Applying to the RAF
Everything you need to know when applying to the RAF Today’s modern RAF is the UK’s aerial, peacekeeping and fighting force. It’s made up of impressive full-time Regulars and spare-time Reserves who come from diverse backgrounds and work side-by-side to make a difference home & abroad.
Source for this pages information: www.raf.mod.uk
To meet RAF nationality requirements, you need to be one of the following:
- British citizen
- British national
- British/Dual national
- Commonwealth citizen
- Irish Republic national
Age requirements vary depending on which role you choose. The youngest age for applying is 15 years and nine months for an Airman. The oldest is 55 years for a Medical Officer. If you’re under 18 years of age, you’ll need consent from a parent or guardian before you apply.
- Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
- Check eligibility under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary of its provisions
- Undergo a basic background check to obtain Security Check level clearance
Some roles also require applicants to declare spent convictions, and obtain additional clearance.
Whatever your academic background, there are a range of great opportunities in the RAF. Some require minimal qualifications, others require specialist skills and/or a degree. Check the educational requirements for your role, if unsure consult the RAF equivalent qualifications in case they are applicable.
To find out all the Frequently asked questions: click here
All applicants must be fit in order to complete initial and specialist training, and perform their roles effectively. To assess fitness, every candidate undergoes two or three separate fitness tests as part of the application process: Selection Fitness Test, Pre-joining Fitness Test or Pre-recruit Training Course. The fitness requirements for these tests vary according to role, age and gender.
You can see the protocols for Press Ups & Sit Ups here: PJFT/PRTC Protocols
You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test below, listen to the introduction file first:
RAF MSFT: Intro
RAF MSFT: Bleep Test
You can see a video demonstration of the PRTC Fitness Test here: RAF Fitness Test
The following are not permitted in the RAF. Extreme political affiliations, offensive tattoos or adornments, substance abuse and pending court appearances, for example, will automatically prevent you from being accepted into the RAF. See below for details.
- Applicants who have been or are members of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence are automatically disqualified
- Candidates waiting to appear in court, or who have spent or unspent convictions may be excluded from certain roles and must declare this on application
- The misuse of drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids can automatically exclude an applicant, but each case is considered upon its own merits
- Tattoos, brands or bead implants that are deemed obscene or offensive will result in disqualification. Tattoos must not be visible above the neck collar or below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform.
- Body piercing which causes holes that do not close up is not permitted and Candidates who declare themselves to be an ‘undischarged’ bankrupt are ineligible to apply.
Applying to the RAF