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joining process / assessments

Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

What is it?

The Candidate Preparation Course (CPC) is a four-day course that all Rating candidates must attend before Basic Training. The CPC is a comprehensive physical examination, including a number of running and swimming tests, which will confirm that you’re ready for entry. This is also your chance to sample life in the Royal Navy.

What will I have to do?

This course is designed to ensure that the Royal Navy is right for you and you are right for the Royal Navy. It gives you the opportunity to get a taste of life in the Royal Navy, ensures you are prepared for your Initial Navy Training at HMS Raleigh and gives you an understanding of what is expected of you when you are there.

The content includes:

  • Your Initial Naval Training programme
  • Introduction to expected fitness standards, Initial Military Fitness (IMF) and swim test
  • Our ethos and values (C2DRIL)
  • Kit maintenance, marching, discipline, teamwork and personal responsibilities
  • Visit to a surface warship (CPC South) or submarine (CPC North)
  • You will be required to pass the Royal Navy Fitness Assessment, following which you will be given direction on training and exercise you must conduct prior to joining the Royal Navy
  • You will be required to pass the Pre-Joining Swimming Test. After completion of this you will be encouraged to conduct the Naval Swimming Test (NST) which you must pass in your first week at Initial Naval Training

Where and when

Once you have been given an entry date (or in some cases waiting for one), you will be invited to attend the CPC.


The CPC takes place in one of two places; either at HMS Sultan in Hampshire or MOD Caledonia in Rosyth.

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