You may have found that up to now, you’ve been processed pretty quickly. Time seems to fly between applying and getting to here. However, this is where it can really start to slow down if you’re unlucky.

The medical is not done by the RAF or RAF medics or anything like that. It is done by a civilian company who go by the name of Capita. Capita are not based in every single town so be prepared to travel to your closest city or larger town. 

A quick search online about RAF medicals may fill you with dread. There are plenty of horror stories going around but be advised, this is the internet, and people often let personal emotions rule their thoughts and therefore most of these horror stories are exaggerated.

In short, the medical is very thorough. It has to be. The RAF will be spending thousands to train you, and they can’t have people who aren’t medically fit. The problem is, for one reason or another, Capita like to find reasons to class people as Temporarily Medically Unfit. If you’ve broken a bone in the last 12 months, expect a delay while they check your hospital/medical notes. If you’ve ever had asthma put on your medical records (even if you don’t currently or have ever had it), again, expect delays.

I’ve heard of some people spending months and months at the medical stage trying to get it sorted. The good news is, it almost always gets sorted in the end. So if you have any kind of trouble, stick with it. The same advice I gave for the AST applies here, be persistent and be determined. The medical is largely out of your control but if they’re making you wait around, make sure you contact them regularly to find out what’s going on if you don’t already know.

Ok so moving on to what actually happens at the medical…

  • You will give a urine sample
  • You will have your blood pressure taken
  • You will go through your medical history. A long list of illnesses/conditions are read out and you simply answer yes/no to whether you have ever had or currently have them or any symptoms. Do not lie about any of this stuff, if you do and they find out later on in the process, you may find your application being discontinued.
  • Eyesight test, which includes a long distance and short distance eyesight test a long with a quick test to check for colour blindness.
  • Hearing test, which involves having some rather uncomfortable headphones on and clicking a button when you hear a frequency.
  • Physical exam (in underwear) which includes a variety of weird and wonderful ‘walks’ across the room. Walking on your tip toes, heels, outside of your feet and in a squat position (yes, it looks as ridiculous as it sounds) are included in this. Also you will be asked to do 3 press-ups. All of this is to ensure your joints and muscles are performing correctly.
  • Height and weight measurements to check BMI (this will be conducted once you are in your underwear). Chest and waist measurements are also taken.
  • Your stomach will be poked as you lie on a bed and you’ll be asked to cough whilst this is happening (I’m not too sure why, but go with it) and they will also listen to your chest with the stethoscope which is to check that you do actually have a heart. That was a joke. Pretty sure it’s to check that you don’t have a heart murmur or an irregular heartbeat (that’s what I was told anyway).

I’m fairly sure that this covers everything as I remember it. But I’ll continue to add to this if I manage to think of anything else.

The medical is pretty straight forward if you don’t have much or anything on your medical records but if you have, however, then expect delays!


94 thoughts on “Medical

  1. Hi there Ryan! Just wanted to ask you a few questions about the medical if I can. Did you find the medical stressful as its the one thing that you cannot change? Also if there are any delays how long do they tend to be? I had asthma as a child but haven’t used inhalers in years and to be honest it doesn’t affect me anymore. Also I’ve heard you can fail for something as simple as having too much ear wax? Is that right?
    Sorry for the paragraph but I’m stressing slightly as I just want the medical to go smoothly! Any advice is helpful, thank you!

    • The medical can be a pain and yes I did find it stressful as like you say, it’s the one thing you’re out of control for. You can revise for a test or an interview but you can’t change your body to pass a medical.

      Delays can vary. I heard of some people waiting a few months, some a couple of weeks. It’s just a case by case thing, but be prepared for anything.

      The asthma thing may get mentioned, it may not. Just be honest and if they want to look into anything, they will anyway.

      And yes I did know some people who failed for earwax! Just give your ears a clean before, I guess!

      All the best and I hope your medical goes as smoothly as mine did all those months ago.

  2. Thanks pal. That’s put my mind at ease somewhat. How do The people who do the medical get in touch with you? Also how long after the medical is the fitness test?

    • All correspondence will be through your AFCO. They will send you details of your medical and then you’ll fin out if you pass on the day. Hopefully that will be the last you hear of them! The fitness test is usually a few days after the medical. Mine was 8 days but most people I know had theirs within a week.

  3. Hey Ryan, I just wanted to say thanks for this blog. It has really helped my progress thorough the RAF application process. I just passed my filter interview (at the 2nd attempt) and have my medical next week, and I couldnt have done it without some of the tips you gave.

    Thanks once again,

    • Hi Will

      Always nice to hear comments like these! Very pleased to hear you passed your interview. All the best for your medical and fitness. If you have any further questions then don’t hesitate to leave a message on here.


  4. Hi Ryan,

    Just wondering, when it comes to my medical i’m quite concerned about having minor cracking joints when walking around doing the instructions that the doctor told you to do. Everything else is completely fine with me in terms of medical conditions etc, I’m just concerned on whether this would be a drawback for me and if you’ve got any information on this matter? Sorry for the long read, Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jack

      Medicals are something I try to refrain from commenting on too much. I’m not in a position to say what will or won’t happen at a medical and I’d hate to get anyone’s hopes up! However, if it’s something you haven’t been diagnosed with or have on your medical notes, and if you’re able to do the physical parts of the exam with no problems then I don’t see why it would be an issue. But they can be ridiculously picky so just hope for the best is all I can say really!

      Good luck

    • Hey Jack,

      I also have minor cracking joints and had my medical yesterday, it was not something she commented on at the end. I felt a bit of a prat squat walking across the room in just my underwear though!

      I did fail on my elbow supination though, aka I cant turn my hands a full 180 degrees with my arm extended, dont know if thats something you also suffer from but be wary!

  5. Hey there Ryan! good run down of the medial. One thing that is missing and could be crucial for people to know is that the doctor checks your nose too by making you can breathe through individual nostrils. This stopped me from passing my medical at the time because I wasn’t aware that I had a deviated septum and was made “Temporarily Medically Unfit” until the problem was fixed. No major cause for concern if people are reading, all I had to do is go to my GP to get an appointment with an ENT Specialist to get an appointment to have Nasal Corrective Surgery (Septoplasty). 6 months after the surgery date (it’s all very healed by then) you’re allowed to go back for your Medical again.

    • Hi Wayne

      Hope all is now good and you have continued with your application. Interesting story too! I never had this test done when I went for my medical so it may be something they’ve added in. Mine was well over a year ago now so I guess things can change. Thanks for the info.

  6. Hi ryan,
    I have gone through my application without fault so far and have my medical in a few days, I have never had any illnesses or broke any bones and so I’m hoping all should be fine. I just wanted to ask about the OASC (the bit with the hanger exercises, leader excersises etc…), is there any way I can prepare for this and what can I expect?
    Thanks your blog had been great,

  7. Hi Ben

    Glad to hear your application has gone well so far and good luck for your medical.

    Ad for prearing for OASC, unfortunately I haven’t done it! This blog is all about the airman route and therefore OASC doesn’t apply. However, I do know quite a bit about OASC itself as I looked into applying for an Officer branch and haven’t ruled out applying in the future.

    The following link may be of use to you:

    Hope it helps!

  8. Hi Ryan
    Great info thanks love reading your story ,
    Step daughter got through this far
    Can you Apeal if fail medical ? As she had stomach bug before X mas doc put it down as IBS so They failed because of it passed rest
    Her life ambitiont to join up so gutted

    • Hi Sara

      Thank you for the kind words and I hope you’ve had a good Easter.

      Yes you can appeal but you need a very good reason to. You can’t just appeal and hope they will change their minds unfortunately. It’s worth a shot, but don’t get your hopes up just yet.

      I really hope you can find a way around it and good luck to your daughter!

  9. Got my medical tomorrow and like lot’s of people am a little apprehensive. My GP has put a few things on record that are not quite right but all I can do is show I’m fit and healthy now. Had a muscular pain on my leg but doctor put pain was in hip which was not true. They are not to keen to amend this which is worrying.

  10. Thanks ryan9900 and everyone else for their valuable contributions here!
    I’ve just recently passed my medical for Officer and other than a few more details on lifestyle and exercise-taken, what you’ve posted is more-or-less very accurate.
    However, the hearing test I was given came with minimal instruction on what to expect through which ear of the headphones…once you’ve “heard” what you’re listening for, it’s no problem (and I am a motorcyclist, though my wife says that I never listen!).
    Other than that: no surprises and hold-on for a wee before seeing the Doctor…mine was great, incidently!
    Good luck everyone, keep up the hard work.

  11. Hi Ryan, my son had his medical two weeks ago and hasn’t heard anything yet. His colour blind eye test came out CP4 he needs CP2 (aircraft tech), he misunderstood the doc and thought she said there was a number in each circle so when he couldn’t see a number he guessed instead of telling her he couldn’t see one, hence CP4. The doc said he’d passed his medical and gave him a slip of paper with CP4 written on it. He had a colour blind test independently the next day and passed 100%, (the test was the same as the medical), the optician said he was CP1 and thinks the test was done under the wrong lighting conditions (ie: no natural light). He realises he was a bit dense at the medical and phoned Cranwell as soon as he got home, who said he could appeal. I’m wondering why it’s taking so long for them to get in touch, should we phone Cranwell again and send them a copy of his independent eye test or wait until they get in touch. Cranwell said it could take up-to three weeks for his medical to get back to them (why so long?), is it because they have applied for his GP records or do they apply for them at a later date, anyway we are getting anxious now and are unsure what step to take next, could they send him a letter saying they don’t want him now or will they discuss the medical with him before they decide. Thanks your blog has been great. Sue

    • Hi Sue,

      Sorry to hear about your frustrating issue. I can believe that the test wasn’t done in perfect conditions. I had a similar experience with the hearing test. You’re supposed to go into a sound proofed room and have noise cancelling headphones and all sorts. I ended up doing it in a little booth, in the examiners room where I could still hear the traffic outside, even with the headphones on. The conditions aren’t exactly ideal!

      Unfortunately, if they’ve told you to wait 3 weeks, then that’s the best course of action. Things in the military always seem to take an awfully long time. And when the RAF are also relying on civilian organizations to process information, you can imagine the process slows down even more. I wish I had some really good advice for you but in mine and many others experience, the best and probably only thing you can do is wait. However, as soon as that 3 weeks is up, you should make a call if you haven’t heard anything. The RAF constantly expect you to stick to deadlines so they should stick to them too which I’m sure they will.

      Good luck to your son and I hope the situation is resolved soon!

      • Thanks Ryan, my husband was in the Army for 22 years and finds the idea of farming out the medical ridiculous. He was a recruiter in Liverpool for three years and keeps saying it wasn’t like this in my day. He gets impatient and keeps telling Joe to ring Cranwell but Joe wants to wait. Next Monday it will be three weeks since his medical and he will ring them again. Let’s hope they will allow him to take his colour perception test again or accept the opticians report.

  12. Hiya! This is just a message for Sue (but great blog by the way Ryan, I have found it very interesting.

    Basically, I have been in a very similar situation to your son, Sue. I had my medical back in February, and passed everything perfectly accept the colour perception, of which the doctor graded me CP4, and for my role, Mover, I also need a CP2. Now, let me tell you, I have had a hell of a time trying to sort this out! I’ve also had my eyes retested at an opticians, and she said that I have no colour defects what so ever in my eyes. I’ve sent two letter to the Department of Medical Health yelling them of this, and in the second letter I even sent them a copy of my optician results as proof that there is no problem. Ultimately, I am now at the stage of waiting for my AFCO to get back to me with a date for a specialist colour perception test, but this is only because I won my appeal fortunetly. But this whole experience has been very long and draining, and if I didn’t want a career as a Mover in the RAF so badly, then I definitely wouldn’t have put myself through all this waiting stress, as I have now been waiting over 2 months to even get to the point of re-doing my colour perception test.

    Hayley x

    • Hi Hayley, thanks for the info, I hope you’ve got a date for your re-test by now. I don’t understand why things take so long, the worst bit is the waiting. My son’s ast test and interview were quite close together then a wait of eight weeks to medical, he’s been told to send a copy of his eye test to Capita so let’s see what happens next. Good luck

      • Hi Sue, I’ve got a date for my eye test now for 1st June which is good progress! Strange that you have been told to send a copy of your son’s eye test results to Capita though, as the Department of Medical Health said they wouldn’t accept mine from the Boots Opticians. It’s almost as if each AFCO just makes it up as they go along! I wish you good luck nonetheless, and please let me know how you get on with it!

        Hayley x

      • Hi Hayley, how did your eye test go? My son sent his opticians letter to Capita on the 16th May saying his colour perception is 100%, he also sent a weeks worth of BP readings because his BP was slightly raised at his medical (probably due to nerves) but he hasn’t heard anything back yet so he rang Cranwell and they said if he doesn’t hear from Capita by the 10th June to ring them and they will chase it up, all this waiting and he’ll probably have to go back to Capita for another CP and BP test, at this rate he’ll be an old man by the time he gets in, anyway I hope all went well with your eye test, let me know how everything’s going and hopefully you’ll have a date for your PJFT by now.

        Sue x

  13. Hi everyone,
    I’m actually really worried about the medical. I actually failed the first medical questionnaire before the interview for having asthmatic symptoms within the last 5 years. I’ve also been prescribed an inhaler; however this was all due to a minor chest infection and my GP sent a letter of appeal and it was successful as he outlined there was no problem with my breathing and I’ve never been diagnosed with asthma. I was wondering whether any of this this will affect my medical examination? Will they know that my appeal was successful before and that there’s nothing wrong with my breathing? Will there be a delay because they need confirmation from my doctor again even though he’s already sent off an appeal before? Sorry for a lot of questions, I’m just paranoid and I really want this.

  14. Hi Sue!

    Lovely to hear from you again. I had my eye test on Wednesday 1st June and passed it perfectly, I got all the cards right and was graded CP2 – shame it didnt happen that way the first time…A big relief though! I am waiting now for my fitness test, but not sure when I’ll get my date for it, however I will keep you updated! I’m sorry to hear about your struggles with the process, but I know exactly how frustrating it is. It took me 3 months to get to the point of re-taking my colour perception test but I hope you don’t end up waiting that long. Just stick with it though and persevere best you can, as it should all work out in the end as it did with me. Good luck and keep me updated with how everything goes!

    • Hayley I was hoping to ask if you had any tips for the colour perception test, I’m hoping to go in as an aircraft technician and need CP2, I’ve been looking at both the 28 page edition and the 14 page edition…do you remember how many pages were in the book and if you were asked to identify random numbers or were they all in order? I have my medical next week so would greatly appreciate a reply! Thank you!

  15. Hi Tom! Great to hear from you! I can’t remember exactly how many cards there were in the Ishihara Colour Perception Test, it was 20 something but not sure. When I re-did mine about a month ago, it was done under a bright light as if you were in an opticians, and the cards varied from cards with single and double digit numbers to cards with a squiggly line. I failed the first time because I thought I had to look for numbers the entire way through (the doctor didn’t explain the test to me) so when I came to the squiggly line card I told him I couldn’t see anything. So when you do yours next week, prepare for cards which don’t have any number at all, and instead trace your finger along the squiggly line you can see and tell your doctor what colours you can see too, just do everything to prove youre not in anyway colour blind otherwise the following few months to book a re-test will be a nusense trust me! The colour perception test isn’t that hard tbh but you do need to concentrate slightly. I hope this helps, feel free to message me with any more questions before your medical! Good luck!

  16. Hi Ryan
    I am wondering if you can help. We recently was fortunate to get private health care for the family and my son decided he wanted to make sure he was tip top, in preparation for the RAF medical. He had spent some time at home revising for college – sitting on his bed adopting pore posture (i noticed an even commented). Basically a slouching teenager! As such he ended up for a short while with discomfort in his back – a bit stiff. As he put it ” I could do with a massage”. So he went along to see a private consultant. The consultant basically said he needed to do some physio work to improve his posture and had a mild case of upper thoracic kyphosis / Scheuemanns disease – basically a slight curvature of the top spine. Surgery is not needed and effective treatment can be sought with specific exercises. No pain relief has ever been required and already after two physio sessions the discomfort has gone and my son’s posture has improved.
    Can you advise if in your opinion this should be discussed or will be a problem?
    My son completed the medical questionnaire and put no to the answer about back pain, as it asks if you are currently in pain (he was and is not), if you have had a back issue lasting longer than 3 months or over separate incidents (he hasnt).
    The only concern is that the consultant letter to our GP says that my son has been complaining about discomfort in his back for 3 months and mentions “scheuemanns disease” – the fact is my son laid on the discomfort “thick” with the consultant as he thought he was going to be given free private physio and massages! (Stupid I know). Will the RAF medical team see this consultants letter to the GP? How should we play this?

  17. Thanks pal. My lad is waiting for his medical date as I write this and it’s really put him at ease after reading your blog.

  18. Brilliant blog. My son got his medical next week. Picked up ear infection while on holiday (too much swimming). Thinking if we can get him antibiotics it will be mostly clears by medical date in a few days. Do you think this may be a problem. Hope in the doctor will write a note explaining this is a one off. He’s never sick so he’s really worried this will go against him.

    • It should be fine, but always be prepared for it to delay things. It’s just tiny little things like that which they like to pick up on and dig deeper. I can’t say what they will or won’t do as I’m not medically qualified and simply don’t have the knowledge so it would be wrong for me to get your hopes up. Just see how it goes and hopefully there’s no issue!

      • thank you. No problem with his ears but dioctor was incredibly picky. Got one letter wrong on sight test so he had to go and get an optitians report. Perfect vision! He broke a finger when he was 7 and they are asking GP about this and they could see the tiniest curve in his spine but only during a press up. They said everything was aligned and his walking on toes, heels was excellent so I cant see a great issue. He has been held up by the GP. Hopefully reports have now been sent. He is very anxious now though. He will be contacting to check they have what they need and hopefully clear for pre training. Thanks for the blogs.

  19. My son passed his medical on the 19th…although that only makes it six working days ago. He passed but was told he had to wait as they were waiting for medical reports. Four years ago he was stung right below the eye by an hornet and spent four days in hospital. However this was due to an infection introduced by the hornet and not due to allergies or anything. He received intravenous antibiotics and has not needed any follow up appointments or an Epi-pen. I checked his hospital discharge papers and there is no mention of allergies.He was assured he’d passed and that they would be in touch. He hasn’t heard anything as yet so phoned AFCO this morning and was told they are still waiting for documents and then a revue. My question is, if he had failed would they have let him know by now and does it usually take a long time for these checks to be made? He’s understandably nervous now as he passed the aptitude test and interview with flying colours.
    By the way, thanks for this site, it’s given us a lot of guidance.
    Jane P

    • Hi Jane,

      Sorry to hear about the situation and the obvious stress it’s been causing.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone will really have the information you need. Sometimes they can take unreasonable amounts of time to sort out paperwork and records etc. It’s simply a case of them being busy or another problem their end. My advice would be to patiently wait (easier said than done – I know!) and just keep in regular contact with the AFCO. I had to call the AFCO a couple of times during my application and on one occasion, they actually did have the information wanted but just hadn’t got around to telling me about it. So it’s always worth keeping in touch. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome!

  20. Our son also got an ear infection and perforated ear drum, 2 days before his medical. We delayed the medical as we knew he not pass. His ear has now healed and been signed off by or own private coonsultant but the RAF has requested he waits 3 months from the issue occuring for it to heal to their satisfactory level. This is standard RAF practise.

  21. Hi Ryan. So my medical date is set for Friday 9th September and my Fitness test for the following week. My question is, will I find out on the day if I have passed my medical and also, if I dont pass, will they re-schedule my fitness test? My medical history shows that the doctors had ‘mis-diagnosed’ me with asthma nearly 4 years ago. My AFCO office suggested I get a letter from my doctors to explain that I have since had another test to prove that I have never actually had it which may help. I appreciate they may wish to look into this further, which is why I have questioned the day for my fitness test. Any advise as always will be greatfully received.

    • Hi Jo,

      Yes, you’ll find out on the day if you’ve passed the medical. They should brief you thoroughly on anything they find or if there’s something they want to look into further. And yes, your fitness test should be postponed if that is the case.

      Hopefully that letter should put you in the clear but as always, expect the worst and hope for the best! Good luck

  22. Hi Ryan

    Can you help me please, I’ve got an application with the navy I’ve got a letter with my medical questionnaire saying that capita will contact me to discuss my medical and if there happy they’ll book me in. Is there a time scale when they’ll ring me? It’s so frustrating waiting around.


  23. Hi Ryan. Had the medical yesterday. What a nightmare!! They have put me down as temporary unfit for a month because the letter my doctor had ‘supposedly’ sent with my test results showing I never had asthma, never arrived!!!! They have had to move my fitness test on as well until they have received the letter from the doctor. However, the proceedure was carried out by a lovely doctor. I have read so many comments where people have said they didnt feel happy with the doctor, but the one I had couldnt have been better. So, my message to everyone who reads this is to say, if you have any documentation from your doctor to take, collect it and take with you…………dont trust what the reception at your surgery tells you.

  24. Hello Ryan, hoping you can help, my son has a medical pending, he is fine and healthy and is taking a low dosage of isotretinon 5mg per day to keep mild acne under control, do we need to inform the the people when he has his medical and can this affect anything?

  25. Hi Ryan. You have been so helpful in the past so hoping you can advise once again. At the medical stage my daughter was put as Temporary Unfit for 4 weeks. Capita requested paperwork from our surgery on the 23rd September and this was provided on the 26th. My daughter rang the RAF last Friday and was told that Capita have told them they are still awaiting paperwork from our surgery even though our surgery have said they havent received anything recently! The doctors are now chasing Capita on my daughters behalf. In your experience, do you think we should also be chasing Capita or should we leave it to the doctors? This whole proceedure is taking so long, its so frustrating. We were hoping once her fitness test had been done, she would go on to PRTC before Christmas. Looking abit unlikely now I guess!

    • Your daughter is one of many who get caught up in the organisational shambles that is Capita. I’ve heard so many similar stories and it’s frustrating for me just having to hear about it, let alone how it must feel when it happens to you!

      It’s good that your doctors are doing some chasing on your behalf. I don’t think there would be any harm in giving Capita a call and asking what’s going on and what the latest info is. Unfortunately I suspect you’ll get the usual brush off but then again you might not. I’ve no doubt it will all sort itself out eventually but it’s just that annoying thing which takes up the most time.

      Chase them up, see what they say, but just be prepared to wait. I knew people at Halton who had had a nightmare with Capita and had been delayed 6 months +. I also knew people like myself who sailed straight through. There’s no happy medium with Capita it seems, but I hope your problem is resolved soon.

      Keep me updated!

  26. Him Ryan. I’ve been looking into joining the RAF, but there is one problem. I have a nut allergy and therefor have to carry an Epipen. Would this stop me from becoming a pilot or joining the RAF in general?
    Thank you

  27. Hi Ryan. Received the worst news ever today. My daughter was told today that they have put her down as PMU and will receive a letter next week. I am presuming they will give the reason behind this. She has wanted to do this for 6 years now and has gone from a sloth to a very fit person. Has fought her corner with the alleged asthma and even had a letter from her doctor saying she had been mis-diagnosed! It seems terribly unfair and she is absolutely gutted. All in all, a terrible result. She is now a bit angry and wants to appeal and so we all wait again. Thought I would keep you posted 😦

    • Hi jo, has your daughter heard anything yet, my son has just been told he is PMU but we don’t know why yet as he still hasn’t had a letter. His medical was on 30 November he is absolutely devastated

  28. Hi everyone, had my medical today and was mainly worried about the hearing and eye test but I passed everything fine, except my BMI. This is just a heads up for people who are slim even if you are in great shape, make sure your BMI is quite a bit above minimum because my BMI dropped 0.4 points in two days and I was 0.2 under today. Now I have to wait two months just to have another BMI test. Just a heads up guys.

    • hi Gary, sorry to hear you failed your BMI. i have my interview next week and if i pass, i am aware my medical is next. I am worried that my BMI is above maximum for my height, but i am in the process of loosing weight. Will this effect my RAF interview next week? and what will happen if i don’t loose enough weight by my medical? will i have to start the application all over again?

      • My weight was never put into question at my interview, my interview went fine as i came across well and knew my stuff. Its just the medical they check i believe. Good Luck

  29. Hi Ryan I had a nightmare at the capita medical ! I had slightly high blood pressure which was due to the amount of exercises I was doing in the exam. I also little blood on my urine, and also was told I had problems with rubbing on the back of my heels which may cause problems with my biomechanics gate ! However Been to the doctors and he has retested me on the issues the capita medic found and has said I am fine! My question is does my gp have the final say once he sends them his reports ! Many thanks John.

    • Hi ryan just an update after the capita medical disaster it all got clearance in the end after i had a paper review with my doctors findings.
      All my retest results were sent to capita by my gp and then a capita doctor reviewed it all and it was passed. It took all in all 6 months of back and fourth emails and phone calls. I think after going through this process you have to stick in there and keep up the pressue. Things are on the up and i have passed my phase 1 and now on to my phase 2 traning. I am a traing to be a reserve gunner.

      • Thanks for the update! It’s good to hear some success stories and it will bring peace of mind to other readers on here who may be having medical issues.

        All the best for your phase 2 training!

  30. Hi there. Thanks for your blog – really useful. For anyone if they can help – I am wondering about medical notes. When do the general medical notes get asked for from my GP. Is it before I see the Capita Doctor (i.e. does he/she have my notes in-front of them when I attend the appointment) or are they requested after the appointment. If afterwards are they only asked for if something arises during the Capita appointment. Thanks

    • In my daughters case, she had her medical on the 9th September and the Capita doctor then requested her notes from our family doctor. I would of thought they would have done it the other way around, but maybe each case is different

  31. So heres an update from me. I had my medical in june, had a problem with my eyes retracting to light, and then another medical in september. Eyes were then fine. Since june, Capita have been waiting for my GP surgery to send my medical records, but it has not been received, even though my surgery are saying they sent it. The woman who sorts out these TPR forms is very hard to track down, but eventually I managed it, and went to see her. She told me she had sent it off and would contact capita to find out whats going on. She promised she would call me back the following day (wednesday). I received no phonecall. But received an email from Capita asking me to fill a form in to give permission for my medical records to be released. I have filled this form in, and sent it back to them 3 times now. This is the 4th. I am a very patient person – obviously, as all I want to do is get this sorted and progress my application. It has now been one year and 4 months since I submitted it, and I am still at this stage. Its starting to take the biscuit in the politest way. Any advice?? I have been making calls and chasing up throughout this whole time but no one seems to know anything.

    • That’s a similar situation to me, i am just going to have to visit my AFCO to see if they can do anything (im not holding any hope) but i can’t just sit and wait as we already know Capita aren’t very efficient.

  32. Unfortunately my daughters experience so far has not been good. Being told on the 9th Sept she was being put down as TMU and then finally on the 4th November being put down as PMU. The letter from Capita took 4 weeks to arrive telling her she was PMU and so 4 weeks were wasted before so could commence the appeal process. Then 2 weeks ago she received the same letter from Capita telling her she was PMU! As if the first letter wasnt enough to make her feel bad, they kindly reminded her about it again! She was gutted. Anyhow, we are currently waiting for results to come back to her via letter of further tests she has had done prior to Christmas and we are hoping to send the appeal letter off within the next 2 weeks. As Ryan on here often says, medicals never run smoothly but in most cases, get sorted out eventually. I believe Capita deal with so many military medicals that they are overwhelmed with them. Hope you hear some positive news soon.

    • Hi Jo, sorry I’ve asked you a question further up the thread not knowing there was a more recent update re your daughter. Can I just ask how did you go about finding out what she’d definitely been failed on and how did you arrange further tests and who with?
      My son had his medical on 30 Nov 16, he said he’d been told he needed grade 1 hearing to be a pilot, he had it in one ear but the other ear had a minimal difference, he was told everything else was ok, he may be TMU and need to take another hearing test, he went for a test at boots who advised his hearing is excellent, so we’ve had a long waiting game until yesterday when the AFCO told him he’s now PMU, he hasn’t had a letter and they can’t tell him why he’s failed the medical, so he has to wait again for this letter to arrive.
      He has worked towards this since he was 12 when he joined the air cadets, every exam he has sat has been towards this dream he even has a flight simulator, to say he’s devastated doesn’t come close.

  33. Hey there, my medical is currently a complete nightmare. I have been TMU’d since October, i was TMU’d for my shoulder blade being a little higher than me opposite (i weightlift more on my right then left) a specialist even proved i had nothing abnormal about me. It wasn’t till January i found out my GP lost the proof about the specialists report. So when i recieved it myself, The Capita doctors who TMU’d me moved as they rent rooms (which is outrageous) so i contacted the RAF who appointed me to an address to the capita offices in Hinckley. So i sent off the report 2 weeks ago and still no contact from Capita so i don’t even know if they are recieved it or what is happening. The process is appauling.

    • Really sorry to hear that. I’ve heard similar stories from a few people so while it feels like it must just be happening to you – it’s not. It’s well documented and unfortunately, it’s just one of those things.

      Don’t be afraid to chase things up though. It’s your career at the end of the day so keep on top of it and make sure they are doing what they should be.

  34. Hi There,

    Thanks for your advice on this blog I could really do with some ! I am so sad and upset to learn that I have been declared unfit for service due my ticking the “suffer with depression in the last 2 years” box on the medical questionnaire. I stupidly didn’t read the medical conditions that preclude entry document and I wish I had – I think I missed it because I was just so focused on my AST I must have just been an idiot and didn’t look through all the docs they gave me. Anyways, about 1 year ago I was having difficulty with certain things due to stresses of life and sought help from my doctor who prescribed me with meds for 2 weeks – I asked for them he didn’t suggest. I would just like to ask you sir, have you known of anyone who has successfully appealed a decision such as this due to depression? I totally understand why this is such a big deal as its a risk to the force to take on people who may potentially pose mental health risks in the future etc, But I am totally fine now and stronger mentally than ever :((( is there an ounce of hope for me ?? I wish passion and determination was enough but I have an inkling it wont .be.. so sad – in my appeal I want to demonstrate that its these circumstances that have refined me and moulded me into the fighter that I am today- but after reading various other threads it seems as though its more about the rules than being passionate ? do you think they will consider circumstance or is it simplu – its within the 2 years a no is a no…?

    • Hi Natasha,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. Medical advice is the one thing which I simply cannot give my opinion on, I’m afraid.

      It’s definitely worth an appeal. Be as determined as you can be and jump the hurdles as best you can. The RAF is fairly strict on medical, so if it’s written in black and white that it’s a disqualifying factor then it’s not going to be easy. Give it your best shot and hopefully there’s a positive outcome.

      Sorry I can’t really be of any more help. I hope it goes well!

  35. Hi Ryan thank you anyway for your reply 🙂 I was absolutely gutted 😬 As you can imagine but I have learnt to be content in whatever situation I am in👍 I will appeal and if it’s not meant to be then it’s not meant to be 😔 Ha! Good luck with your career I hope you find it fulfilling rewarding 😄 Thank you x

  36. Having posted further up the page my son is still stuck in the medical stage 8 months after his 1st medical. He’s being asked to go for a 4th medical a 3rd limited medical. The doctor found a very slight curve in the back but he has never suffered from back pain and has full movement. His GP has confirmed this. In Nov he was decared TMU for three months and asked to provide a physio report and to complete a training diary incorporating militry fitness. Both were submitted but the same doctor said she needed to check the degree of curve. It’s so tiny it wouldn’t show on an x ray. The physio report clearly said that there is no issue. After being asked to go again for another medical he spoke to AFCO who said he can appeal so this is where we are now. He just wants a decision and can honestly see no reason to be prevented joining. He has been incredibly patient. Fingers crossed cranwell will give a decision before he has to go through the capita medical again

    • Apologies for the delayed reply, I’ve only just seen this now.

      It sounds like yet another case of being stuck in the endless cycle of medical problems which in reality aren’t a big deal. It can be extremely frustrating but you’ll be surprised at the amount of people who get held up on the medical and just give up on the whole thing because they aren’t persistent or determined enough. Your son has probably had it about as bad as it gets so it looks good on him that he’s still jumping through hoops and doing everything he can to make it through.

      Hope you hear some good news soon.

      • Thank you. He has just been passed fit 😀 pre training next. The patience and tenacity paid off.

  37. Hi Ryan,

    couldn’t agree more with your comments on capita, had my medical 6 weeks ago & was told that they’d request my medical files straight away, rang my doctors each week for about 3 weeks only to be told they haven’t had anything from capita, they got my medical documents through and made me TMU on the grounds that I broke my knee when I was 13, which was 12 years ago.
    Ive had nothing but problems with them, they didn’t have my files or forms when I turned up to the medical(even though my recruiter sent it to them a couple of weeks prior)

    • All too familiar situation unfortunately! Just work through the process and you’ll get there eventually. The vast majority of the guys I’ve met in the RAF were TMU before they joined. Some even appealed PMU status and were accepted so just keep on going with it. Good luck!

  38. Hi
    Great to find this blog. I have my medical in just a few days and now after reading all of this I’m becoming a bit concerned.
    Should I try and get as much medical information I can to take with me to prepare for any delays? I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last few years but never had any serious health issues.
    Would it also be advisable to see if I can get a gp to give me a medical report?
    I feel I’m so short on time now but have put so much time and effort into getting as far as I have I really don’t want to trip up now

    Thank Emily

  39. Some advice please. A candidate I know has been diagnosed with ADHD – a condition which may preclude them from entry. Borderline diagnosis. Strict discipline and routine of RAF would be perfect for such a candidate – and they would be a valuable recruit. At what point to reveal? Is there such a thing as a waiver? Who to talk to (in confidence). I notice the US is now taking a more enlightened (and relaxed) view on this…

    Many thanks

    • Unfortunately a recent diagnosis would cause a problem. A quick search for medical conditions that preclude entry state that for ADHD, you must be free of symptoms and not have required any treatment for at least 3 years.

      I must stress however that I am not a medical professional and I can only type here the information I’ve found on google which is publicly available. Your friend should make it known at the medical exam and it can be discussed further from that point. If they haven’t already submitted their application, then it may be worth visiting their AFCO or giving them a call to discuss the ADHD before applying.

      Hope it goes well for them!

  40. My son suffers from excessive sweating (Just armpits). Really concerned that this he may fail his medical on this. I’m not sure what the RAF defines as excessive sweating as with some people their entire body can be affected.

    • Hi Paula. As always, it’s really hard for me to get involved with medical questions. I’ve had a quick look at the official list for medical things that preclude entry (you can google it) and it states that severe excessive sweating with or without medical treatment will preclude entry. Has it ever been diagnosed and is it on his medical records?

  41. Yes, it’s on his medical records but I wouldn’t class it as severe as it doesn’t interfere with his activities of daily living. I know for some people they sweat excessively all over – especially hands and feet. It’s the same with acne. The RAF precludes severe acne. My son gets spots on his face that used to get him down so the GP prescribed antibiotics, it’s definitely not severe though.

    • I know people who sweat a lot and it hasn’t really caused them any issues. It will just be a case of seeing how the medical goes and going from there. It’s possible to appeal if you can get confirmation from your usual doctor that it’s not severe. Any kind of evidence that can support the appeal would help. It may not even come to that but it’s good to know what to expect if that is the case.

      Good luck!

  42. Hi Ryan, big thanks, your blog really helped me with my filter interview which went really good and I passed! But now it’s onto the medical, I’m slightly worried about having a slightly irregular heart beat, it doesn’t give me any sort of bother and never has. Could it be something i fail with? Also what types of tests will they be doing? Do they use urine, hair or blood? Reason I’m asking is because this blog was posted quite a while ago and I hate needles after a nurse attempting to find a vein 13 times! in one sitting last year when I was sick in hospital, wasnt at all pleasent!

    • Hi Ben. Congrats on the interview!

      First of all, to put your mind at ease – you will not have your blood taken. You’ll have to give a urine sample but that’s it as far as bodily fluids go. As for the irregular heartbeat, it’s just a case of seeing what they say. They’ll listen to your heartbeat with a stethoscope and that’s it unless they decide to investigate further. Obviously I’m not a medical professional so I can’t really say too much about the medical which I know is frustrating as it’s the most uncertain and frustrating stages. I hope it all goes well and hopefully get an update and some good news from you soon!

      All the best.

  43. Hi Ryan my son has an inhaler on his medical records for a chest inf as a child and we anticipated a problem with this so we got a medical report from our GP and attached it to his medical screening leaflet. He has now passed his AST and has his filter interview in January. Would he have heard by now if he was being made medically unfit or does that happen at the actual medical ?

    • That will be something that is discussed at the medical. The staff at the AFCO will not be able to action the medical report as it’s not something that is looked at until the medical. I would ensure your son takes a copy to his medical also. It may not come up but it’s always good to have paperwork handy and it may speed up the process if required.

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