New Physical Employment Standards

Fit to Serve


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Physical Employment Standards (PES) ensure that Army personnel have the physical ability for their role so they can safely and satisfactorily complete essential tasks. Additionally, they help to reduce the risk of Muscular Skeletal Injury to both Service men and women.

When will the new standards come in to effect?

  • Ground Close Combat (GCC). The new standards will come into effect for all Ground Close Combat (GCC) roles from April 1st 2019.
  • Non-Ground Close Combat (Non-GCC). New standards for non-GCC roles will be implemented 2021/22.  In the interim, non-GCC personnel will continue to complete the current Annual Fitness Test.
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About the Standards

The Physical Employment Standards are objective, role-related, age and gender-free physical fitness standards.

The standards are incorporated within a structured suite of Army Role Fitness Tests which provides progression from entry into Basic Training through to employment in the Field Army.

Role Fitness Test Soldier (RFT (S))

These infographics show the six elements of the Role Fitness Test Soldier (RFT (S)) the new in-Service physical employment standard for Regular Ground Close Combat (GCC) personnel.

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Standards for Regular Ground Close Combat Personnel

The Role Fitness Test (Soldier) (RFT (S)) is replacing the Annual Fitness Test as the in-service physical employment standard for Regular Ground Close Combat (GCC) personnel only (that's anyone who has joined the Infantry or the Royal Armoured Corps).

This means it is a critical Mandatory Annual Training Test (MATT) that GCC personnel have to pass each year.

The RFT (S) is role related which means that it has been designed to represent the job that people do in the Army.

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Standard for Army Reserve GCC

For Reserve GCC personnel, the in-service Mandatory Annual Training Test will be the Role Fitness Test Alternative (RFT (A)) – which replaces the Annual Fitness Test.

The RFT (A) is a gym based predictor of RFT (S) success and addresses the unique challenges of the Reserves. It is a critical pass/fail test for Reserve GCC personnel and will be required to gain the Certificate of Efficiency.

Reserve personnel who deploy or attend career courses will be required to pass the Regular RFT (S) when it is the appropriate physical standard for the role.

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Entry Standard for Recruits

The Role Fitness Test (Entry) (RFT E) is the recruit entry standard.

Recruits will have to meet a required standard to be able to join different roles within the Army.

The content and standards of the RFT (E) are still being refined for different Arms within the British Army and are undergoing testing to ensure suitability.  

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Standard for Non-Ground Close Combat Roles (Non-GCC)

The underpinning research for non-GCC roles is underway and will be complete for delivery in 2021.

This research is complex and involves a full and detailed role analysis completed by a world leading scientific institute.