March 30, 2018 at 10:26 am #4226
I was somewhat surprised to learn that the score required to pass the MSFT for the Police is 5.4; to me that seems unreasonably low. Granted they’re not tabbing for miles on end wearing heavy packs before engaging the enemy as per the Armed Forces, but where an aspect of the job is chasing miscreants on foot I’d expect the basic fitness requirement to be more challenging than a 5 minute slow jog?
For comparison, the lowest standard for any of the Armed Forces is 9.10 (RAF and Navy).
Do I have unrealistic expectations, or is the standard overly soft?
March 30, 2018 at 10:27 am #4227
IIRC, there was a massive hoo hah about them having to do it in the first place, so the clearly low standard is probably a bit of a compromise. Adrian Chiles took it and passed it in jeans and boots on the radio when it was first introduced, which probably tells you what you need to know.
March 30, 2018 at 10:28 am #4228
I’ve heard that the Police fitness test is based on the expected number of trips a junior PC needs to take to carry tea & sausage sandwiches from the canteen to the incident room, and the only reason it’s so stringent, is that senior plod doesn’t like their refreshments to be cold and soggy.
March 30, 2018 at 10:29 am #4229
No your right it’s pathetic.
And yet officers still fail…..
March 30, 2018 at 10:29 am #4230
Having had a perusal of a couple of Police forums I’ve noticed more than a few hopeful recruits either concerned about passing, concerned about passing because they’ve identified they’re below the required standard beforehand, or have failed.
I can’t even begin to imagine how someone would struggle to achieve 5.4 on the bleep test but aspire to a career which has its fair share of active moments. To be honest I struggle to imagine how someone could struggle to achieve 5.4 at all.
March 30, 2018 at 10:30 am #4231
The 5.4 bleep test for normal police is widely ridiculed within the service, as well as on this forum, for being pointless. Although, it should be pointed out that this is a ‘one size fits all’ fitness assessment and they’re expected to pass it until retirement at the age of 60.
For new recruits, the bleep test is run until everyone has dropped out…so low level passes are unlikely to progress to the next stage of assessment.
Police firearms officers must achieve 9.4 for ARV and 10.4 for OPS and CTSFO, they use the 15m test which is considered by some to be slightly more difficult than the 20m test because there are more shuttles, so more stop / start / turn. Again, the fitness assessment is run until exhaustion. If you drop out on 9.5, you’re unlikely to progress to the next stage.
For armed officers, the bleep test is pretty much irrelevant because a far greater level of fitness is required to pass the Initial Firearms Training Courses – which involves rather a lot of running around whilst wearing ceramic body armour, ballistic shields and firearms (the shields alone weigh 25KG)…followed by exceptionally accurate shooting, at a level that exceeds general military standards.
This is particularly true of CTSFO’s who work hand-in-glove with Special Forces, and are therefore exceptionally fit.
ARV officers have to achieve 9.4 regardless of age – unlike the armed forces where fitness standards decrease with age. By the time you’re in your early 40’s the level armed police officers are required to achieve in the bleep test exceeds that of similarly aged military personnel.
Not sure about dog handlers, but they’re as fit as you would expect for someone who spends the majority of their working day on their feet, exercising dogs.
I await a mountain of anecdotal information about overweight police officers….
March 30, 2018 at 10:31 am #4232
@niles A worrying thing about your numbers, is that all the ‘superior’ fitness levels in the Police seem to relate to a very small percentage of the actual Police force as a whole. It’s all very well that the elite of the Police are exceptionally fit, but to be honest, I’d expect all of the Police to very fit as well!
You obviously have to factor in that all Army personnel will do a AFT/CFT/PFT and it would be interesting to see how the average booby would fare in those tests…
March 30, 2018 at 10:33 am #4233
@guy You seem to be suggesting that Level 5.4 Bleep is an aspirational grade for all unarmed police which they struggle to achieve – and that unarmed police officers are a uniquely unfit group of people – in reality they’re no different to any other group of people. There are no shortage of fit sports men and women in the police, like anywhere else, and no shortage of lard arses, like anywhere else.
5.4 is nothing more than a basic minimum standard that all officers, of all ages, are required to pass if they want to keep their jobs.
March 30, 2018 at 10:33 am #4234
@niles On a whole who are fitter? Squaddies or Bobbies?
I would say that Squaddies are by fitter than Bobbies by a massively huge stupendous margin.
However, the real question is, how fit does the average Bobby need to be? I would say that they need to be massively fitter than the general populous and maybe that isn’t paramount in current thinking?
March 30, 2018 at 10:34 am #4235
@guy I’m not sure how you could compare the two, it’s not a like-for-like comparison and the ‘fitness spectrum’ is huge in both professions; are we talking Paras, WRENS, the bloke who feeds the regimental goat, Detectives, CTSFO’s, beat cops?
If we assume that there is such a thing as ‘yer average’ (there isn’t), it would still be difficult to make an accurate comparison. Many squaddies join-up at 16 and leave 22 years later at the age of 38. Some are ultra-fit, others live unhealthy lifestyles and scrape through the fitness assessments. Bobbies are generally older, they often join in their mid-20’s and retire at 60. Just like the military, some of them are impressively fit and some aren’t.
If you’re trying to compare the fitness level of ‘yer average’ squaddie against ‘yer average’ Bobby, clearly the younger man will win. Indeed, given that many ex-Infantry types become armed officers after they leave the forces, you’d be matching someone against his older self (again, the younger man would probably win).
That said, if you take a 60 year old police officer and compare him to a (long retired) squaddie, I wouldn’t be surprised if the poor old fella whose been forced to maintain his fitness at level 5.4 on the bleep is in better shape.
With regards to the ‘real question’, it depends on the role. Assuming we’re talking about ‘street cops’, they do indeed need to be fitter than the people they are trying to catch. The fit ones are fine and the fat ones need to shape-up.
I don’t see that detectives or data analysis need to be fitter than any other office worker…like their uniformed companions, the military, and people in general some are fit and some are not.
Next question, which are better a ballroom dancing, plumbers or sparkies?
March 30, 2018 at 10:34 am #4236
I think they’re lucky to get people to apply, sticking fitness requirements to a level that will prevent more people joining isn’t really a good idea.
My friend is close to 50 and he is usually the last man standing at their anual beep test.
March 30, 2018 at 11:15 am #4239
Chasing people on foot is a very small aspect of probably the most varied career out there. Speaking as someone who spent ten years in the Army and ten years in the police I can safely state that while there are fat biffers in both organizations I met far more keen, motivated and intelligent people in ‘the job’ What would you rather? A copper who can do a mile and a half in eight minutes but keeps losing cases in court because they can’t write statements? The big hefty older guys do struggle with the beep test as it favours lighter more agile folk but same people are far more effective in public disorder type situations than the seven stone whippets.
The beep test is considered a joke but the fitness standards were lowered to attract more females and ethnic minorities to consider a career in the police which is what you the public all wanted right???
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