Police Officer Fitness Test

When it's time to complete your fitness test we'll invite you to our headquarters at Hutton, Preston.

Use the information below to help you to prepare for the fitness test. If you’re new to fitness training or are a beginner we recommend that you seek medical advice prior to commencing any exercise programme.


The test we use is the multi-stage endurance test (also known as the bleep test, shuttle run or pacer test). It's a well-recognised test that gives a clear understanding of fitness level and one that you can practice prior to the assessment to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

If you don't reach the required level, you won't be able to proceed to the next stage. But, our assessor may give you the opportunity to try again.

If, after three attempts you haven't been able to pass then you'll need to wait 6 months before re-applying.

The fitness test is part of police life. You'll retake it as part of your training and also take the test every year to ensure you're maintaining a suitable level of fitness for a service officer.

Bleep Test

The multi-stage endurance fitness test is one of the most widely used tests of endurance. It’s also easy to prepare for as all you'll need is a flat level surface that’s 15 metres long and you can use our training recording or look on iTunes or Google Play for a bleep test training app. If using an app for your practice, ensure it is for 15 metres as some are for 20 metre runs.

What to Expect at the Bleep Test



The test involves running back and forth in a straight line continuously along a 15 metre track. Every time you reach the edge you’ll place your foot on the line and turn, ready for the next bleep when you’ll set off again.

The test is progressive in that the bleeps start off slowly but become closer together so as the test progresses you’ll need to run faster to reach the edge before the next bleep.

The first running speed is ‘level 1’, the second is ‘level 2’ and so on. Each level lasts around 50 seconds, but the number of shuttles at each level increases as the test progresses.

At the end of each level you’ll hear a double bleep and the fitness tester will announce that you’re starting a new level. You’ll need to reach a ‘level 5.4’ rating to pass the test.

What happens if I don't reach the edge on time?

If you aren't achieving the required pace, the fitness tester will need to withdraw you from the test.

If you fail to touch the line with your foot in time with the bleep you'll receive a warning. This will happen if you set off from the line before the bleep or make contact with the line after the bleep. If you receive 3 consecutive warnings, your test will end and you'll have failed. However, if you reach the line in time with the bleep after the first or second warning, your previous warnings will be cancelled.

Every shuttle must be completed, if you don't complete the full length of any shuttle then you'll fail the test.

After the first and second missed line you must still run forward and touch the line before turning to run back.

Irrespective of if you’re received previous warnings, you much touch the line in time at 5.4 stage to complete the test.

How Warnings Work:

Example 1

5.2 line missed = 1st warning

5.3 line missed = 2nd warning

5.4 line missed = test failed

Example 2

5.2 line missed = 1st warning

5.3 line missed = 2nd warning

5.4 line hit in time with bleep = test passed

Example 3

5.2 line missed = 1st warning

5.3 line hit = previous warning is cancelled

5.4 line missed = test failed because this is the final level, for which you must touch the line in time with the bleep.

The line missed on 5:4 is an absolute fail. This is with previous warnings or not. Otherwise someone could stop a quarter of the way down the course after the 5:3 level or even at the 5:3 level and say they have passed because they still had a warning/(s).

The same guidance applies to all other police specialist roles fitness test levels.


What next?

We recruit police officers in groups so that new entrants can train together and gain the best start.

We're planning on opening for applications in Spring 2020.

Register your interest and we'll keep you updated with opening dates for Police Officer applications and useful information about becoming a Police Officer.

Register Your Interest


PC Recruitment Home


Frequently Asked Questions

Rate this page