As from September 2013 every police officer in the country is required to pass an annual fitness assessment called the Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT). This assessment is usually a prerequisite before undertaking personal safety training.
This assessment involves reaching level 5.4 on the 15m bleep test. A bleep test involves running back and forth along a 15 meter track in time to a series of beeps. The beeps during the course of the test get progressively faster as the levels increase. You are required to reach the other side of the track before the next beep.
The bleep test featured in the Police Fitness app has been taken directly from the College of Policing and is the same audio track you will hear during your fitness assessment.
Who must complete the JRFT?
Most forces require all police officers, special constables, detective constables, PCSOs and detention officers to undertake the annual job related fitness assessment. If you are also a police staff employee who is required to undertake personal safety training then you will also most likely be required to undertake this assessment.
An exception to this rule is if you are on restricted duties and unable to undertake personal safety training.
How often do I have to complete the JRFT?
You are required to attend and pass the Job Related Fitness Test annually. Every force will have their own policy and procedure but you should be given at least two months notice of this assessment.
What are the requirements?
Everyone required to undertake the Job Related Fitness Test is expected to reach at least level 5.4 on the bleep test. No adjustments for age or gender can or will be made to this passmark.
If you are in a specialist role then you will need to complete the bleep test to a higher level. The list below details what these roles are and what level you will be expected to meet.
- Regular Police Officer: 5.4
- PCSO: 5.4
- Detention Officer: 5.4
- Detective Constable: 5.4
- Special Constable: 5.4
- CBRN: 5.4
- Method of Entry: 5.4
- Dog Handler: 5.7
- Level 2 Officers: 6.3
- Firearms Support Unit: 9.4
- Armed Response Vehicle: 9.4
- Specialist Firearms Officer: 10.5
What happens if I fail the JRFT?
The standard across most UK police forces is that if you fail to reach the required bleep test level you will be referred to your forces Health & Fitness Advisors. The advisors will be able to produce you a fitness programme with exercises that will help you reach the required level of fitness.
The guidance is that if you fail your first attempt you should be given a minimum of two further attempts. It is advised that you should be given at least six weeks to increase your level of fitness before retaking the test.
If you are unable to pass the JRFT within the number of attempts allowed by your force you will not be allowed to undertake PST and may be subject to the unsatisfactory performance procedure.
Is there an alternative to the bleep test?
The College of Policing are currently considering offering an alternative to the bleep test called the Chester Treadmill Walking Test.
You will only be allowed to undertake an alternative test based on medical grounds or as a reasonable adjustment following a decision from occupational health.
Some forces have already implemented other alternative fitness assessments. If you have medical grounds which you believe may allow you to have a reasonable adjustment it will be worth contacting your forces Fitness Assessment department.