Qualified Medical Technician Reserve

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Royal Naval Reserve
Humanitarian aid

At a glance

What you’ll do

Whether you’re an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) or Biomedical Scientist, as a Reserve Qualified Medical Technician you’ll be a vital part of Royal Navy operations all around the world. You’ll work at the forefront of your profession, providing essential medical support in a variety of conditions. And make no mistake, some of them will be challenging. You could be in the field working in a conflict zone, or you could be in an NHS facility caring for returning military personnel. Whatever you do you’ll push yourself to the limit, taking your skillset above and beyond your professional civilian life. 

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Provide essential medical support on Royal Navy missions.
  • Choose from a wide range of specialisms and roles, and get world-class training.
  • Develop your skills in diverse environments that are unique to the military.
  • Travel the world, playing a key part in Royal Navy missions and helping protect our nation’s interests. 

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Military specific qualifications with obvious cross benefit to NHS practice e.g. immediate life support (ILS) and any specialisation course to your clinical area
  • The opportunity to undergo formal management training on reserve staff and command courses

Skills you'll develop

  • Your professional skills will be broadened and enhanced with direct benefit to your civilian practice
  • You will be trained and developed by an organisation recognised for its ability to turn out world class leaders

Career Progression

Promotion is linked to successful completion of Basic Training and after that it’s merit based. You’ll begin as an Acting Leading Naval Nurse. After completing your initial professional training in your chosen branch and specialisation, you’ll be promoted to Petty Officer.

Competition is tough, but with experience and further training, you could be selected for promotion to up to Warrant Officer.

What you'll need


  • You must be aged 20 – 56 when you start training
  • ODP: Diploma or Degree in ODP, and competence in anesthetics, surgery, recovery or sterilisation services
  • Biomedical Scientist: Degree in Biomedical Science, and registered in hematology, biochemistry, blood transfusion or microbiology
  • You must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council, even if you’re applying in the final year of your studies
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • A skilled medical professional
  • A confident and well-organised practitioner
  • A team player
  • A problem-solver who works well under pressure
  • Physically and mentally fit
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

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

  • Submit an application

    Your first step is to fill in an online application form. If you have any questions beforehand, you can phone us on 0345 600 3222

  • Presentation

    You will be invited to attend an Initial Maritime Reserves Presentation (IMRP) at your nearest Unit. This is your chance to have a look around, meet the team, ask any questions and find out about life in the Reserves

  • Recruitment Test and interview

    You will be invited to your nearest Armed Forces Career Office (AFCO) for an interview, where we will check your eligibility and outline the joining process. See more advice here. You will then sit the Recruitment Test, which assesses your basic reasoning, literacy, numeracy skills and mechanical comprehension. You can try a practise test here. You will also be invited to have an interview with the specialist medical recruiting team

  • Join your local Unit

    You will then be invited to join your Unit for Attestation. This involves swearing allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen and signing the Official Secrets Act. At this point you’ll be a Phase 0 recruit, and will attend weekly drill nights, however you won’t be able to start formal training until you pass your medical and fitness test

  • Medical and fitness test

    The medical tests are carried out by your nearest Ministry of Defence approved doctor, but eye tests can be completed at selected high street centres. The Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) requires you to complete a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a local approved fitness centre. Check out this booklet for tips on how to prepare

  • Phase 1 training

    You’ll now be a signed-up member of the Royal Naval Reserve as a Phase 1 recruit. At this stage you’ll be given your Royal Navy identification card and uniform, and be able to conduct formal basic training

  • Training

    During your Phase 1 training you will learn about life in the Royal Navy. This takes place on weekly drill nights. You’ll also spend two weekends learning about life in the military and what it is like at sea

  • Confirmation course

    This two-week course is held at HMS Raleigh. Once you’ve completed this you will go on to specialise in your chosen discipline

Initial training

Training, learning and personal development will be constant features of your career with the Royal Navy Reserve.

Basic Training takes place on weekday evenings and weekends at your local unit. These link in with national training weekends where you’ll train with people from other units. You’ll complete a number of short courses at Britannia Royal Naval College and other training establishments, where you’ll train alongside officers who are completing their Basic Training for the full-time Royal Navy.

Training is also conducted online via a Virtual Learning Environment, so you’ll need access to the Internet.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

Once you have completed basic initial training you will become a formal member of the reserve Medical Branch. Your training then includes broad naval nursing training, within the branch, and courses tailored to your specialty. You will have the opportunity to attend wider tri-service training across the Defence Medical Services including annual conferences and meetings. The training is designed to prepare you to support the Royal Navy and wider military, whatever the challenge, worldwide.