The Royal Air Force or RAF is an equal opportunity employer meaning that no race, social, cultural, religious background is discriminated against. It does not matter if a candidate is male, female, or gay. The RAF likes to recruit a variety of individuals to ensure that all careers are filled with proper candidates from all backgrounds and education. There are still RAF recruitment eligibility requirements that must be met for a candidate to apply and succeed through training to an enlisted position. The starting age for the RAF is 16 years of age with parental consent.
RAF Eligibility Criteria
Men and women can apply; however, certain roles for combat such as the RAF Regiment are restricted to men only. As for other RAF eligibility criteria, one must meet the age, fitness, and nationality/residency qualifications. For certain ranks and positions within the RAF academic requirements might apply. Generally, education requirements are restricted to officers or candidates hoping to enter in an officer position rather than go through cadet training from the lowest possible rank in the RAF. For those in an HM Forces Service position applications are processed only mildly differently.
Nationality and Residency Requirements
Any candidate will need to have a British, Commonwealth or Dual citizenship for Britain. If the nationality requirements are met then the individual needs to prove they were in the UK for the last 5 years with no more than 28 days per annum spent outside of the UK. If there is a strong reason for being out of the country and supporting evidence than an application may be approved but it is a case by case situation.
Fitness and Medical
Every candidate must meet certain medical requirements to move through the application process. Height and weight is not always specific; however, certain jobs require a minimum height in order to perform the duties. It is best to check your height based on your potential placement in the RAF. Minimum and maximum BMIs are in place for health and safety reasons. BMI ranges need to be within 17 to 32 depending on gender and age. Any male 18 or older is required to be 18 to 32. A person 16 years of age must be within 17 to 27.
Part of the RAF eligibility criteria includes taking eyesight tests. There are minimum standards to be met for uncorrected and corrected eyesight based on the position a candidate will hold. For regular roles +/- 6 dioptres is required. Also colour blindness is not accepted in certain roles, but does not eliminate a candidate entirely. These tests may take place at the Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO).
The medical staff in the RAF conducting the medical exams and fitness assessment can decide on a case by case basis if a person can handle the physical requirements of the job and the training that is required. There is some room for candidates to pass without strictly being within the ranges stated above for height, weight, and eyesight. There are also certain conditions that could exclude a person from joining the RAF. The Royal Air Force does not believe every candidate needs to be a top athlete, but in fit enough condition to handle the situations that arise.
Part of the fitness section is a 2.4 km run that must be completed within a certain time frame. There are also press-ups and sit-ups required. Each age group and gender has a certain minimum that must be met in terms of number and a maximum time allowable for the run. Depending on age males must make the run in 11.39 to 13.27 minutes, do 15 to 20 press-ups and 20 to 35 sit-ups. Females have 13.54 to 15.53 minutes to complete the run, 5 to 10 press-ups, and 17 to 32 sit-ups. The age group is a range of 16 to 54 for men and women. There are entry criteria and then training completion requirements. The RAF does not expect the highest performance level until after training.
Convictions, Bankruptcy and Criminal Checks
Even candidates who have a conviction on their record may still meet the RAF eligibility criteria. Depending on the offence the person may be kept out of certain service positions or held to a lower ranking. It will depend on the situation and how long ago the conviction occurred. If court proceedings are still ongoing denial is made for the application.
Bankruptcy when un-discharged makes a candidate ineligible for RAF recruitment. Additionally, certain positions may require a criminal records bureau clearance before acceptance.