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1. What is the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service (RFA)?          
2. What qualifications are needed to join?
3. Are there any age limits?
4. Is the RFA part of the Royal Navy?
5. Will my RN qualifications count in the RFA?
6. What medical standards are required?
7. What are the normal voyage lengths? How much leave is earned? Is it paid leave?
8. Where do the ships of the RFA operate?
9. Once I have completed an application form, what happens next?
10. Are the career prospects good?


1 . What is the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service (RFA)?

The primary role of the Service is to supply the Royal Navy at sea, with food, fuel, ammunition and spares it needs in order to maintain operations away from its home ports.

2. What qualifications are needed to join?

For a position as a Trainee Rating, you'll require a basic level of secondary education - a lot of training is 'on the job'. To be accepted onto our Officer Cadet programme, you'll need a minimum of 5 GCSE's at grade 'C' or above, including Maths at grade 'B' or above, English and Physics or Dual Science. If you have good passes at 'A' level in these subjects, you could enter our Foundation Degree Officer Cadet programme. The RFA also looks to employ experienced seafarers, across all specialisations, with the required MCA certification.

3. Are there any age limits?

The age range of those accepted for Trainee Rating positions is over 16 and up to 62 . For Officer Cadetships, the age range is over 16 and up to 60.
We accept qualified seafarers up to the age of 64.

4. Is the RFA part of the Royal Navy?

The RFA is a civilian-manned flotilla that is owned by the Ministry of Defence and answerable to Commander in Chief Fleet. All applicants must have British Citizenship and have been resident in the UK for at least 3 of the past 5 years..

5. Will my RN qualifications count in the RFA?

Your RN qualifications and experience will need to be assessed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), they will provide you with advice on what, if any, additional experience you'll need to obtain the required MCA certification.

6. What medical standards are required?

You will need to obtain an MCA, ENG1 medical standard of fitness and meet the statutory visual acuity and colour vision standard. You'll also be required to satisfy the medical standards of the RFA. Both would be explained in full during the recruitment process.

7. What are the normal voyage lengths? How much leave is earned? Is it paid leave?

4 months. Earned Voyage Leave is 69 days for Ratings and 87 days for officers for a 4-month voyage. Yes, Earned Voyage leave is paid.

8. Where do the ships of the RFA operate?

Ships of the RFA can be operating anywhere in the world, at any time. The flotilla was deployed in support of British Forces during the Falklands War and the Gulf War. Our ships also formed part of the British contribution to operations in the former Yugoslavia and are often deployed in support of Britain's contribution to NATO and United Nations peace-keeping operations.

9. Once I have completed an application form, what happens next?

Your application will be acknowledged and you will be advised of the vacancy situation in the specialisation  in which you are seeking employment. You will be informed whether you are required to attend  a Recruitment Test or an Admiralty Interview Board. If you pass this initial stage of the recruiting process your application will then go through the formal sift process. If successful at the sift stage, you will be invited to attend an interview. The length of the process is dependant on the vacancy situation.

10. Are the career prospects good?

If you are prepared to work hard and are willing to undertake further training in order to gain advanced qualifications, you'll find opportunities for promotion within the RFA extremely good.

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