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Physical Appraisal Test (PAT)


Physical Appraisal Test (PAT)

Your Selection Specialist will make contact to book you in for your Physical Appraisal Test (PAT).

You'll need to pass a PAT at least twice during the recruitment process: 

  1. Initial PAT
  2. Final PAT (8-12 weeks before arriving at Police College)

To get prepared for your PAT:

Once you're at Police College you'll work toward and have to pass a Physical Competency Test (PCT). Although completing the PCT is not part of the recruitment process, we've included information below to help you prepare for training at Police College. 

During your PAT you’ll be tested on four basic elements:

  • Running
  • Push-Ups
  • Vertical Jump
  • Grip Strength

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.

How fit you need to be for the PAT

You’ll need to know your Physical Body Mass (PBM) which you can calculate here. PBM is used to determine the physical mass you impart on the ground, which will determine how many points you can achieve during the 2.4km run. PBM uses the same formula as the Body Mass Index (BMI), but is not being used here as a measure of health. If necessary, we'll let you know about programmes to aid weight reduction and increase health and fitness levels.

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.

Up for it?

Training for the Run
2.4 km Run - Training

Our expert training teams advice is to get the basics right. Complete 4–5 outdoor runs per week. Don’t use treadmills because they don't provide a realistic running environment.

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.

Time your practices of the full 2.4 km to test yourself against the clock and keep track of your progress.


Run Speed Ledger


2.4 km pace


40-50% below 2.4 km pace


20-30% below 2.4 km pace


10-20% faster than 2.4 km pace 

2.4 km Run - Reaching the Standard

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



Physical Body Mass   




 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



Physical Body Mass 




 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 the standard, you'll need to focus on your running training.

Push-Ups - Training

With push-up training it is important to focus on technique first. Once you’ve got it right, you can then work on building up the 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.


  • 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.
Push-Ups - Reaching the Standard

To reach the required standard, below are the number of correctly executed continuous push-ups you need to do









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

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 below-maximum practice vertical jumps. Complete 6–8 repetitions of maximum vertical jump movements, with 45-60 seconds rest between each maximum vertical jump repetition.

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


  • 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 your 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.

Vertical Jump - Reaching the Standard

Here's what you need to achieve:





Jump (cm)


Jump (cm)


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 haven't achieved the minimum standard for the vertical jump test, you'll need to work on your technique. It does 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.

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

For this test 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.

  • Squeeze the block of wood for 5-8 sec on each hand as hard as you can
  • Rest for 60 sec
  • Repeat 3-5 times
  • Grip strength training should be completed two to three times per week.
Grip Strength - Reaching the Standard

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





Force (kg)


Force (kg)


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


Physical Competency Test
The Physical Competency Test (PCT) is taught and trained at Police College and Police Officers have to pass the PCT every two years.
PCT at College

Please note: You will not complete the PCT as part of the recruitment process.

Once you're at Police College, you'll receive guidance and training around technique and staff will support you to meet the required standard. 

PCT establishes your ability to cope with the routine physical tasks of frontline policing work. 

You'll need to pass the PCT during your time at Police College. All Police Officers have to pass the PCT every two years.

The PCT is a timed run through an obstacle course. 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.

These standards have been set to maximise your safety and minimise risk, for the protection of officers and offenders. 


Water confidence
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. Please work hard on improving your swimming skills before you get to Police College. 
Your swimming skills

Please note: You will not complete any swimming assessments as part of the recruitment process.  

It is important that you are confident in and around water before attending Police College. 

Prior to your start at Police College, you will be required to complete a self assessment form to indicate to RNZPC your competency and experience in various water related activities. If you are not confident in completing these tasks we recommend you improve your swimming skills before applying:

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