How to join

Application process

Your step-by-step guide

Below is your step-by-step guide on what to expect at various stages of the application process, specifically for military roles. It's a little more thorough than applying for other jobs. All up, you should allow about 3-6 months for your application to be processed. This includes health and security checks, assessments and interviews.

Remember – a career with us is more rewarding than other jobs – so stick with it. And  you're not alone. You'll be assigned a Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) who will help you through the process and answer any questions as you go.

Download application process pdf

1. Gather documents

First things first – before you register make sure you have the following information ready:

  1. Full Name
  2. Date and place of birth
  3. Address and contact details
  4. NZ Driver Licence number (to support the initial Police check)

To complete the entire process, you'll need:

  1. Your next of kin's name and contact details
  2. Birth certificate
  3. Completed CV with previous employment details including dates, employer, locations and duties
  4. Record of learning showing school qualifications, including subjects, grades gained and year obtained, and NZQA number if you have one
  5. Any tertiary or trade qualifications you have achieved with grades gained and year obtained
  6. Your driver licence details (number, classes and any endorsements)
  7. Dates and outcomes of any criminal convictions
  8. Your current accurate height and weight
  9. Your Doctor's name and contact details i.e. telephone and address
  10. Dates, details and outcomes of any past or current medical conditions, (eg operations, broken bones, asthma history, any medications)
  11. Your vaccination/immunisation history (this can be obtained from your Doctor)
  12. A list of your preferred trades and service(s)
  13. If you have served previously, you will need to supply some previous service details e.g. your service number.

It's important to take your time and get this stage right, as it will save a lot of time and effort later on. 

Basically, the sooner you get the right information together, or respond to requests for new information, the faster your application will go through.

2. Register and apply online

Once your documents are in order you can register to create your profile.

Registration takes about 20 minutes. Once you've created your profile, you can then begin your application.

Completing your application should take about 1 hour.

We'll review your application and get back to you within a few days. If you don't meet the minimum entry requirements, we'll let you know.

At this stage you'll be assigned your Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) who will keep in touch and can answer any questions you might have.

3. Complete application

Once you've registered, you can sign in to your account and complete your application.

Once you've completed and submitted this form – congratulations – you've now formally applied! Your application will now be reviewed by a Candidate Engagement Facilitator.

If everything is in order, you'll be sent an email asking you to return to your secure candidate portal to fill out a medical questionnaire and an initial background security check.

You will also need to provide your CEF with your full vaccination records.

Read more about our medical requirements and security requirements.



4. Attend Assessment Day (A-Day)

Good work so far! 

To further to your application to join the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), you are required to sit online Defence Aptitude Tests and conduct fitness testing.

Aptitude tests are completed online. Your CEF will be send you a separate email with a link to a secure website where you can take the tests. Once you have been sent the link, you will have seven days to complete them, however, the tests can be done at any time across these seven days.

Next you'll be invited to A-Day (your Assessment Day), where we'll test out your physical fitness to make sure you're suitable for a career with us.


But don't stress – you've got this. You can get ready, and make sure you pass with flying colours, by using Force Fit in advance. You can read up on our fitness standards here.

If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.

5. Attend interview

At this point, you will have an interview with one of our team.  Once you have successfully completed your interview, you will either join the candidate pool or attend a selection board. The selection board process is only require for certain trades, so your next step depends on what what trade(s) you've asked to be considered for.

If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.​

6. Enter candidate pool

The time taken to be selected for a trade depends on your individual strengths, the requirements of your selected trade and how often your trade is recruited for. Please note some trades are only taken annually, and we reserve the right to close-off applications for a specific trade when necessary, or make alternative trade suggestions.

It will also depend on your motivation and readiness for the various stages of the recruitment process and assessments.

To help with processing time ensure you respond to requests for information as efficiently as possible.

If for any reason you are unsuccessful at this stage, we will discuss further options with you.​

7. Offer of service

Upon successful selection from the candidate pool, we will make you a formal job offer called an 'Offer of Service'. However, this offer is conditional on you passing a full security and medical clearance.

8. Full medical check

At this stage, you will visit a doctor for a full medical assessment. This is to make sure you meet our health standards for service.

If for any reason you're unsuccessful at this stage, we'll discuss further options with you.​

Read more about our medical standards >

9. Attend Induction Day

Almost there! Induction Day is a the final opportunity for us to meet you before you join. Here you will conduct further fitness testing, and we'll provide you with any final information you need before you start your intake.

You can use our Force Fit Accelerator programme to help prepare you for this final fitness test.

10. Join your intake

You made it! Congratulations – you now join your intake, and your initial training begins.

  • For Navy, this is at Devonport Naval Base.
  • For Army, this is at Waiouru Military Training Area.
  • For Air Force, this is at RNZAF Base Woodbourne.

We will provide transport from your home location to your initial training location.

Prepare for Assessments

Get prepared to take the first big step. In the lead up to Assessment Day you will be issued an online aptitude test, but don't worry, a little preparation goes a long way!

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Documents ready? Apply now.

If you've read the step-by-step guide and have your documents ready, then it's time to register.

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