Changes to Police Entry Fitness

If you want to join the New Zealand police, soon you will only have to pass one fitness test to get into police training college.

The physical competency test (PCT) – essentially an obstacle course – was ditched in October.

Before that, applicants had to pass the physical competency test, and a physical appraisal test (PAT).

The PCT involves scrambling over a 1.8m wall and a 2.2m fence, jumping through a window space, pushing a trailer, walking a balance beam and diving under a hurdle, all within a time frame. The PAT involves running, jumping and push-ups.

But the physical competency test has not completely gone.

“It’s still in once you get into the college,” Superintendent Melanie Aitken toldĀ Checkpoint.

She said the physical appraisal test is enough to show candidates are capable to enter police training and complete the physical competency test.

“In essence, the PAT – the physical appraisal test – is just as good a test of a person’s level of fitness as the PCT,” Aitken said.

From January 19 to October 1 this year, 925 applicants for police training went through the PCT. Of those, 873 passed and 52 failed.

Dropping the competency test is not lowering the bar to entry, Aitken said.

“Our recruits cannot leave college without having passed the PCT. But having it focused on at the college is in a really controlled environment.

“So if we’re thinking about an individual’s safety in performing those tasks – they’ve got the time, they’ve got the ability to put into training and the appropriate manner, at the college to be able to pass the PCT where we can test them there.”