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The Police Fitness Test – what is it like? What preparation do you need to pass the test? Am I fit enough? 

Somethings you may think about when you are told you have a test for initial entry into the police.  

Do not worry the fitness test is designed to test your stamina needed to be a Police Officer. IT IS NOT a test to see if you are in training to become an Olympic champion or marathon runner!!!  

The test is required upon entry to the police service and every year thereafter as part of the requirements for the Public Safety Training (PST)  

What is involved in the Police Fitness Test? 

The fitness test involves a multi-stage shuttle run, also known as the ‘bleep test.’ 

It involves running between two point that are 15 metres apart for 3 minutes 35 seconds. During the test you will cover 525m.  

There is a synchronised pre-recorded audio tape that bleeps at set intervals and speeds up during the test. 

You need to get from one point to the other within the timeframe of the bleeps. So, pacing yourself and not going too fast at the beginning will help you pass the test. 

The level to reach a pass for the fitness test and subsequently required for Personal Safety Training (PST) is 5.4. Remember when you have reached Level 5 there are 4 more shuttle runs you need to take before the test is completed.  

If you are fit, healthy and have prepared yourself for the test then you should be fine 

What is the best way to train for the Police Fitness Test?

The best way to train is by focusing on exercise activities that will increase your cardiovascular fitness for example Zumba. There are many free online Zumba classes or check out your local gym. 

Running regularly is a fantastic way to build up your heart, lung capacity as well as your leg muscles to make you fitter and stronger for the test.  

Try and incorporate a mixture of the following in your training:  

Steady running – ensure that you warm up 5 minutes then run at a steady pace for 15-20 minutes. Then cool down.  

Interval training – ensure that you warm up 5 minutes. Then hard sprint for 30 seconds and walk for 30 seconds. Complete this at least 10 times.  

Top Tip – A fantastic way if you are doing outdoor training is to use lampposts as markers.  

Try and incorporate some turns into your runs. By changing your standing and turning leg for each turn this will help not putting pressure on your knees. This is a clever way to simulate what the fitness test will be like. 

Other Fitness Methods to consider  

Other training methods to choose if you would like to improve your overall fitness are swimming, rowing, cycling, cross trainer and any aerobic exercise classes.  

Remember the test is all about stamina so having good heart capacity and leg muscles will help you pass the test.  

Some useful tips to improve your fitness 

Do you Exercise regularly? – if you do not then ensure that you seek medical advice before starting any fitness regime. Remember start slowly and then build up the time and intensity of your fitness training.  

When do I need to start training? – Do not start training a week before your test. Even if you are fit and healthy!! Try and begin your training a good 6 – 8 prior to the test to build up your endurance and stamina  

Make sure that you warm up and cool down for at least 5 minutes prior to any exercise to warm your muscle groups. Doing a range of stretching exercises will help.  

Find a 15-metre track either in your local gym sports hall or measure yourself and practice the ‘bleep test’ as often as you can  

Do not to forget to drink lots of water – keep hydrated!! 

Other websites to help in your preparation  

Other ways to help you prepare for your fitness is by visiting the following websites  

Access the audio bleep test to help you prepare by visiting the following website:    https://www.college.police.uk 

If it has been a while since you have done any fitness, then the NHS website – Couch to 5 k app will help you improve and maintain your general fitness levels.  


There are so many fitness videos on YouTube that you could follow to help you with your fitness training for example Joe Wicks body coach  


Remember to eat healthily and drink plenty of water. For advice on healthy eating check out the NHS Healthy eating website for more ideas. 

Eat well – NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

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