The Royal Navy Fitness Test

Are you fit for the Royal Navy?

Physical Fitness in the Royal Navy

The RNFT ensures that, irrespective of age, gender or rank, Naval personnel are physically fit enough to withstand the physicality of the job and perform their military duties.

Physical fitness is an essential element of RN life that directly influences operational effectiveness. It is categorised as the aerobic capacity to meet the demands of on-board generic tasks, such as: fire-fighting, damage control and casualty evacuation. The aerobic demands have been quantified to determine a minimum standard of aerobic fitness for a person’s age and gender.

Additionally, physical strength is assessed during the RNFT by using a fire- fighting, task-based simulation; this task is independent of age and gender.

Training session on deck


Explore some of the most common questions asked of RNFT across five subject areas. Simply click on a heading to find out more.

Transgender Policy

Which RNFT Test do I take if I am transgender?

All members of the Royal Navy are required to undertake fitness testing at regular intervals and transgender personnel, unless medically downgraded, are similarly required to do so.

When a Service Person (SP) transitions from their assigned gender to their affirmed gender (the opposite gender) they are to be treated in all respects in the affirmed gender.

  • A transgender SP is under no obligation to reveal to anyone their transgender status or history. Furthermore, confidentiality over an individual’s decision to undergo transition and/or their gender history must be preserved.
  • An individual must not be asked whether they are transgender.
  • Where information is received which reveals that an applicant is transgender, care should be taken to ensure the information is processed only for the purposes for which it was given and that it is passed on; on a ‘need to know’ basis only.


What if I’m pregnant or have just had a baby?

The Royal Navy is keen to look after its personnel, especially when they decide to have a family.

From the moment a woman finds out she is expecting she will be made temporarily medically (Temporary Medical) exempt from RNFT until the Estimated Due Date (EDD). At the EDD and when women are returning from maternity; they are exempt maximal testing for a period of two years from the birth of their child, but are required to take the Rockport Walk Test at 18 months; The Rockport Walk is a non-maximal test which measures your fitness rather than expecting you to achieve a certain standard.

  • The Service has a number of PTs based in establishments in every region who are qualified in antenatal and postnatal fitness.
  • Pregnant and postnatal Servicewomen are strongly advised to contact the relevant PT in their current area and the area where they will be living for the duration of their maternity leave as soon as possible during their pregnancy.
  • This will help those that want to to maintain levels of fitness during pregnancy and take advantage of the nutritional and physical wellbeing advice available from a trained professional.
  • Details of the antenatal and postnatal PTIs are available from RN Unit PT Offices or from the PTSA, HMS Temeraire.


Can I be exempt from RNFT?

Exemptions can only be granted for the following reasons:

Permanent Medical 
To be Permanently medically exempt you will have to have attended a Medical Board of Survey or had an Occupational Health Assessment. This will deem whether a permanent exemption is required for the illness or injury from which you are suffering.

Temporary Medical 
Temporary medical exemptions are granted for medical conditions from which you are expected to recover such as a broken leg or an illness. If you think you have a condition that will affect your ability to take your RNFT, you should seek medical advice before hand.

Location exemptions are granted if you're in receipt of an Assignment Order overseas which does not allow provisions for an individual to maintain their RNFT status due to the lack of a PT or sports facilities to facilitate the delivery of the test.

Pregnant women will be granted an exemption for the duration of their pregnancy including once the baby is born. Click on the maternity tab to find out more.

Once you have reached the age of 50 you will be exempt from the strength element of the RNFT but are required to complete either the maximal/sub-maximal tests. At the age of 55, you will become exempt from all elements of RNFT.

Operational Extension  
A CO may authorise an Operational Extension to an Individual's RNFT if the situation deems necessary. An example of which is a Submarine deploying for an operational tour, where there is no possibility for the SC to take a test during the deployment.


What are the pass standards for my age and gender?

The standards have been determined by INM and have been set to provide a gender fair system for calculating the VO2 of an individual. You can view the Standards Tables below, which detail the time or level required to achieve the different types of pass.

If you get a 'Pass' or 'Good Pass', your RNFT Competency is valid for one year. If you achieve a 'Very Good' or 'Excellent Pass', your RNFT competency is valid for two years. Now that’s got to be worth the extra effort on the day.


Training for your RNFT

As a member of the Royal Navy, it's your responsibility to maintain your fitness levels so that, if called upon, you can achieve the required VO2 standard to meet the RNFT requirement at any time. An all-round approach to your fitness training is recommended; with equal time given to both cardiovascular (CV) and strength/conditioning, as both competencies play a part in successfully passing your RNFT.

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