Eligibility Check

To join the RAF you’ll need to meet certain criteria, like nationality, age, education and health. Some criteria apply to everyone joining the RAF; others only apply to specific roles. Take a look at the general RAF criteria below and select your preferred role to learn about some additional requirements you’ll need to meet.

Full Time

Select a role based on a full-time role

Spare Time

Select a role based on a spare-time role

All Full-Time Roles:

Personnel support (7 Roles)

Medical and medical support (15 Roles)

Logistics (6 Roles)

Force protection (5 Roles)

Intelligence (5 Roles)

Aircrew (5 Roles)

Air operations support (11 Roles)

Technical and engineering (12 Roles)

Nationality & Residency

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

To meet RAF residency requirements, you should have been a UK Resident for a minimum of five years immediately preceding application, and have spent no more than 28 days per year outside the UK within those five years.

UK residents of less than five years, or those who have spent more than 28 days per year outside the UK will require more eligibility checks. If this is you, call us for further advice.


You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom since birth and must not hold (and must never have held) any nationality or citizenship (including joint nationality) other than British or that of a British Overseas Territory.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 10 years immediately preceding your application, but candidates with a minimum of 7 years may be considered.

Age Requirements

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. 

  • 21-36 (Civilian candidates must enter IOT before their 37th birthday)
  • Upper age limit of 44 for Internal Commissioning Scheme

Educational Requirements

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.


You will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs (or acceptable equivalents) at a minimum of Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or 5 Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) Standard Grades at a minimum of Grade 2 or 5 Scottish National Equivalent (SNE) grades at Grade 5, including English Language and Mathematics.

In addition, you need at least 2 A2 Levels/3 Highers at Grade C or above (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking) which must total a minimum of 64 UCAS points.

Alternatively, if you hold a UK degree at Grade 2:2 or higher (or acceptable alternative), you only need English Language and Mathematics GCSEs at a minimum of Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17), SCE at a minimum of Grade 2 or SNE at Grade 5.

Additional requirement:

You must have a full UK driving licence.

Fitness Requirements

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: Bleep Test

You can see a video demonstration of the PRTC Fitness Test here:

RAF Fitness Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for all of the fitness tests can be downloaded here.

1) The Selection Fitness Test is used to demonstrate physical preparedness in a 2.4km run, press ups and sit ups. See the table below for detailed requirements.

AGE 2.4 Km Run (Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 11.39 9.03 20 35
17-29 11.11 9.10 20 35
30-34 11.36 9.04 19 32
35-39 12 8.09 18 29
40-44 12.26 8.03 17 26
45-49 12.54 7.07 16 23
50-54 13.27 7.01 15 20
AGE 2.4 Km Run(Minutes) Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Level) Press-ups (Number) Sit-ups (Number)
15-16 13.54 6.07 10 32
17-29 13.23 7.02 10 32
30-34 13.47 6.08 9 29
35-39 14.13 6.04 8 26
40-44 14.48 5.08 7 23
45-49 15.19 5.04 6 20
50-54 15.53 4.09 5 17


2) The Pre-joining Fitness Test requires candidates to meet a high standard of strength and endurance. See the table below for detailed requirements.

AGE 2.4 Km Run Press-ups Sit-ups  
(Minutes) (Number) (Number)
  100% Pass 100% Pass 100% Pass  
15-16 11.39 20 35  
17-29 11.11 20 35  
30-34 11.36 19 32  
35-39 12 18 29  
40-44 12.26 17 26  
AGE 2.4 Km Run Press-ups Sit-ups  
(Minutes) (Number) (Number)
  100% Pass 100% Pass 100% Pass  
15-16 13.54 10 32  
17-29 13.23 10 32  
30-34 13.47 9 29  
35-39 14.13 8 26  
40-44 14.48 7 23  


3) The Pre-recruit Training Course includes press-ups and sit- ups as well as a multi-stage aerobic fitness test over three days. See the table below for detailed requirements.


AGE Multi-stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups  
  100% Pass 100% Pass 100% Pass  
15-16 9.03 20 35  
17-29 9.1 20 35  
30-34 9.04 19 32  
35-39 8.09 18 29  
40-44 8.03 17 26  
AGE Multi-stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups  
  100% Pass 100% Pass 100% Pass  
15-16 6.07 10 32  
17-29 7.02 10 32  
30-34 6.08 9 29  
35-39 6.04 8 26  
40-44 5.08 7 23  


Health Requirements

There are health requirements that must be met by all applicants:

1)    Body Mass Index requirements:

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment

18 +





16 to <18          





Calculate your BMI now, click here.


2)      Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the health criteria, or would like to find out if any additional health requirements apply to your role of interest.

The recruitment Medical Risk Assessment

The Armed Forces require anyone who joins to be medically fit to serve worldwide.  New entrants to the Armed Forces undergo intensive training that is physically demanding and mentally taxing.  The RAF executive has a duty to ensure that you are sufficiently robust before you undergo military training.

The Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is intended to ensure that you satisfy the tri-Service medical entry criteria. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information.

Background Checks

All applicants are required to:

  • 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.


You must also be cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau as a condition of entry to the service. Ongoing clearance may also be required throughout your career.

Disqualifying Factors


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
  • Candidates who declare themselves to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt are ineligible to apply.

Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your situation, and we’ll help you work out if you qualify.