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Royal Marine Candidate Preparation Course

You'll be 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

What is it?

The Candidate Preparation Course (CPC) is a five-day course giving you an introduction to life in the Royal Marines and indicates your potential to begin Royal Marines Initial Training.

Over the course of the five days you‘ll complete a number of physical tests in a range of challenging environments, and learn all about our ethos. Train efficiently and keep a positive state of mind, and you’ll stand a good chance of passing. 

Once you’ve completed the CPC successfully, it‘s important to stay in peak physical condition, as Initial Training is also extremely demanding. To do so, you can follow the Royal Marines Fitness programme.

What will I have to do?

The course includes the following:
  • VO2 Max/Bleep Test assessment

  • Press up, sit up and pull up assessments 

  • Swimming assessment

Confidence and Determination assessments are also part of the course, which are conducted on the: 

  • Endurance course 

  • High obstacle course 

  • Bottom field
Swimming Assessment

Everyone that joins the Navy must know how to swim and you will be assessed on this before joining. 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. 
Medical and eye tests

The medical and eye examinations are quite comprehensive, because life in the Royal Marines is very physically demanding.

Your tests must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors, who are based all around the country. Capita Medical will arrange an appointment for you at a convenient time and location.

Where is it?

The Commando Training Centre, also known as CTCRM, is the principal training centre for the Royal Marines.

Based at Lympstone in Devon CTCRM selects and trains all Royal Marines Officers, recruits and reserves.

CTCRM is unique in that it also provides all Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) command training as well as training 70% of all Royal Marines specialists. On average, 1,300 recruits, 2,000 potential recruits and 400 potential officers attend training courses and acquaint courses at CTCRM every year. In addition the Training Wings run upwards of 320 courses a year for a further 2,000 students.


Exmouth Road, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5AR

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