Medical and medical support Medical Support Officer (physio) CURRENTLY RECRUITING

As an RAF Medical Support Officer, Physiotherapist, you will help keep our personnel fit and medically prepared for demanding operational roles.

Learn more about this role

Pay During Initial Officer Training £27,200+ + Benefits

Initial pay after training £33,400+ + Benefits

Is this for you?


  • Be aged 20 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Be a graduate physiotherapist with evidence of having completed 3 years of post-graduate experience
  • Be fully registered with the HCPC
  • You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.
  • Commit to minimum 6 years service
  • Meet the fitness and health criteria
  • Pass a General Fitness Test


  • Helping people
  • Travelling the world
  • Sport & Fitness




  • Treat a broad range of Musculoskeletal cases in a primary care or regional rehabilitation setting
  • Care for injured front-line personnel
  • Provide primary care for the rehabilitation of RAF Personnel

As an RAF Medical Support Officer (physio) your job is to deliver clinical rehabilitative care to service personnel to help force generation and recovery. This could be within a Primary Care Rehabilitation Facility, on various military exercises or on deployments. Your job will predominantly be clinical in nature assessing and treating military patients potentially from all 3 Services who present with a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries as well as some managerial duties.

There may be further opportunities to work on front-line Main Operating Bases around the world, at large Regional Rehabilitation Unit and at the new national centre of excellence, the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre at Loughborough.

It is highly likely that you will be deployed to provide specific skills in support of a military campaign, where you will provide essential care to front-line personnel in the most challenging of environments. Within your first few years, you will probably be deployed overseas for anything from a few days to several months. You will deliver the same high standard of care as you would at home, but you will have to handle the extra challenges of working in a field hospital or deployed medical facility, whether that is a tent in the desert or a mobile treatment centre. All Medical Support Officer Physiotherapy Officers are given specific training in aviation medicine and occupational health issues specific to a military setting.

You can find out more about the role in this publication.


Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

Benefits Salary
Civilian Role
RAF Role
  • Rent from £75p/m
  • Free gym
  • Subsidised food
  • Health care
  • World travel
  • 6 weeks holiday

See All Benefits



Like all our Specialist Branch Officers, you will begin your RAF career on Specialist Officer Initial Training Course (SOITC) at RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This is a 12-week course specially designed for professionally qualified entrants to the RAF. The course includes fitness development, military training, weapons handling and academic study, as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.


Following completion of SOITC, you will move to the Defence College of Healthcare Education and Training near Lichfield for a further 5 days of professional training, with fellow healthcare professionals, on the Initial Medical, Dental and Nursing Officers’ Course. The final part of this phase of training is a 2-week Aviation Medicine course at RAF Henlow.

More details +


Like most people in the RAF you will move jobs every 2 - 3 years; each job is known as a tour. Primary care settings involve working in either Medical Centres at RAF bases or Regional Rehabilitation Units located throughout the UK. Depending on your knowledge and experience, you may be selected to work in a specialist field at DMRC Stanford Hall.


You will join the RAF on an initial commission of 6 years, during this time your service may be extended by competitive selection. MSO Physiotherapists are commissioned in the rank of Flying Officer with an award of one year’s seniority. Additional seniority may be awarded depending on recognised clinical experience. You will be promoted to Flight Lieutenant on a time and satisfactory service basis. All further promotions will be by competitive selection on merit, and Service need.



As a Physiotherapy Officer, you will have extensive opportunities for further personal and professional development throughout your career. This will include various types of on-going professional training to ensure your continued registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Physiotherapists are strongly encouraged to undertake master’s level study in a clinically relevant subject. As an autonomous practitioner, you will have the opportunity to test your clinical and leadership skills in more challenging ways both in the UK and when deployed.


As well as having similar promotion and development opportunities to civilian counterparts, Physiotherapy Officers have the chance to work around the world and gain unique medical experiences. Similarly, experience of military medical management and training provides RAF healthcare professionals with an excellent grounding for managerial progression if that is the chosen route for a future career.



Your training will start with a Basic Recruit Training Course consisting of 4 weekends at your chosen RAF Reserves Squadron, followed by a 15-day residential training course at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course will introduce you to the RAF lifestyle and include fitness development and military training.


After the residential course, recruits go on to Reserve Officer Initial Training during their second year. This combines distance learning with residential weekends at the prestigious RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. It also includes a two-week residential phase at Cranwell where Reserves mix with Regular Officers on their initial training.  During this period you will build the foundation for the skills and knowledge required to command and lead in military roles and beyond.

Commitment and location

You will have to commit to 27 days per year for 12 years minimum.

Each year includes a 15-day block for general RAF training, and 12 separate days for extra training or exercises.

You might be deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.



Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Be aged between 20 and 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday).


Be a fully qualified and HCPC registered physiotherapist with a BSc or MSc (pre-registration) in Physiotherapy.
Have a minimum of 3 years postgraduate experience.
Have completed postgraduate Band 5 rotations, to include a respiratory rotation.
Have a minimum of 12 months experience in a musculoskeletal outpatient setting.



Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years will be considered.

Following the MOD announcement that the UK Armed Forces will now be able to recruit commonwealth citizens without the 5 year residency requirement, please note that the RAF continues to apply standard residency requirements for security clearance,  ie, DV employment requires 7-years UK residency immediately prior to enlistment; SC requires 3-years.


You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively. To check your fitness levels, we put every candidate through two or three separate fitness tests as part of the application process: Selection Fitness Test, Pre-joining Fitness Test or Pre-recruit Training Course.
How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on role, age and gender.

MALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
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
45-47 12.54 7.07 16 23


FEMALES - 100% pass rates:
AGE 2.4 Km Run Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (Score) (No.) (No.)
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
45-47 15.19 5.04 6 20

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.



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

  • Body Mass Index requirements:
Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 28 32 30
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27
  • 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 Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. 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.



  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance



  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). In addition, tattoos must not be visible below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform, although a single finger (not thumb) tattoo that could be covered by a ring may be permitted
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy:

A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm).

The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available.

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information contact your local AFCO.


Apply here and receive an email that invites you to your full online application.

Apply as a Regular