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Get fit for your PAT and PCT

You need to be physically fit and in excellent health to train to be a Police Officer. During the selection process, you’ll be tested against a range of fitness standards to find out if you’re going to measure up for frontline policing.

After you’ve reached the required academic standards at your Assessment Day, and prior to your formal interview, you’ll need to attend an initial Physical Appraisal Test (PAT) which will run in parallel with SCOPE - find out about SCOPE here

To get ready for your PAT you must attend at least one, but no more than three, PAT rehearsals.

About the Physical Appraisal Test (PAT)

You’ll be tested on four basic elements. Running, Vertical Jumps, Grip Strength, and Push-Ups. You'll receive a number of points for each component of the test, based on your specific performance. You'll need to achieve a total of at least 11 points across all the tests with at least one point on each of the four tests.

If necessary, we'll let you know about programmes to aid weight reduction and increase health and fitness levels. You'll need to complete a final PAT 8–12 weeks prior to starting at RNZPC.

Find out how fit you need to be for PAT

Here's your opportunity to see just how fit you need to be for your PAT. We've also included the standard you'll need to reach in each test. You’ll need to know your Body Mass Index (BMI), which you can calculate here.

Up for it?

First… Some very important health and safety information

  • If you are injured or ill, do not train. Seek professional medical advice if in doubt
  • Always warm up and down when exercising
  • Food, hydration, and outdoor weather protection must be part of your training routine
  • Train with a friend where possible, for both, enjoyment and safety.

 

Running
Training

Our expert training team’s advice is to get the basics right. Complete 4–5 outdoor runs per week. Don’t use treadmills because they can’t give you a realistic running environment.

Increase the duration of each session by 5 minutes a week.

Session 1   

25 min in flat terrain (easy/slow pace - see ledger below) 

Session 2   

20 min in Fartlek (1 min slow/1 min easy/1 min steady/1 min hard/repeat) 

Session 3   

30 min in undulating terrain (easy/slow pace)

Session 4   

2.4 km self-test followed by 10 min easy/slow pace

Session 5   

20 min in Fartlek (1 min slow/1 min easy/1 min steady/1 min hard/repeat) 

Increase the duration of each session by 3-5 min per week.

Run Speed Ledger

 

Steady   

2.4 km pace

Slow   

40-50% below 2.4 km pace

Easy   

20-30% below 2.4 km pace

Hard   

10-20% faster than 2.4 km pace 

Have a go at a 2.4 km run

Map out a 2.4 km route and test yourself against the clock.

Reaching the Standard

Here's what you need to achieve over 2.4km:

Males

     

Body Mass Index  

<19 

19-30 

>30 

 Times (min)   Points   Points   Points 
 Over 12:00  0   0   0 
 11:16 - 12:00  0  0  2
 10:15 - 11:15   2  3  4
 Under 10:15   4  5  6

Females

     

Body Mass Index

 <19 

19-30 

>30 

 Times (min)  Points  Points  Points
 Over 13:00  0  0  0
 12:16 - 13:00  0  0  2
 11:15 - 12:15  2  3  4
 Under 11:15  4  5  6

 

If you haven’t reached it, you'll need to focus on your running training.

If you are not consistently hitting the 2.4 km run standard, it will take between 2 to 4 weeks of consistent running training to achieve it.

Vertical Jump
The best training for the Vertical Jump is to practice it

Warm up with a series of dynamic movements, including double leg squat, single leg squat and 4–5 sub-maximal practice vertical jumps. Complete 6–8 repetitions of maximum vertical jump movements, with 45-60 second rest between each maximal vertical jump repetition.

You must train the explosive power in your legs AND coordination of the jump.

Technique

  • Start with your arms straight in front of your body
  • As you bend your knees, let your arms swing past your sides and slightly behind you
  • Spring up from your crouch position and bring the arms forward, allowing the arm closest to the board to continue all the way up to hit the board.

Train for the vertical jump training 3–4 times per week.

Reaching the Standard

Here's what you need to achieve:

Males

 

Females

 

Jump (cm)

Points

Jump (cm)

Points

 48 & over  3  40 & over  3
 40-47  2  33-39  2
 32-39  1  26-32  1
 Under 32  0  Under 26  0

 

If you have not achieved the minimum standard for the vertical jump test, you'll need to work on your technique. For some of us, maximal explosive jumps are something we haven't done for a number of years, maybe since we were kids, so it will take time for it to become natural and comfortable.

If you are 2 or 3 cm below the minimum standard for the vertical jump test, give yourself around 4 weeks of consistent training to reach the standard.

Push-ups
Quality first, then quantity

It’s important to focus on technique first. Once you’ve got it right, you can then work on building up your number of push-ups.

Hand placement

Lie with your stomach on the ground, and your arms straight out to the sides, in a cross position. Get someone to mark the inside of your elbows: this is where your middle fingers should be placed.

90 Degree Push-ups

Elbow and shoulder joint horizontal at bottom of the push-up, then extend fully at the elbow (elbow straightens) back to the starting position.

Training

  • 4 sets of 50–65% of your maximum number of push up repetitions
  • Complete 3 sessions per week, and always take a rest day between sessions.
Reaching the Standard

To reach the required standard these are how many correctly executed continuous push-ups you need to do

Males

 

Females

 

Number 

Points 

Number

Points

34 & over 3 20 & over 3
25-33 2 15-19 2
Under 25 0 Under 15 0


 

Grip Strength
This tests whether you have the grip and forearm strength to operate firearms and restrain and handcuff offenders.
Training

Get a grip. Remember, for this you’re training for maximum strength, not endurance. Locate a small block of wood 45–75 mm wide and 10–20 mm thick, depending on the size of your hand.

  • Maximally squeeze the block of wood for 5-8 sec on each hand
  • Rest for 60 sec
  • Repeat 3-5 times
  • Grip strength training should be completed two to three times per week.
Reaching the standard

To reach the required standard, here's what you need to achieve:

Males

 

Females

 

Force (kg)

Points 

Force (kg)

Points

120kg & over 3 70 & over  3
105-119.9 2 60-69.9  2
90-104.9 1 50-59.9  1
Under 90 0 Under 50  0


 

PCT
PCT stands for Physical Competency Test. It’s dynamic and challenging and requires an above average level of fitness.
Introducing PCT

PCT establishes your ability to cope with the routine physical tasks that are part of front-line police work. It is a timed run on an obstacle course, and you'll need to pass it before starting Police College.

You’ll be tested in 12 physical tasks, including a 200-metre run, pushing a trailer, walking along a raised beam, crawling under hurdles, and climbing through a window.

These tasks can be managed by people with above average strength, fitness, balance, and coordination.

You must complete the PCT within 12 weeks of completing the initial PAT. That’s because you must have a PCT, which is valid for 1 year before heading to Police College.

These standards have been set to maximise your safety and minimise risk, for the protection of officers and offenders. All Police Officers have to pass this every two years.

Watch the video. See how other recruits tackle the 12 different obstacles in the PCT and find out what time you’ll need to achieve to be accepted.

Nike Run Club Warm-Up

 

PCT Training Advice

This programme can only be completed once you have fully taken on board the PCT training information and have worked at your PAT for at least 6 weeks.

Speed training is more intense than steady-state running, so achieving a reasonable base fitness is critical before starting the 2.4.6 Speed Programme.

2.4.6 Speed Programme

Complete a maximum of 3 sessions per week.

Distance

Tempo

Rest

400 m

80%

3 min

400 m

80%

3 min

200 m

90%

2 min

200 m

90%

2 min

200 m

90%

2 min

200 m

90%

2 min

100 m

100%

1 min

100 m

100%

1 min

100 m

100%

1 min

100 m

100%

1 min

100 m

100%

1 min

100 m

100%

1 min