Qualified Steward (RFA)

Service:Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Hands on
Food and drink

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

As a Qualified Steward in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), you’ll be on track for a rewarding career that will really take you places. As well as looking after catering, accommodation, mess rooms and the saloon, you’ll also have the opportunity to get involved with other duties such as firefighting, damage control and assisting with first aid.

Day to day, you’ll assist in the service of meals on board, and the housekeeping of cabins and communal areas. As part of a busy team with a big responsibility, you’ll assist the PO/CPO Steward in all areas of the Logistic Department. This is your chance to use your passion for hospitality towards a greater cause. Helping to protect our nation’s interests – with the potential to travel the world.

If you have questions, talk to us

The role

  • Experience every aspect of the hospitality, gaining the skills needed to organise and host any event. You could be facilitating a diplomatic reception one day, and serving dignitaries at high-level functions the next.
  • Use your first-class organisational skills to maintain the highest possible standards at all times. The RFA may be a civilian organisation, but it still has a part to play in representing our nation all over the world. It’s your job to ensure every visitor leaves with the best possible impression.
  • As you look after the catering, accommodation and social areas of the ship, you’ll be key to maintaining the morale of our people. Many will be at sea for months at a time, so the home comforts you provide will be really important.
  • You’ll also have crucial duties to perform as part of the ship’s company, including firefighting, first aid, and being a member of the damage control team.

Career progression

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • MCA certification that is financially supported by the RFA

Skills you'll develop

  • A comprehensive understanding of hospitality principles that will stay with you throughout your career
  • A first-class grounding in organising and hosting events 

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
  • NVQ Level 2 in Hospitality Services or Level 2 Certification in Hospitality or Catering Principles (Hospitality Services) or equivalent qualifications
  • Foundation Food Certificate or Level 2 Food Safety Certificate
  • Must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National who has lived in the UK continuously for 5 years prior to applying
  • Need to have confidence with jumping into water and the ability to wade whilst wearing a life jacket

Skills and interests

  • Drive and enthusiasm
  • A passion for hospitality
  • A keen eye for detail
  • First-class organisational skills
  • A sense of adventure
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

  • Apply

    Fill in an online application form

  • Confirm eligibility

    We will request copies of certification to ascertain your suitability for the role

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You will be asked to attend an Armed Forces Careers Office close to your home and conduct the DAA

  • 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

  • Training

    If successful, you will be offered a place at HMS Raleigh where you will begin your training

  • Interview

      If successful at interview, you will be offered a contract

Professional training

At sea as a Qualified Steward, you will immediately put all the skills and experience you’ve gained, into practice. If you demonstrate the right competences, commitment, skills and academic ability, you may also be offered the opportunity to apply to train as an Officer via the RFA’s Officer Training Scheme.