In August 2014, the College issued guidance on how police forces in England and Wales should carry out officer fitness tests.
The test, based on scientific evidence, is designed to match the aerobic demands of personal safety training. The standard is the same as that used when recruiting officers.
The test involves a 15-metre shuttle run, to be completed to an endurance level of 5:4. There is no obstacle course or upper strength testing as part of this annual fitness test.
The guidance, which is based on Recommendation 33 of the Winsor Review (Part II), emphasises the need for forces to provide support and advice to officers in order to pass.
If an officer is not able to pass the fitness test at the first attempt, the College advises forces to provide support and allow a series of at least two retakes. If all appropriate support measures and alternatives have been delivered and the officer is still unable to achieve the required standard, the College advises forces to use the unsatisfactory performance procedures as set out in the Police (Performance) Regulations 2012 procedure.
On 18 January 2012, the Chief Constables' Council agreed to support new job-related fitness tests (JRFTs) for specialist posts. These include fitness standards for 13 specialist posts including firearms officers, dog handlers and police cyclists. The levels range from 5:4 (four shuttles at level five) to 10:5 on the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT), known as a "bleep" test - this is a timed test where individuals run at an increasing speed.
The tests were developed by the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales Fitness Working Group, which included representation from the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Superintendents' Association, the Police Federation of England and Wales, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, the National Policing Improvement Agency and specialist fitness advisors.
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The recommendations were based on physiological data from officers undertaking training exercises that closely replicated the 'real-life' physical demands of the specialist role and were based on operational scenarios. Data gathered during the training exercises were then compared to data gathered during the multi-stage fitness test (MSFT) that the same officers had earlier undertaken. This ensured, as far as possible, that an officer who passed the MSFT had the operational fitness demanded of the relevant specialist activity.
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On the 2 November 2016, the College of Policing Professional Committee formally endorsed two validated treadmill tests as the best available alternative fitness tests to the 15-metre Multistage Fitness Test (15m MSFT), as applied for the job related fitness test (JRFT) and specialist roles.
The Chester Treadmill Police Walk Test (CTPWT) and Chester Police Run Test (CTPRT) were designed by Professor Kevin Sykes, Emeritus Professor of Occupational Health and Workplace Fitness, University of Chester.
Note: The alternative test has been developed in order to facilitate a testing mechanism for individuals who are unable to complete the 15m MSFT due to disability or medical conditions. It remains a local force decision when to offer the alternative test to officers.
CTPWT is a performance test specifically developed for the Police Service of England and Wales as an alternative fitness test to the 15m Shuttle run, to determine whether an officer is able to achieve the minimum recommended aerobic fitness standard for PST and Specialist Posts, excluding ARV and DIAFO (College of Policing 2014). After a suitable warm-up the subject is required to walk at a brisk pace (6.0km/hr) on the treadmill. Every 2 minutes the gradient is raised by 3%.
CTPRT is a performance test specifically developed for the Police Service of England and Wales as an alternative test to the 15m Shuttle run. After a suitable warm-up the officer is required to run at a brisk pace (10.4km/hr) on the treadmill. Every 2 minutes the gradient is raised by a designated amount. On satisfactory completion of 8 minutes the officer will have achieved the minimum recommended fitness standard for ARV. DIAFO are required to complete the full 10-minute test.
In 2003, the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales commissioned a working group to advise on the development of national JRFTs for recruits to the police service, specialist posts and police officers already in service. The working group recommended a JRFT standard for recruits which was adopted by the police service in 2004. Download the related
Home Office Circular, 43/2004.
In 2007, the working group was reformed to develop national JRFTs for specialist posts.