New Cops | Do you care enough?

Being Cop Fit

Being a Police Officer is physically demanding. You’ve got to be fit, in excellent health, and able to manage stress during training at the Royal New Zealand Police College (RNZPC) and when you’re working on the frontline.

Important Info

If you’re receiving medical treatment for an injury or illness or are awaiting specialist review or surgery, you are ineligible to submit an application until you have fully recovered and have been discharged from health care services.

Right through your recruitment process, you’ll need to measure up against our medical and health standards. Familiarise yourself with the checks we’ll be doing as part of your application:

Overall Fitness

During recruitment, there are two fitness assessments: the Physical Appraisal Test (PAT) and the Physical Competency Test (PCT). You’ll need to prepare for both, and the best time to start training is right now. Check out our training advice here.

Confident with Water

New Zealand Police Officers regularly work around waterways and oceans as a part of their everyday duty. To be successful as a Police Officer you need to be safe and confident around water. To help you in your new role we recommend working to improve your water confidence.

When you get to college you’ll be evaluated during the first couple of weeks to see how water confident you are doing the following tasks:

  • Submerge in water
  • Remove clothing while in water
  • Swim 50 metres freestyle
  • Swim 25 metres side-stroke
  • Swim 25 meters breast-stroke.

Please work hard on improving your swimming skills before you get to college. While at RNZPC we will help you improve your skills so you can work safely in the water.


You must let us know if you have ever had asthma, to any degree. It won’t necessarily exclude you, but we’ll need medical documentation, and an assessment may be required.


If you have answered "yes" to any of the visual questions in the Health Questionnaire at the initial medical clearance stage, you’ll need to do a vision test. It’s also required for all applicants prior to commencing training.

To pass you need to…

  • Make fewer than two errors in the 6/12 line with each eye uncorrected
  • Make no more errors in the 6/6 line with each eye corrected.

A history of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), laser in situ keratomileuses (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, before commencing recruit training
  • There are no residual side effects
  • All other vision standards have been met.

Colour Vision

Your colour-vision will be initially assessed using the Ishihara Test. If you don’t pass, further assessment and a diagnostic colour perception test is required.

Mental Health

Police work can be stressful. A history of a mental health disorder or symptoms may exclude you until you can demonstrate full functional recovery. These include:

  • Major psychological, stress, or psychosomatic disorders
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Post-traumatic reactions
  • Serious substance abuse
  • Disordered interpersonal relationships
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Major mood disorders
  • Excessive aggression
  • Anorexia nervosa or bulimia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Psychotic illness
  • Recurrence of symptoms
  • Suicidal ideation or attempt.

You will be assessed for mental health by an approved senior clinical psychologist and/or a New Zealand vocational registered psychiatrist, taking into account the clinical diagnosis, prescribed medication and/or therapy, duration of treatment, recurrence of symptoms, and your circumstances-trigger or cause–from which a mental health disorder was a consequence.

There may be a stand-down period to make sure you are free of symptoms and medical treatment that may adversely affect your ability to cope with stress. The length of this period will vary depending on your circumstances and will be determined by the examiner.

If your medical history shows that symptoms have persisted for two years or more, or are recurrent, then this is likely to lead to a medical decline.