lot, but don’t worry, we’ve got some advice in section 3 on how you can prepare for each stage.

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows



The first step is choosing the role that you think is right for you. There are lots of ratings roles available, from working as a Chef, to becoming an Engineering Technician, with each offering you the chance to develop different skills and shape the career you want. Every role has its own specific entry, qualification and eligibility criteria, depending on its discipline and skillset. With so many opportunities available, there’s no need to be 100% sure of your role at this stage. To find the role that's right for you click on the button below.

Find your role


We'll then arrange for you to take the Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA), which all potential recruits have to complete. It tests your general intellectual ability, and how well you do shows your capacity to cope with the technical and academic aspects of training for the role you’ve chosen.

Practise the DAA


We’ll invite you to a formal virtual interview to assess your suitability for a career in the Royal Navy, and specifically the role that you have chosen. This is much like any other job interview, so you should prepare accordingly and ask your AFCO for help if required.


Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

Once you’ve been given an entry date, you’ll need to attend an assessment, the Candidate Preparation Course (CPC). This is a four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, which is a pass or fail course. This will include:  

  • Pre-Joining fitness test
  • Swimming test
  • Medical test


Once you've passed all the stages, you'll also need to pass a Security and Reference Check. After that, you'll be given details of your Notice of Provisional Selection and Confirmed Offer of Service with a provisional place at HMS Raleigh where you'll complete your Basic Training. Your local AFCO will buy your train ticket to help you get there, provide some joining instructions, and tell you what kit you need. After Basic Training, you'll then begin the professional training that’s unique to your role.

Basic Training for Ratings takes place over 10 weeks at HMS Raleigh. 

Training is covered in more detail in the ‘What's the Training Like’ section.