The bleep (also commonly referred to as the beep test, shuttle run and multi-stage fitness test) is one of the most common and widely practised endurance fitness assessments. It is easy to understand, requires minimal to no equipment and can be performed anywhere there is a suitable length of space. There are two main variants; the 15m bleep test, and the 20m bleep test. The 15m variant is the one you will be required to complete during UK law enforcement fitness assessments.
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.
If you are not used to regular exercise or have never completed a bleep test, it is recommended that you practice the test prior to your fitness assessment. The Police Fitness app contains the same bleep test audio track you will hear during the fitness assessment.
If you have access to the Police Fitness app then the only other thing you will need is a flat level surface that is just over 15 meters in length. This could be your back garden, local field or even a quiet pavement.
Once you have placed two markers 15 meters apart and have loaded the Police Fitness app you are in a position to start running. The purpose of the bleep test is to reach the other side of your 15 meter track before the next beep. These beeps start off slow and get progressively faster as the test progresses. You will notice that for the first few levels you should be able to reach the other side of the track before the next beep with a fast walk or light jog.
Each level lasts for approximately one minute and contains a series of 6 to 14 shuttles. The time between each shuttle remains the same until the start of the next level. For example, you are given 6.1 seconds to reach the other side of the 15 meter track for level 3 shuttle 1 upto level 3 shuttle 6. The time decreases to 5.8 seconds at the start of level 4.
The table below lists the number of seconds you are given per shuttle to reach the other side of the 15 meter track between levels 1 and 5. Level 5.4 (the required pass mark) involves 3 minutes and 40 seconds of running.
- Level 1: 6.8 seconds per shuttle
- Level 2: 6.4 seconds per shuttle
- Level 3: 6.1 seconds per shuttle
- Level 4: 5.8 seconds per shuttle
- Level 5: 5.5 seconds per shuttle
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