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Initial Naval Training (Officer) (INT(0))

Initial Naval Training (Officer) (INT(0))

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Key information


To ensure that the young officer is ready for subsequent phases of specialist training, having completed initial training to prescribed standards and gained an appreciation of the seagoing environment. To stimulate, inspire and teach a new generation to act and react instinctively as Naval Officers in the front line.

Course details

The topics covered include:

INT(O) is delivered to both Royal Navy and International Young Officers. The course is common to all specialisations and lasts for 30 weeks. It is split into 2 terms of 15 weeks with 3 entries a year, January, May and September:

Term 1 – Induction, seamanship, navigation and leadership development, culminating in the Assessed Basic Leadership Exercise (ABLE), a 4 day exercise on Dartmoor, followed by academic studies, further navigation and Naval General Training.

Term 2 – Maritime operations, academics, further navigation, twin screw boat handling, presentation skills and the 3 week Initial Ship Acquaint onboard an operational RN warship, Naval Military Training, strategic studies, Royal Marine acquaint, Critical Thinking module, seminar presentations, and a 4 day maritime leadership programme, culminating in the 4 day Maritime Leadership Exercise (MARL), on the River Dart. The term culminates with ceremonial training and the Passing Out Parade.


All applicants are subject to the following personal standards:

a. Age 

Each Young Officer must be over 18 and under 25 years old at the start of the course. Exceptionally, candidates up to the age of 34 may be accepted if they meet the medical and fitness requirements, although experience indicates that older candidates have difficulty with the physical aspects of the course.

b. Medical standards

The course contains a significant amount of physical and mental pressure. As a result all Young Officers entering BRNC are required to be medically, dentally and physically fit on joining with reasonable reserves of stamina.

  1.  Pre-Course Medical – All potential Young Officers are to have full medical and dental examination no more than 3 months before joining and will have a medical examination on arrival at the college. Candidates must be in good general health with no evidence of chronic or current illness or disease. A Physical & Functional standards questionnaire is to be completed by the student and authorising Officer. On the first day of training, a disclaimer is to be completed by the student, confirming they are medically and physically fit for training.
  2. Chest X-ray – The examination is to include a full plate chest X-ray which must be normal.
  3. Haematological Screening – Haematological screening for Sickle Cell trait is mandatory. Candidates with a positive trait are not acceptable.
  4. Eyesight – Glasses and contact lenses are acceptable. Visual Acuity is to be measured using the Snellen’s Chart system.
  5. Hearing – Candidates are to have an audiometric assessment and must not have hearing loss in either ear, measured in decibels (dB) over 6 frequencies. The hearing standard is derived from a sum of the total hearing loss (dB) within the low and high frequencies as measured by ‘pure-tone air conduction’ audiometry. 
  6. Physique – Candidates must have a normal physique and be within normal height/weight ratios for their age, maximum Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28.
  7. Dental Standards – Dental treatment is costly both in terms of time and money. Candidates whose dental health is assessed as likely to cause problems will not be allowed to proceed to sea. As a result all candidates are to be in good dental health before joining and have no evidence of dental disease, decay or need for ongoing dental treatment.

c. Medical and Dental Checks

Candidates must complete a medical questionnaire prior to joining BRNC and will undergo a full medical screening on arrival. Those outside the above requirements will be considered unfit and returned to home. Any queries concerning an individual’s fitness to commence training should be directed to the Principal Medical Officer, BRNC.

d. Physical Standards

Young Officers undertake a rigorous physical fitness programme and arduous leadership exercises whilst at BRNC. They are expected to participate fully in each session involving a variety of activities such as rope climbing, vaulting and circuit training. The physical training syllabus is designed to produce a progressive development in cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Potential candidates must have a reasonable level of fitness before joining BRNC, and on joining must be capable of:

  1.  Passing Swimming Test (includes swimming 100m in pair of overalls).
  2. Running 2.4 Km in 11 minutes 9 seconds If unable to swim or unable to achieve a 2.4 Km run within 10% of the required time, candidates will be considered unfit and returned to their national authorities. These are minimum physical standards required to successfully complete the course at BRNC and candidates undertake a 30 week PT syllabus based on this minimum level of fitness at entry.

In addition to the PT syllabus, all Young Officers will be expected to participate in at least two different sports per week. These sessions are compulsory and form part of the overall syllabus. In general, each person participates in a team sport, relevant to the time of year, on Mondays and another sport on Wednesdays.

e. Academic Standards

  1. Educational standard to UK GCSE passes of minimum Grade C in English Language and Mathematics of equivalent standard. Desirable to have GCSE pass (Grade C) in Physics or acceptable equivalent standard.
  2. English Language Standards – Minimum IELTS level 5.5 in all 4 disciplines (speaking, reading, writing and listening). Achievement of IELTS 6 in all 4 disciplines gives greater indication of success on INT(O).

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