College endorses two new fitness test options for officers
The College's Professional Committee recently endorsed two new alternative officer fitness tests.
The Chester Treadmill Police Walk Test (CTPWT) and the Chester Treadmill Police Run Test (CTPRT), designed by Professor Kevin Sykes, will give forces a choice other than the standard 15-metre Multistage Shuttle Run (15m MSTF) currently used.
All forces in England and Wales will have the option to offer the alternative fitness tests but it will be a local decision for Chief Officers about whether to do so or not.
The 15m MSFT remains the recognised fitness test and it is not anticipated that officers would be able to state a preference for the alternative test but could apply to take it following an occupational health referral, or if they have a medical reason for not being able to complete the shuttle run test.
The CTPWT performance test has been specifically developed for officers in England and Wales to consistently match the established 15m MSFT standards required for Personal Safety Training and specialist posts.
The test consists of a warm-up and the officer is then required to walk at a brisk pace on the treadmill for ten minutes - with the gradient being increased every two minutes.
It has been designed as a reliable way of ensuring officers demonstrate they can reach the same aerobic capacity standards required for operational duties as they would by completing the shuttle run test. The tests were validated by Dr Michael Morris and his research team from the University of Chester Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition.
Officers in a number of specialist roles, such as Authorised Firearms Officers, dog handlers and police divers, can also take the test but are required to achieve a higher level of aerobic fitness to pass.
The Dynamic Intervention Authorised Firearms Officer (DIAFO) and an Armed Response Vehicle (ARV) officer roles are required to complete the CTPRT test in order to carry on performing their duties.
This test consists of an officer, following a warm-up, running a fast pace on a treadmill, with the gradient again being raised every two minutes, for a minimum of eight minutes for ARVs and ten minutes for DIAFOs.
The National Fitness Testing Working Group (FTWG) is currently revising the guidance currently issued on the College of Policing website to reflect the changes.
National lead for fitness testing, Assistant Chief Constable Jo Shiner, said: "The public rightly want their officers to be fit and able to protect them in the face of danger so it is important we provide them with different ways of demonstrating they can reach the required standards."