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Fit for purpose? Fitness test results released

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Officers at West Yorkshire Police have achieved a 96.7% pass rate in the new annual police fitness test, figures have shown.

The results of more than 30,000 police fitness tests taken nationwide have been published – of the 1,286 West Yorkshire Police officers that took the test between September 2013 and March, 1,243 passed.

The tests are being assessed by the College of Policing as forces prepare to introduce annual assessments for all officers.

On average, 97% of officers pass the test across the country.

Figures were submitted to the College of Policing from 39 forces which showed male officers achieved an average pass rate of 99 per cent, while females achieved an average pass rate of 92 per cent nationally.

Two police forces – Humberside and Northumbria – achieved an overall pass rate of 100 per cent.

The 15 metre shuttle run (bleep test) is based on scientific research to match the aerobic demands of officer safety training. The standard is the same as that used when recruiting officers.

Fitness testing is in an interim phase to allow data to be examined and to understand how specific groups of individuals are performing. The College will then use this data to carry out an equality impact assessment and make any necessary revisions to national guidance before all forces begin annual fitness testing in September following recommendations in the Winsor Review.

Winsor recommended that all officers who “may be” deployed to the front line – including chief officers and those on secondments and federation representatives – take the test.

If an officer fails, he or she be penalised in their pay packet and failure to pass the test three times will result in dismissal for unsatisfactory performance.

National Fitness Working Group Lead, Assistant Chief Constable Rob Price, said: “The results to date are encouraging and show the vast majority of officers tested are fit.

“Police forces are sending their results to the College on a quarterly basis and an equality impact assessment is being carried out on those results.

“New guidance will be issued to forces later this year with a strong emphasis on providing supportive measures to help officers pass the test.”

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Fitness tests need to reflect the diverse nature of the police force and be appropriate for each individual role officers may undertake.

“While it is essential that police officers are fit both mentally and physically to complete their jobs, there is no appropriate one size fits all test to ensure this is the case. PFEW continues to work with the College of Policing to ensure fitness testing is appropriate.”

Date posted: June 5, 2014

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