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Physical Abilities Test

Police Officer Physical Abilities Test (POPAT)

Physical abilities testing takes place at the Richmond Oval:


You can contact them at any time to practice or take an official test. You do not have to be an applicant to practice the test with them.

The test is meant to simulate a physical challenge typical to the job, specifically a foot pursuit ending with a struggle to apprehend a subject. If you are not prepared, the test can be a very challenging aerobic exercise.

All candidates must complete the required course in 4 minutes and 15 seconds or less.

Part 1 – Agility Run (400m)

This section is the first timed portion of the test. The time starts when you leave the starting marker. You must complete six laps of the circuit, totalling 400 metres.

From the starting pylon you round the next pylon and cross the centre of the course diagonally towards a six-foot-long mat. You must jump clear over this map, and immediately turn the next corner. If you miss, you will be called back to re-do the jump as many times as necessary.

Run towards the stairs and climb them by touching at least one step on the way up, the top step, and one step on the way down. Round the pylon at the far end of the course and repeat the stairs in the other direction.

Continue around the next pylon, then hurdle over both obstacle sticks. If you knock down a stick, you must replace the stick and attempt the jump again – as many times as is necessary. After clearing both hurdles, round the next pylon and proceed to the starting pylon. Upon completing the 6th lap, continue to the Pull & Push Station.

Image of the POPAT Test

Part 2 – Pull/Push Station

At the pull/push machine, you must complete six 180° arcs while pulling the handle, and six arcs while pushing – in any order. The weight must be lifted at all times, and if the weight drops the count is re-started at zero.  To push, grasp the push handles of the machine to lift the weight off the base and move through the arc – and touch the line with your outside foot. One touch equals one arc. To pull, grab the rope, pulling the weight off its base.

Part 3 – Vault Station

The vault bar and mat forms a modified squat-thrust-and-stand followed by a vault over a 3-foot (91cm) rail. Each vault follows either a touch to the mat on your back or chest. Five touches on the chest and five touches on the back and shoulders must be completed, including nine vaults. Vaults must be done with at least one hand on the rail and the rail cannot be used to help you stand up. The timed portion is stopped when you stand from the tenth touch to the mat. Your heart rate and blood pressure may be taken at this point.

Part 4 – Weight Carry

This part is not timed, but must be completed in a reasonable time after completing the timed portion of the test. You must pick up a 100-pound bag and carry it a distance of 25 feet, under control, and place it down safely. Normally you are asked to pick up the bag and circle a pylon 12.5 feet away before returning it.

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