If you are successful at the Competency Interview and pass your Medical Assessment you will called forward to complete the Fitness Test. Like everything else, you need to understand the requirements. What is the test? What components make up the test? Of course, you then need to prepare yourself accordingly.
Physical Requirements and Competencies
General fitness is very important, as the job can demand sudden bursts of speed after sitting in a car all day, or physical demands that are impossible to anticipate.
You should always be in good general health to perform well in any job, but you never know what your day will bring as a Garda – you may have to restrain a suspect; come to people’s aid or defend yourself.
If you are carrying too many extra pounds around your middle or get breathless after a short dash, you may want to improve your fitness level before even applying!
There are minimum standards on tests such as ‘shuttle’, sit-ups and press-ups, and they vary according to age and gender.
What are the Physical Requirements?
The two Pre Entry Tests are;
(1) Fitness Test
(2) Physical Competence Test
(1) FITNESS TEST
There are three parts to the fitness assessment;
(a) Progressive shuttle run,
(b) Sit-up test (one minute time limit)
(c) Press-up test (no time limit)
The objective of the progressive shuttle run test is to run as long as possible there and back along a 20m track, keeping to the speed indicated by the bleeps. The student will hear these bleeps at regular intervals. The test is maximal and progressive. At first the speed is slow, but the speed will increase at the end of each minute. The applicant should stop running when they can no longer keep up with the rhythm of the bleeps.
Each applicant must attain the level of fitness indicated on the marking guidelines below.
Minimum Standards for the Shuttle Test
|18-25yrs||Level 8.8||Level 7.6|
|26-35yrs||Level 8.1||Level 6.6|
|36-45yrs||Level 6.6||Level 5.4|
Minimum Standards for the ‘Sit Up’ Test (one minute)
Minimum Standards for the Press Up Test (no time restriction)
(2) PHYSICAL COMPETENCE TEST (PCT):
The test consists of the following:
(a) a competency-based timed circuit (3 laps)
(b) a push/pull machine assessment.
(A) Physical Competence Test
- Weave through cones
- Walk along a balance beam
- Lift a car wheel and carry it 3 metres
- Go underneath a barrier
- Jump over a mat (one metre wide)
- Drag a 45kg mannequin 2 metres
- Run up and down a stairs
- Climb over a gate
- Sprint 10 metres
- Complete circuit 3 times in fastest time possible Pass standard is 3 mins and 20 secs
(B) Push/Pull Machine Test
The objective of the test taken is to measure the maximal force you are capable of exerting in pushing and pulling. This test is intended to relate to the physical strength requirements of a Garda in a range of typical situations
- Stand on platform
- Grip handlebars (simulates chest height of average height of a person)
- Feet apart one foot in front of the other
- Push and pull the handlebars through the required stroke continuously (indicated by bleeps at the start and end of each stroke) for 20 secs
- If three bleeps are missed the test is invalid and the candidate must repeat the 20 sec test again, immediately
- During the test the force you are exerting will be continually measured and recorded on the computer system
- In order to achieve your maximal force you will need to use your entire body and concentrate on pushing and pulling hard throughout the entire stroke
A video detailing the Fitness Test can be found here.
If you were to fail any individual components that make up the fitness test, you will get the opportunity to repeat it but note – you must repeat the entire stage. Normal procedure is to send you to the back of the line, test the other applicants, then bring you back up for a second attempt at that stage.
As a Recruit in Templemore, you will be tested at regular intervals against the same Test (and sometimes more difficult!). If you fail a Recruit Fitness Test, you can lose your position at the Garda College.
My advice is to take a long term view of your fitness. It will help you so much when you’re in the Training College if you have a good level of fitness because one, you never have to worry about failing the fitness test and being dismissed, and two, you can cope better with the physical nature of the training far better if you’re fit!