While it is not required that you are super fit in order to become a police officer, you do have to have a basic level of good fitness. The police fitness test is designed to check whether you have the physical abilities and attributes needed to work as a police officer. There are two elements to the police fitness test:
Endurance – Your endurance will be measured by a ‘shuttle run’ which is also called the bleep or beep test. This test is designed to determine if you have the endurance necessary to engage in a prolonged foot chase.
Strength – Also known as the ‘push and pull test’, the strength test will determine whether you have the strength necessary to restrain a suspect.
Police Bleep Test – Fitness Test
During the police bleep test or shuttle run, you will repeatedly run between two markers placed 15 metres apart. You will be instructed to synchronise your speed with a beep noise that sounds at set intervals. You should reach each marker at the sound of a beep. If you get to the marker before the beep, you’re running too fast so you must wait until you hear the beep before turning around and running back to the other marker. If the beep sounds before you reach the marker, you’re running too slow and must increase your speed to catch up with the next beep.
Everyone starts the bleep test at level one where the beeps are 7 seconds apart. For some candidates, this will mean simply maintaining a fast walking pace to keep in time. The test progresses at each level with the beeps getting closer together. At each level, you will have to run faster to keep pace with the beep. In order to pass this test, you must remain in time with the beeps until four have sounded past level five. This is known as level 5.4.
There are many versions of the police bleep test for sale on the marketplace so be sure you practice against a correct version. If you’re unsure if the version you have is correct, a helpful tip is that the correct version has seven beeps between level 1 and level 2 which then increases to eight beeps between levels 2 and 5.
To pass the shuttle run or bleep test, you must:
- Run for a total of 3 minutes, 35 seconds
- Reach the 5.4 level
- Run a total distance of 525 metres
- Hear a total of 35 beeps
Some forces do not allow you to run beyond level 5.4. Others allow you to continue to your own stopping point. Instead of allowing level 5.4 to be your psychological stopping point, practice so you can go beyond this.
Police Strength Test or Push and Pull Test
The dynamic strength test requires that you do five chest presses (while seated) and five back pulls (while seated) on a “Dyno” machine which is a piece of exercise equipment. Your final score will be calculated by averaging the force of the five pushes and pulls you perform. You will be given the opportunity to perform three practice rounds prior to your five recorded attempts.
You are given three attempts to pass this test and you must pass in order to qualify for a position on the force. The passing level on both the push and pull tests are 35 kgs averaged over the five attempts.
Pass (Average over the 5 attempts)
Pull – 35kg
Push – 34 kg
Pass Police Test gives you the opportunity to download the correct version of the police bleep test. You will also receive a Police Health & Fitness booklet that will provide you with helpful tips on how to pass the police fitness test and information regarding what to expect during the police medical.
The following YouTube video made by the Greater Manchester Police will show you what is required of you in order to pass the police fitness tests.