We don't expect you to be a world-class athlete to join the RAF, but you do need a good level of basic fitness. This is both for your own well-being and so that you can complete your initial and specialist training. Also, that you can carry out your work effectively, whatever your job.
When you apply to join the RAF as an Officer, Non-Commissioned Aircrew (NCA) or Senior Non-Commissioned Officer for Air Traffic Control (SNCO(ATC) through the Direct Entry route, you will be expected to demonstrate an appropriate attitude to physical fitness through regular training and participation in physical activities. As part of the selection process, and in addition to a medical examination, you will be required to undertake a Selection Fitness Test (SFT) in the form of a gender and age fair health based test in order to demonstrate your physical preparedness to enter Initial Training.
Selection Fitness Test (SFT)
(Officer, NCA and SNCO(ATC))
Candidates for Officer, NCA and SNCO(ATC) entry will be required to achieve SFT standard for their age and gender through a combination of tests involving a 2.4 km treadmill run, press ups and sit ups. RAF candidates for the Defence Sixth Form College will be required to complete a Mult-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT), sometimes called the “beep test”, in place of the 2.4 km run. The standard you must reach is as follows:
MALESAGE2.4 Km Run (Minutes)MSFT (Level)Press-Ups (Number)Sit-Ups (Number)15-1611.399.03203517-2911.119.10203530-3411.369.04193235-3912.008.09182940-4412.268.03172645-4912.547.07162350-5413.277.011520FEMALESAGE2.4 Km Run(Minutes)MSFT (Level)Press-Ups (Number)Sit-Ups (Number)15-1613.546.07103217-2913.237.02103230-3413.476.0892935-3914.136.0482640-4414.485.0872345-4915.195.0462050-5415.534.09517
To be successful in the SFT, it is vital that you train on a regular basis using the appropriate Protocol for each element of the test.
Candidates for Officer, NCA and SNCO(ATC) entry must meet the required standard before an offer of Service can be made.
When you apply to join the RAF as an Airman or Airwoman, you will be asked to undertake an initial fitness test. This will be arranged at a gym local to you. You’ll be expected to reach a certain standard and to follow the correct form for press-ups and sit-ups, as only those that meet the standard will count.
If you don't meet required standards, you will have to wait at least six months to re-register your interest with the RAF (subject to your continuing eligibility), and by this time, role availability may have changed. So it's really important to familiarise yourself with the requirements and work on getting fit as early as possible.
Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)
Your PJFT will be arranged by your AFCO following confirmation that you have passed your medical examination. The test is age and gender fair and the standard you must reach is as follows:
MALESAGE2.4 Km Run
100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass15-1611.39203517-2911.11203530-3411.36193235-3912.00182940-4412.261726FEMALESAGE2.4 Km Run
100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass15-1613.54103217-2913.23103230-3413.4792935-3914.1382640-4414.48723
Please note: These standards come into effect from 19th September 2011 so training to get as fit as you can will be beneficial to your application.
* Command PEd have calculated the pass standards for the 2.4 km run based on the required level of fitness necessary for entry into service in the RAF.
If you pass your PJFT, the result will be sent to the AFCO who will then get in touch to progress your application.
If you don’t meet required standards, you will have to wait at least six months to re-register your interest with the RAF (subject to your continuing eligibility), and by this time, role availability may have changed. So it’s really important to familiarise yourself with the requirements and work on getting fit as early as possible.
If you make the grade, the next step will be RAF Halton for the Pre-Recruit Training Course (PRTC).
RAF Gunner Pre-Joining Fitness Test
The RAF Regiment Gunner Pre Joining Fitness Test has slightly higher standards to prepare potential candidates for the Potential Gunner Selection Course.
Limits vary according to your age. To pass you will need to meet the following:
MalesAGE2.4 Km Run (1.5 Mile)Press-UpsSit-Ups
The Pre-Recruit Training Course
The PRTC is a two-day course designed to help you decide whether a career in the RAF is for you. It also gives us the chance to make a final assessment of your fitness. You will be given a date for this course once you have met all other selection criteria.
The course includes a set number of press-ups and sit-ups within a prescribed time. Once again, you’ll need to follow the correct form for press-ups and sit-ups as only those that meet the standard will count.
You’ll also take part in a Multi Stage Fitness Test (MSFT) which will measure your aerobic fitness. You must run between two lines/markers set exactly 20 metres (m) apart and keep up with a series of pre-recorded bleeps played on a CD recording. The interval between each bleep remains consistent per level (each level lasts for one minute) and initially starts off very slowly (brisk walking pace) but progressively increases in speed every minute. You need to keep running until you reach the set standard or until you can no longer maintain the required pace.
In order to be eligible for final selection, you must reach the required standard in all elements of the PRTC fitness test as follows:
100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass15-169.03203517-299.10203530-349.04193235-398.09182940-448.031726FEMALESAGEMSFTPress-UpsSit-Ups
100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass100% RAFFT Pass15-166.07103217-297.02103230-346.0892935-396.0482640-445.08723
Please note: These standards come into effect from 21st November so training to get as fit as you can will be beneficial to your application.
For Airmen and Airwomen, if you don’t meet required standards, you will have to wait at least six months to re-register your interest with the RAF, and by this time vacancies may be filled. So it’s really important to familiarise yourself with the requirements as early as possible.
As part of the PRTC, you will also attend a presentation which outlines the importance of fitness in the RAF and how to prepare your body before recruit training. You will undergo diagnostic tests to assess your current learning ability – this is not a selection tool, it is there to identify specific learning needs so that you can be given the right support during training. You’ll learn about the RAF, the duties we perform, the training we do and our role in operations around the world. There will also be presentations on pay and allowances and you’ll have the chance to ask questions.
On successful completion of the PRTC, your next step will be the Recruit Training Course, also held at RAF Halton.
Protocols – press-up test
The aim of the press-up test is to measure the strength and endurance of the upper body. Press-ups are performed for a maximum duration of one minute, or until the individual stops (knees touch the floor) or fails to perform the press-up using the correct form.
The press-ups are to be completed using the correct form, namely:
The subject lies flat on their stomach/chest with their legs straight and feet not more than 30cm apart. Their hands (or fists) are to be positioned facing forwards in a comfortable position from which they are able to commence the exercise. Individuals are to conduct the press-ups with both their hands and feet on the mats or both on the floor.
Keeping the head in a neutral position, the subject is to raise the body up by straightening their arms, ensuring the back is kept straight with the feet acting as a pivot. The elbows are to be locked at the highest point; this is the start/finish position.
The body is lowered by bending the elbows until the upper arms are at least parallel to the floor (this is the down position). The body is to be kept straight throughout the exercise.
Partners are to align themselves to the front of the participant, place their elbow onto the floor and adjust the angle of their arm, with fist clenched, in line with the participants shoulder. The height of the fist is adjusted to a level where the participant’s upper arm is at least parallel to the floor (when in the 'down' position).
Participants may rest (if required) but only in the start/finish position, with the arms extended fully and the back and legs kept straight. If the participant's knee(s) touch the floor at any time during the test, no additional repetitions are to be counted and the participant will be told to stop.
Protocols – sit-up test
The aim of the sit-up test is to measure the strength and endurance of the abdominal muscles. The sit-ups are to be performed for a maximum duration of one minute, or until the individual stops or fails to perform the sit-up using the correct form.
The sit-ups are to be completed using the correct form, namely:
The subject lies on a mat with the knees bent to approximately 90o and feet 30 cm apart. Feet should be flat on the mat. The hands are placed on the temples of the head (not behind) and must be maintained in this position throughout the test.
Back and shoulder blades flat and touching the mat; it is not necessary for the head to touch the mat.
Elbows touching the tops of the knees.
The sit-up is initiated by curling the trunk up, so that the elbows touch the knees, followed by a return to the starting position; participants are not to ‘bounce’ off the mat at any time during the test.
The partner/assessor is to ensure that the individual's feet are held in position for the duration of the test, to stop rocking and stabilise the lower body.
Participants are to rest (if required) in the start position.