Qualified Medical Technician (RFA)

Service:Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Humanitarian aid
Medical Technicians training on a dummy

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Qualified Medical Technician in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) you’ll take sole responsibility for the health and wellbeing of all your crewmates. You’re the only medic on board ship, so the advice you provide directly informs Command in the event of an emergency. That means dealing with everything from infection control in Indonesia, to recommending aero-medical evacuation in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s a seriously challenging medical role, but one that will see you develop skills and knowledge that stay with you throughout your career.

If you have questions, talk to us

The role

  • Take charge of the ship’s hospital and act as the custodian of all medical supplies on board.
  • Work closely with doctors at Naval Command HQ and other onshore civilian facilities to provide first-class medical care and develop your skills.
  • You’ll have to deal with a variety of medical issues, from minor illness to recurring injuries.
  • Operate as the sole point of contact for medical advice and guidance, displaying an approachable nature, reliability, and an ability to work methodically in a challenging environment.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Offshore medical qualification
  • MCA basic sea training

Skills you'll develop

  • The ability to use your medical skills and training in the maritime environment
  • An understanding of providing healthcare in an operational setting


Career progression

There is no promotion within the medical branch. However, your salary will be equivalent to that of a Petty Officer for the first two years and then, subject to you successfully gaining the necessary qualifications, it will increase to the equivalent of a Chief Petty Officer.

What you'll need


  • Aged at least 17 years 6 months to apply, and 18 years to commence employment. There is no upper age limit
  • An NMC Registered Nurse, or
  • An HPC Registered Paramedic ,or
  • An Ex-Military Medic in the following categories: RN LMA or above; RFA Medical Technician; RFA Medical Assistant at Corporal or above; RAMC CMT1 at Corporal or above, or
  • Be another healthcare professional, such as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODPs), with experience working alone or as part of a medical team
  • Must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens. However, a number of career paths have nationality restrictions. Dual Nationality will be considered providing the first nationality is British. Note: Residency restrictions may apply
  • Need to have confidence with jumping into water and the ability to wade whilst wearing a life jacket

Skills and interests

  • An ability to thrive on responsibility
  • Great at multi-tasking
  • Comfortable working in hands-on situations
  • A sense of adventure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

  • Apply – Fill in an online application form
  • Eligibility – We will request copies of certification to ascertain your suitability for the role
  • Sift – Your application will go forward for sift by a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who will check that you have the knowledge and potential to succeed in your chosen role
  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA) – You will be asked to attend an Armed Forces Careers Office close to your home where you will conduct the DAA
  • Interview – Once you’ve made it through the sifting process, you will be invited to attend an interview, where we will ascertain your suitability for life in the RFA. See how you can prepare here
  • Training – If successful, you will be offered a place at HMS Phoenix where you will begin your initial training

Initial training

When you start your RFA career, you will receive Basic Training, which includes going on several Maritime and Coastal Agency (MCA) and Royal Navy specific seagoing courses. You will also go to Keogh Barracks to learn how to use the specialised IT system we operate on board, so you can order, issue and account for medical supplies.

Professional training

You may already possess an offshore medic qualification, be a first aid instructor or automated external defibrillator instructor. If not, we will make sure you carry out these courses before you’re appointed as Medical Technician. For the first two months of your service you will act as ‘understudy’ for a Qualified Medical Technician on board an RFA ship.