What is the Royal Marine Candidate Preparation Course?


The Royal Marine Candidate Preparation Course (CPC) is part of the recruitment and selection process of the Royal Marines.

It is one of three (physical) phases the potential Royal Marine must attend and pass before starting initial training.

Prior To Attending CPC

Prior to attending CPC, candidates will be given an itinerary/joining instructions of what to bring and what to expect on the CPC.

What Does the CPC Involve?

The Candidate Preparation Course (CPC) is a three-day (Tuesday evening to Friday) course at Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone.

The first day is administration and lectures, followed by the indoor physical tests on day two, and the outdoor tests on day three.

All assessments are demonstrated by a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) from the Commando Selection Team.

The course includes the following:

  • VO2 Max/Bleep Test assessment:
    • 20 metre distance.
  • Press Up, sit up and pull up assessments:
    • 30 press-ups.
    • 40 sit-ups.
    • 4 heaves (pull-ups).
    • All performed to an accompanying beep.
    • Candidates will also practise a ‘feet to beam’.
  • Swimming assessment:
    • 33 metre long pool.
    • Jump off the 3 metre high diving board.
    • Swim two laps (approximately 150 metres).
    • Tread water for two minutes.
    • Get out of the pool unaided.
  • Confidence and Determination assessments are also part of the course, which are conducted on the:
    • Endurance course (Woodbury Common) and involves going through water, crawling, sprinting and other delights!;
    • High obstacle course; and
    • Bottom field.
    • Press-ups also form a part of the ‘entertainment’, and occur on an irregular basis throughout the sessions.
    • Finally, a change into trainers for a three-and-a-half mile run back to camp (probably still in your wet clothes).

Candidates will also receive information session on weapons, fieldcraft, and other information on what life is like as a Royal Marine.

Pass Rate

According to a post on Facebook, the pass rate is 50%.

How Many Times Can I Attempt the CPC?

The CPC can be attempted a maximum of three times.

What Happens After I Pass?

For those who successfully complete CPC, they will be invited to attend the Recruit Orientation Phase – a precursor to phase one of initial training.


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