Is Your Cop Fit?

Posted: November 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

There was a time when a cop could be any shape or size, providing they could pass the initial recruitment requirements regarding fitness and a medical. Some recruits were even allowed to join the police even though they hadn’t passed the fitness test but improved their fitness levels before they reached the end of their two year probationary period to pass the fitness test, otherwise they would not be confirmed as a Constable and would have their service dispensed with as being unfit for Office.

Fat Cop

Over the years there have been concerns expressed regarding the fitness levels of those officers over their remaining service for their remaining 28 years.  They may have been fit up to their confirmation at the two year point but too many donuts and too much sitting does nothing for the waist line of anyone, cop or otherwise.  Consequently, there have been some cops unfit to do their job effectively, hence the demand for the police to raise their standards and to make sure their officers are fit enough to perform their job: particularly chasing after evading criminals.

In August 2014, the College of Policing issued guidance on how police forces in England and Wales should carry out officer fitness tests.  They proposed a test, based on scientific evidence, designed to match the aerobic demands of personal safety training. This is the same standard 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.  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 to dispense with their services.

Has your cop had their annual fitness test and if so did they pass or fail miserably with an associated action plan now in hand?  Are they dreading taking the test and trying whatever way to avoid taking the test or do they have a particular view on the implementation of the policy?

A recent Freedom of Information Request by the Mirror newspaper received responses from 30 of the 45 forces in the UK.  The responses revealed that almost 1500 cops were found last year to be unfit for their job: that was about 2% of those tested.  Women fared worse than their male colleague.  There is no information provided about the normal roles of those who failed or whether they had any underlying health conditions, so all in all should it not be celebrated that 98% of cops tested were deemed fit enough?  Some would counter this with the fact that whilst the police pass rate is 5.4, others such as the Royal Marine pass mark is 9.2,

New Recruits are also required to pass a Dynamic Strength test, which involves performing 5 seated chest presses and 5 seated back pulls on a piece of equipment called a “dyno”. The average force of the 5 pushes/pulls is the recorded score. Recruits have the opportunity to perform 3 practice pull/pushes immediately followed by their 5 recorded attempts.


  1. Interesting – I’d never thought about this before but it would add an additional layer to a crime novel if the hero was also at risk of losing his job because of poor fitness. Thanks for highlighting this.


  2. Pete Denton says:

    I agree with Sally. Another good detail to help slip into the story. Thanks for sharing and hope you’re having a great Christmas


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