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Direct entry is not possible for the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC). Anyone interested in becoming a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) within the Army must first join a Regiment or Corps. This is because it is essential that personnel are experienced soldiers before they start training for the RAPTC.

All Arms PTI Course

You need to gain the relevant skills, fitness and experience required for the All Arms PTI Course, which is held at the Army School of Physical Training in Aldershot. There is no minimum term to serve before you can apply to take the Course.

You have to demonstrate that you are fit enough, have the qualities of a non-commissioned officer, and have the aptitude to make an instructor. The skills required to successfully pass the All Arms PTI Course include leadership, comradeship, enthusiasm, respect, integrity and team spirit. These will all come with the experience gained by working in arduous environments and within a team, in whichever part of the Army you join first.

At the end of the course you will know how the body works, the principles of physical training and be able to conduct all types of fitness training and testing. You will also be entitled to wear the crossed swords badge on your uniform, which indicates you are a qualified All Arms PTI. You also gain qualifications that are recognised outside the Army, which will give you transferable skills when you leave.

Passing the All Arms PTI Course is a major hurdle, but doing so then allows you to work as a PTI within your own unit, or to be posted as a PTI to a training establishment. You will have an extremely important role to play and other soldiers and Officers will look to you for sound advice on health and fitness issues. Gaining experience as an instructor is vital if you plan to further your career as a PTI. Delivering daily fitness sessions over a period of time will also aid in the development of your skills.

RAPTC Selection Course

If, after passing the All Arms PTI Course and gaining experience, you feel you have the qualities and aptitude to transfer to the Royal Army Physical Training Corps and become an Instructor (RAPTCI), your next step would be to apply for the five day RAPTC Selection course.

Only the best are selected for this course, so candidates need to be fully prepared. The course, which runs in Aldershot, is 5 days long. It includes a range of tests and assessments that will determine suitability. Candidates work in syndicates, each overseen by one RAPTC Officer and one Senior Warrant Officer.

There are written tests, group discussions, command tasks, lectures and - of course - lots of physical tests that will push some individuals to their limits. The most important qualities that the selection team are looking for are those of a senior non-commissioned officer, because, if you pass, you are promoted to Sergeant to attend the next course.

RAPTC Instructor Course

This is a 30-week course, split into 3 x 10 week terms. It is held in Aldershot and is designed to give candidates all the skills and knowledge for a career in the RAPTC. Students get an insight into the specialist RAPTC areas of Adventurous Training and Rehabilitation, and acquire qualifications in a range of sports and activities.

The RAPTC Instructor Course is a demanding course and requires complete dedication. During the later phase of the course candidates will be allocated posts into one of the 3 areas of RAPTC expertise. At the end of the course, students transfer into the RAPTC as a Sergeant Instructor with a mix of military and civilian qualifications, including the highest level award from the Register of Exercise Professionals.

Those who successfully complete the course have the Corps Badge placed on their chest. This marks the beginning of a new and exciting vocation - one which has great opportunities for promotion, career and personal development, as well as great job satisfaction.

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