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career / joining options
Joining process
career / joining options

Joining process

Find all you need to know about eligibility, preparing for tests and getting ready for your career in the Royal Navy. While the exact requirements vary from role to role, you can explore all this information based on a typical application.

How it works

It’s a tough job, which is why the joining process is really in-depth and can seem long. It involves interviews, plus mental and physical tests, to ensure a career in the Royal Navy is right for you – and that you’re right for the Royal Navy. It might seem a lot, but don’t worry, we’ll be supporting you every step of the way.

Joining the Royal Marines or the RFA? Joining either of these services require a slightly different process. You can find full details at Royal Marines joining process or RFA joining process.

Step 1

Check your eligibility 

Joining the Royal Navy isn’t for everyone. As a Rating, you’ve got to have determination and a real sense of adventure. So, before you can start your application, you need to check you’re eligible.
Step 2

Register your interest

The first step is choosing the role that’s right for you. There are lots of rating roles available – from working as a chef to becoming an engineering technician – with each offering the chance to develop different skills and shape the career you want.

Every role has its own specific entry, qualification and eligibility criteria, depending on its skillset. With so many opportunities, there’s no need to be 100% sure of your role at this stage – but you can start looking now.

Find the right role
Step 3

Submit an application

Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form.

Step 4

Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

We‘ll then arrange for you to take the Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA), which all potential recruits have to complete. It tests your general intellectual ability, and how well you do shows your capacity to cope with the technical and academic aspects of training for the role you’ve chosen.
Learn more about DAA
Step 5


We’ll invite you to a formal virtual interview. This will assess your suitability for a career in the Royal Navy and the role that you’ve chosen. Much like any other job interview, you’ll need to prepare. Your AFCO will be able to help with this if you ask them.
Learn more about the interview
Step 6

Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

Now you’ve got an entry date, you’ll attend a four-day assessment – the Candidate Preparation Course (CPC).  This is an induction to life in the Royal Navy, which is a pass or fail course. This will include: 

  • Pre-Joining fitness test  
  • Swimming test  
  • Medical test  
Explore the CPC
Step 7

Start training

You’ve made it through all the stages – and it’s taken a lot to get here. After a security and reference check, we’ll give you details of your Notice of Provisional Selection and Confirmed Offer of Service. This includes a provisional place at HMS Raleigh where you‘ll complete your Basic Training over 10 weeks.

Your AFCO will provide your train ticket and joining instructions and tell you about what kit you need. After Basic Training, you‘ll then begin your role-specific professional training.

Initial Navy training

Got a question?

Need help finding your ideal role?
Our virtual recruiter is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day

Apply now

Find your place in the Royal Navy. Make friends for life, learn new skills and experience the world.

Not ready to apply?

Register your interest today and we’ll be in touch to help you find your fit.

flight deck handlers dressed in ochre kit with high viz banding relaxing after a busy session on the flight deck of HMS Prince Of Wales