1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of Royal Navy Leading Physical Trainers Qualifying Course (LPTQC).

2.0 What is the LPTQC?

The LPTQC is the initial qualification course for personnel aspiring to become a physical trainer – commonly referred to as ‘Clubz’ or ‘club swingers’ in the Royal Navy – within the PT specialisation.

3.0 Where is the Course Delivered?

The LPTQC is delivered by the Royal Navy School of Physical Training (RNSPT) at HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth Southern England.

4.0 Who is Eligible to Attend the LPTQC?

Anyone within the naval service can apply for the LPTQC:

  • Have completed both Phase 1 and Phase 2 training.
  • Passed aptitude assessment (see below).
  • From chefs to Royal Marines (Dale, 2015).

5.0 Aptitude Assessment

In order to be eligible to attend the LPTQC candidates must have successfully completed the two day aptitude assessment held at the RNSPT (RN, 2017).

The RNSPT holds three aptitude assessments each year, with approximately 10 candidates per assessment (RN, 2017).

Although there are three assessments per year, competition is very tight as there is only one LPTQC per year (RN, 2017) or “3 Qualifying Courses every 2 years.” (RN, 2018a).

5.1 Outline of Aptitude Assessment

The aptitude assessment can include (RN, 2017):

  • Day One:
    • Number 1 uniform inspection on day one.
    • Short biography about themselves, including why the candidate wishes to transfer and what they can bring to the PT specialisation.
    • 2.4 km (1.5m) run.
    • Various activities during the day.
    • Finishes with a squad run in and around the seafront.
  • Day Two:
    • Candidates present a briefing to their assessors on issues affecting today’s Royal Navy and fitness.
    • Complete a variety of tasks to measure/assess the candidates’ current knowledge, fitness levels, and aptitude to learn.

6.0 Outline of the LPTQC Syllabus

The number of candidates attending the course varies depending on the needs of the Service, with six in 2011 (Marshall, 2013), fifteen in 2015 (Dale, 2015), fifteen in 2016 (The Portsmouth News, 2016), and ten in 2018 (RN, 2018b).

Candidates who pass the aptitude assessment and are selected will attend the six month (26 week) LPTQC (Marshall, 2013; RN, 2017; RN, 2018b).

The training syllabus includes (Marshall, 2013; Dale, 2015; RN, 2017; RN, 2018a):

  • “…four-week adventurous training leadership in North Wales.” (Marshall, 2013) and the “Naval Outdoor Centre Germany (NOCG)” (RN, 2017). Activities include:
    • Sailing;
    • Rock climbing;
    • Abseiling;
    • Kayaking;
    • Stand up paddle boarding; and
    • Mountain biking.
  • “…different methods and modalities of fitness…” (RN, 2017).
  • Instructional techniques.
  • Circuit training, both theory and practical.
  • Weight training, both theory and practical.
  • Weight management.
  • Advanced anatomy and physiology (provided by the Institute of Naval Medicine).
  • Sport and exercise science.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fitness testing.
  • Strength and conditioning.
  • Diet and nutrition.
  • Sports administration.
  • Basic coaching and officiating in a number of sports.
  • First aid.
  • Royal Life Saving Society Lifeguard.

There was a first for the course in 2015 when Petty Officer Donna Chapman became the first woman to lead the course (RN, 2015).

7.0 Graduation

The LPTQC culminates with a 60 to 70-minute display to which friends and family of the candidates are invited, there usually being 100-200 guests per graduation (Marshall, 2013; Dale, 2015; The Portsmouth News, 2016).

The graduation display includes (Marshall, 2013):

  • Club swinging;
  • Rope climbing;
  • Gymnastics;
  • The hornpipe; and
  • Performing at height on a window ladder.

8.0 Further Courses

The RNSPT also delivers further career courses for (RN, 2018a):

  • Petty Officer Physical Trainers (POPT);
  • Chief Petty Officer Physical Trainers (CPOPT); and
  • PT Officers.

9.0 Useful Publications

  • Book of Reference (BR):
    • BR 51: Physical Education and Executive Health Manual, also known as the physical training handbook or physical development handbook (BRd 2, April 2017).
    • BR 51(1): ?
    • BR 51(2): RNFT Policy and Protocols.
    • BR 51(3): Adventurous Training.
    • BR 51(4): Sport in the Naval Service.
    • BR 4006: Sport and Recreation in the Royal Navy.
    • BRd 2: The Queen’s Regulations for the Royal Navy. Book 2, Part 5 – Specialist Officers, Chapter 21 – Physical Development Officers.
  • Defence Instructions and Notices (DINS):
    • 2009DIN01-181: The Armed Forces Weight Management Policy.
    • 2013DIN01-133: Royal Navy Fitness Test (RNFT).
    • 2013DIN07-102: Individuals competent to conduct single Service Physical Fitness & Swimming Tests and Assessments, together with Phase I & II syllabused Physical Training, and the use of Endurance Training Leaders (ETLs)/Physical Training Leaders (PTLs)

10.0 Useful Links

  • NAVYfit (formerly PDev) Portal: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/sports.
    • The NAVYfit Portal is a comprehensive website, accessible through the Defence Gateway, providing a one-stop-shop for contact details, sporting results, news and images for each RN Sports Association.

11.0 References

Dale, H. (2015) From Navy Chef to Physical Training Instructor. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/14101937.from-navy-chef-to-physical-training-instructor/. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].

Marshall, T. (2013) Colne Sailor Sarah Rises to Physical Challenge. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/10841286.colne-sailor-sarah-rises-to-physical-challenge/. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].

RN (Royal Navy). (2015) Navy Physical Trainers make History as they Complete Punishing Course. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2015/november/18/151118-navy-physical-trainers-make-history?fbclid=IwAR319cm1%E2%80%A6. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].

RN (Royal Navy). (2017) Do You have What It Takes To Be Clubz? Available from World Wide Web: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2017/march/01/170301-do-you-have-what-it-takes-to-be-clubz. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].

RN (Royal Navy). (2018a) Royal Navy School of Physical Training. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/where-we-are/training-establishments/hms-temeraire/rn-school-of-physical-training. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].

RN (Royal Navy). (2018b) Royal Navy Physical Trainers Put On Spectacular Passing Out Parade. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2018/november/23/181123-ptis-passing-out-parade. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].

The Portsmouth News. 92016) Joy as Royal Navy Welcomes its new Physical Trainers in Portsmouth. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/portsmouth/joy-as-royal-navy-welcomes-its-new-physical-trainers-in-portsmouth-1-7706001. [Accessed: 20 December, 2018].