Royal Marines Commando Stages and standards

Most people wouldn’t even contemplate putting their body under the strain that joining the Royal Marines requires. Now you’ve decided to become a Royal Marines Commando, you’re here because you want to make sure you make the grade.

You are faced with an exacting level standards that you’ll need to meet and exceed if you’re to prove you can hack it as a Royal Marines Commando. Most of these tests have a minimum requirement, but it's a key part of the Royal Marines ethos to push to the limit, regardless of what is acceptable.

The stages are as follows:

>> 1. Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus <<
2. Royal Marine Candidate Preparation Course
3. Recruit Orientation Phase
4. Initial Training

1. Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus

The Pre-joining Fitness Test Plus (PJFT+) is a step up from the pre-joining test across the rest of the Royal Navy. You'll be expected to push yourself to produce your best effort if you’re going to excel at it, and throughout your Initial Training. To succeed, it’s critical that you get in the best possible physical condition - better than you've ever been before.

Since June 2021, the PJFT+ has resumed being conducted at Nuffield Health Gyms across the country under the assessment of a Physical Training Instructor.

The circuit conducted for the test includes:

  • 20 x burpees
  • 30 x sit ups 
  • 20 x press ups 
  • 1 minute plank

You will have to complete the full PJFT+ circuit three times. On completion of the three circuits, and after a two-minute recovery, you will have to perform one set of five pull ups.  

To continue your journey as a Royal Marines Commando you will have three attempts to pass the Pre-Joining Fitness Test Plus, and be progressed to next stage.

Swimming Assessment

The swimming assessment is conducted across the Candidate Preparation Course, the Recruit Orientation Phase and, for Royal Marines Officer candidates, the Royal Marine Officer Selection Course.

You will be expected to:

  • Step off a three metre platform
  • Complete two laps of the pool, approximately 150m, using the breaststroke and without touching the sides or floor of the pool. There is no time limit
  • Tread water for two minutes
  • Climb out of the pool without using the steps

The test is conducted in swimming trunks or shorts without equipment and no goggles are to be worn unless for a medical reason.


The test takes place at a Nuffield Health Gyms. They’re all over the country, so you’ll be able to find one near you


Typically, we’ll invite you to the PJFT+ within 28 days of you passing your medical