Medical Fitness Standards – Preparing for Your Assessment

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This information applies to the following roles: 

Police Officer (all entry routes, including Direct Entry and Transferees), Special Constable, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and Detention Officer (DO).

West Yorkshire Police takes pride in its officers and staff. They undertake tasks that can be physically and psychologically demanding and as a result all new recruits need to be fit and healthy, not just at the start of their career but throughout their whole employment life cycle.

Not only will it help optimise your performance and career, staying healthy is good for you and helps reduce the likelihood of you developing health conditions and long term health conditions that may affect your quality of life.

You can also be assured that, during your employment, West Yorkshire Police will also support you in maintaining and managing your health through various mechanisms, including but not limited to; Occupational Health, regular health promotion and activities/events, provision of mental health support and an Employee Assistance programme.

The first part of the ‘fitness’ assessment will be an assessment of your fitness (VO2 capacity) and will involve what is commonly referred to as a ‘bleep test’.  The second part of assessing fitness is a medical examination to look at your medical fitness and will involve an assessment by a Nurse/Doctor.  Part of this assessment will also focus on whether you require any reasonable adjustments that may help you to do the job.

We appreciate that as applicants this part of the assessment may be daunting. There are things you can do to help you prepare for the assessment: 



Job Related Fitness Testing (JRFT) will form part of the Police Officer application process and will continue throughout your career at regular intervals.  Candidates will be expected to undertake a running test known as a multi stage shuttle test / bleep test. 

To improve your chances:

Regular exercise can make you feel great, plus it makes your heart stronger, helping you to keep your blood pressure down. 

Adults aged 19 to 64 years should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week

  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on five days every week.  To prepare for your JRFT it is wise to incorporate at least two to three runs as part of your 150 minutes per week aerobic activity.

JRFT is not currently undertaken on PCSO or DO applicants prior to appointment but this does not mean you will not be required to undertake this as part of your role or undertake physical tasks as part of the role (PCSOs may be required to use pedal cycles), therefore, it is good advice to anyone applying for roles to have a good level of physical fitness.

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Medical Fitness

As part the medical fitness assessment you will be asked to complete the following:

  • Medical History Questionnaire (Part 1 – completed by all applicants)
  • Medical History Questionnaire (Part 2 – completed by GP) (Police Officer Only)
  • Vision Testing, including colour vision
  • Audio Test
  • Drugs Testing (Police Officer Only)
  • BMI, BP, Urine analysis, lung function

Every candidate receives a detailed and individual health assessment.  Having a well-managed pre-existing condition will not necessarily preclude you from undertaking any of the roles, cases are assessed individually to ensure you can carry out the role safely without putting yourself, your health or others at risk.  If you have a health condition or a disability, reasonable adjustments will also be considered.  Where this cannot be achieved you may not be suitable for the role you have applied for.   

Should you have any health concerns it is strongly recommend that you consult with your GP as soon as is practicably possible.

The information given in this below is a guide to help you understand the assessment process and determine if you need to improve your health to pass the medical assessment. 

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Medical History Questionnaire

These are reviewed by a medical practitioner only and it helps us start to get an understanding of your current health status but also whether there is anything in your health history that may affect your ability to undertake the role. There is little you can do to prepare for this part of the assessment in terms of improving your health but here are some tips:

  • Answer all the questions and be as honest as you can.
  • Ensure you include all your details including your personal contact information.
  • If you are wondering whether we would need to know something in relation to your health but not sure if it is relevant, the answer is probably ‘it is relevant’ so please do not omit any information.
  • Ensure that you include your height and weight as this is often missed.   As tempting as this is to add/subtract a few pounds, please answer this as honestly as you can.  You can increase the accuracy of your personal weigh-ins by only using scales on a hard floor (not carpet), weighing yourself a few times at the same time each day (i.e. before breakfast) and ensuring that you get the same reading within a pound or two.   Anything substantially different may mean your scales need calibrating.
  • When providing information in relation to a health condition, try to be as specific as possible, dates started, treatment and dates any treatment stopped.
  • If you do need to take your questionnaire to your GP (Police Officers only), we recommend you do this as soon as you can as they are often really busy and will always, quite rightly, prioritise work involving treating patients before providing reports for employers.

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Police Officers, Specials, PCSOs and Detention Officers all need a good standard of vision to ensure that they are able to protect themselves and undertake the role effectively.  Most colour vision deficiencies are also acceptable.  Corrective aids can be worn as part of the medical assessment and as part of the role.

To improve your chances:

If you are worried about eyesight, you should ask someone with good vision to assess whether you can read a number plate from 20 metres away (with corrective aids if you already use them).

Should you have any concerns you should attend for a full test with an optician. It would be helpful if this was done prior to the medical assessment as this will prevent any delays that could have been avoided.

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Audio (hearing)

You need to hear sufficiently well enough to understand information and instruction given verbally and often in noisy environments or via a radio.  We are able to consider and encourage applications from candidates who wear hearing aids.  Where hearing aids are worn we may need to undertake a different type of assessment (speech in noise) and/or refer to a specialist who can perform the required hearing tests.

To improve your chances:

Start by adopting good lifestyle habits to protect your hearing, including but not limited to; not using ear buds or turning the volume down if you like your music loud, if you have hobbies where you are exposed to loud noises ensure you are wearing the appropriate hearing protection etc. 

Avoid exposure to too much noise 48 hours prior to your medical assessment, such as riding a motorcycle, using loud tools, using headphones or attending loud music events etc.

Further information can be found at:

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Recreational Drug Use

Drugs, such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine are against the law and must never be used by Police Officers or Police Staff. Testing is part of the medical assessment although the results of this are sent directly to the Resourcing Department processing your application.A positive result is likely to affect your application.

To improve your chances:

Avoid all illegal drugs, including one off use. It’s simple. Remember, policing is a law enforcement agency and partaking in illegal drug use is against the law.

Further information can be found at

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Diet / Weight and BMI

Guidelines on Police recruitment indicate that you should have a BMI of between 18 and 30.  However, as everyone is different West Yorkshire Police will still review cases where the BMI is outside of this recommendation. 

If you have a high BMI the most important thing you can do is to reduce your weight and start in plenty of time prior to your application and/or medical screening. If you are largely overweight and/or have co-existing health conditions, we recommend that you speak to your GP before any weight loss programme.

To improve your chances:

  • Eat three balanced meals a day
  • Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables to at least five portions per day
  • Increase your intake of high fibre foods
  • Cut down on saturated and processed fats
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Reduce salt
  • Undertake regular exercise

Further information can be found at:

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Smoking can have an adverse effect on your blood pressure and make you more at risk of developing serious health conditions. 

Smokers are also more likely to have heart and lung problems that may make passing the medical more difficult.  The nurse may perform a spirometry (lung function) test as part of the assessment process.

To improve your chances:

  • Stop smoking

Further information can be found at or call the NHS stop smoking help line on 0800 0224332.

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Drinking too much can also cause high blood pressure.  Over time, the pressure on the walls of your arteries means they are more likely to get clogged up or weaken your heart leading to heart failure.

To improve your chances:

You should not regularly drink more than two units per day or 14 units per week (spread over three to four days).

1 pint (5.2%) = 3 units

1 medium wine (175ml) = 2.3 Units

If you are worried, visit or

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Hydration is important for good health for many reasons, such as; regulating body temperature, keeping joints lubricated, preventing infections (including urinary tract infections – UTIs), delivering nutrients to cells and keeping organs functioning properly. Urine analysis will screen for abnormal results that may need a medical follow up with your GP before we can confirm you are medically fit for the role you have applied for.

To improve your chances:

  • Drink regularly throughout the day (six to eight glasses of fluid) and increase where necessary e.g. hot weather, health conditions etc.
  • The best way to keep hydrated is to drink water, but you can also include some diluted squash, fruit juices, milk etc.
  • Stay away from calorific/sugary/caffeinated drinks.

For more information visit: Hydration | NHS inform or Water, drinks and hydration - NHS (

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Medical Standards and Guidelines in detail

The information on this web page is only meant as a guide. Every candidate receives a detailed and individual health assessment.  Having a well-managed pre-existing condition may not preclude you from undertaking any of the roles. If you have a health condition or a disability, reasonable adjustments will be considered but where this cannot be achieved you may not be able to safely carry out the role of a Police Officer. 

The following links provide you with further and detailed information in relation to the medical standards:

HOC 59/2004 – Medical Standards

Amended Eyesight Standards

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Page last updated January 2024.