New Cops | Do you care enough?


If you are attracted by a career that encourages a healthy and balanced lifestyle, then you’ve come to the right place. 

As a cop, you’ll be trained to face a myriad of challenging and sometimes random events. Being physically fit and in excellent health is vital to completing your training at the Royal NZ Police College (RNZPC) and for operating on the frontline once you are attested and commence in your district. 

During the constabulary recruitment process you’ll be assessed against medical standards that are in line with the requirements of operational policing. For more details, check out our medical suitability guidelines.


You must notify the NZ Police medical team if you have ever had asthma (to any degree). A history of asthma will not necessarily exclude you, however supporting documentation and assessment will be required.


An applicant must have visual acuity that will ensure they can safely and effectively perform an operational policing role. This includes not placing the individual or members of the public at undue risk as a result of incidents where they lose any visual aids.

A visual examination is to be conducted for all applicants who have answered yes to any of the visual questions in the Health Questionnaire at the initial medical clearance stage, and is required for all applicants prior to commencing training.

The criteria for an applicant are NOT met, if:

  • An applicant makes more than 2 errors in the 6/12 line with each eye uncorrected.
  • An applicant makes more errors in the 6/6 line with each eye corrected.

A history of photo refractive keratomy (PRK), laser insitu keratmileusis (LASIK) or laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK), or implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery is acceptable if:

  • A minimum of three months has elapsed since LASIK, LASEK, or PRK surgery, prior to commencing recruit training.
  • There are no residual side effects.
  • All other vision standards have been met.

Colour Vision

Colour vision shall initially be assessed with the Ishihara Test, if an applicant fails this, further assessment and a diagnostic colour perception test is required.


The best time to start training is right now. Have a look at our PAT training advice page for more information.

The three fitness related assessments within the constabulary recruitment process you’ll need to prepare for are the Physical Appraisal Test (PAT), the Physical Competency Test (PCT), and your swimming certificate.

Your PAT is part of your assessment day. Before you can attend an assessment day you need to attend at least one PAT rehearsal. This is a great opportunity to see how this test is administered. It will also help you to gauge your current fitness levels and work out what you need to improve before you attempt the real thing. To find out more about the PAT and how to book into a rehearsal, take a look at the Recruitment Journey section. 

Swimming Certificate

If you can’t swim right now then we recommend that you invest in some swimming lessons. It could be the best investment you ever make. 

To obtain a swimming certificate you will need to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance in the following activities:

  • Freestyle swim 50 metres, using an over-arm stroke, in 54 seconds or less.
  • Tread water for 5 minutes within a 1 metre radius in an upright position.
  • Swim 10 metres along surface, vertical duck dive 3 metres, retrieve a brick, and swim 10 metres on your back (using flutter or breaststroke kick) carrying the brick on your chest with two hands.

You can find a swimming assessment centre in your area here.