What is the RAF Rejoiners Scheme?

Why Rejoin?

While many people leave the Royal Air Force (RAF) for many different reasons, all are welcome to apply to rejoin.

Whether an applicant wants to put the skills they have already learnt in the RAF back to use or want to rejoin in a completely different role, there may be a position open for them – and because the RAF always looking for the best and most qualified applicants to fill their roles, an applicants existing skills and expertise may be hard to look past.

Who is the Scheme for?

The scheme is for those looking to:

  • Rejoin the RAF; or
  • Transfer to the RAF from another Service – the British Army and Naval Service (Royal Navy and Royal Marines) – and are known as Inter-Service Transfers.

Factors to Consider

Each application is considered on its own merits and any potential offer of service will reflect this.

The following factors will be considered to determine the rank and seniority that may be offered to applicants, and the training that may be required to get them up to speed:

  • Previous rank and seniority;
  • Length of time out of the service;
  • Vacancies in the branch, trade and rank the applicant is applying for;
  • Employment experience and any qualifications gained since leaving the RAF;
  • Whether theapplicant is coming back into a similar or different trade or service than previously;
  • Applicants may apply to be considered for a different trade if they have achieved relevant qualifications, training or experience in the new trade since leaving the RAF.

The time frame to the rejoin/transfer into the RAF will vary between applicants. A recruiter will be able to give the applicant further guidance on this after they have applied.

The Process for Rejoiners

Applicants should submit their application form via the Defence Recruiting System (DRS) portal, sending0 an email to CRN-DRIT-RAFRec-OnlineApps@mod.gov.uk, using ‘Rejoiner [Surname]’ in the subject line and providing the following information:

  • Surname;
  • Previous Service Number;
  • DRS Unique Reference Number (URN); and
  • Branch/trade applied for.

By sending this email, the application form will be fast-tracked to the front of the queue to receive early attention from the RAF Recruiting Team.

However, failure to send this email will result in the application being considered along with the large number of those applying for service in the RAF for the first time, and will result in the application being delayed.

Once applicants have applied online, a local Armed Force Careers Office (AFCO) recruiter will get in touch, and assist the applicant through the rest of the process.

A Rejoiner Assessment Form (ReAF) will be created, alongside a Professional History Form, and this will then be sent to the relevant Branch and Trade Advisor who will comment on Branch/Trade availability at the rank the applicant has requested, their suitability, training requirements, first posting location etc.

Following this, a fitness test, medical and full interview will be conducted if required (depending on time out of service).

If successful at this stage the applicant will be sent an Offer of Service letter to review. Once this has been accepted the applicant will be allocated a place on the Transferee and Rejoiner Course (TaRC).

The TaRC is a streamlined course of up to 10 days (depending on the applicants current circumstances and length out of Service), to:

  • Collect their kit;
  • Attest;
  • Complete JPA actions; and
  • All their core competencies to ensure they arrive at their new unit fully productive.

The Process for Inter-Service Transfers

Points to note:

  • The applicant will firstly need to apply through their Chain of Command/Unit Admin Office to transfer before making an application.
  • The transfer request is completed via single Service manning authorities in the first instance.
  • Forms required are:
    • Army form is AFB 241; and
    • RN/RM form is BR3 P7.
  • The applicants Chain of Command can give an earliest release date on the application if the applicant has commitments that would prevent transfer in the immediate future.
  • If accepted by the RAF, the applicant will receive an Authority to Transfer letter and can then register and apply for their chosen role by following this link.
  • Applicants must meet all eligibility criteria; however waivers may be appropriate in some cases.
  • Training requirements will be determined on a case by case basis taking into account previous experience, rank, pay and service to date.
  • Applicants are unlikely to undertake full basic training and will instead complete a Kit & Post package of up to 10 working days (as above).
  • Applicants will find out the requirements and service being offered at the start of the process.
  • Once the applicant has approval from their chain of command for transfer they will have to apply via the RAF Recruitment website.

There are important factors to consider when rejoining or for an inter-service transfer such as pension implications and age limits.

Further information can be found on the RAF Rejoiner Scheme page here.


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