The POPAT is a job-related physical abilities test that is designed to simulate a critical incident where a police officer chases, controls and apprehends a suspect. The POPAT has many components including obstacles, jumps, cones, agility bar, an eighty pound push-pull exercise, and a one hundred pound bag carry. The standard is the same for males and females and must be completed in less than 4 min 15 sec.
Applicants need to be physically fit to complete this test. It is highly recommended that all applicants prepare physically and mentally for this test. Although the minimum standard is 4 min 15 sec, this part of the selection process is very competitive and as such it is important to strive for the best possible time.
It is strongly recommended to practice the POPAT before completing the test as part of your application. Practicing will help you pace yourself properly, become comfortable with the rules and proper protocols, and ultimately, give you a better time. POPAT practice tests are conducted by private companies, and you can locate one through an internet search engine such as Google.
Component 1 – Agility Run
Take the start position next to the starting marker
Proceed from outside of the first pylon and run diagonally across the course. Jump and clear the six foot mat. Once you land the jump, immediately turn to the left and continue around the outside of the marker. If you are called back to re-do the jump, be sure to take a running jump at it, beginning at the pylon.
Run to the stairs and run up and down the stairs in any manner. It is important to touch at least 2 stairs per side. Run to the pylon at the end of the course. Run around the outside of the pylon, turn sharply and come back to the stairs, run up and over them again, Run around the outside of the next pylon, and turn towards the obstacle bars placed across the chairs. Each bar must be jumped separately. Should you knock down a stick, you are required to immediately place it back on the chair and re do the jump.
Continue to run around the next pylon, then outside to the first pylon, to enter the course a second time. Repeat 6 times and then continue to the Push Pull station.
Note: Participants who knock down obstacle sticks must pick them up and place them back where they belong and then must re-do the jump.
Component 2 – Pull/Push Station
At the power training machine, grab the pull rope, pulling the weight off its base and immediately move through the arc – and touch the line with your outside foot. Each arc is considered 1 touch. You must complete 6 touches. If the weight drops, you must start back at touch 1. You cannot lock your elbows; you must have a slight bend in them. It is an 80 pound weight resistance.
Once 6 touches have been completed, release the rope and grasp the push handles of the machine. Push the weight off its base and immediately begin the activity of 6 touches. The arms must be bent at the elbow. If the weight drops, you must start back at touch 1.
Note: 6 arcs must be completed with the weight being held off its base. For example, if the weight drops on arc 2, the next line touch would then become number 1.
Component 3 – Vault Station
From a standing position, drop down and place your chest on the mat. Next from this position stand up and vault to the other side of the rail. Place one or both hands on the rail either in front or behind your body.
Land in the standing position and drop down to the mat with your shoulder blades touching. From this position, stand up and vault back to the other side of the rail.
Continue this activity until 10 touches have been alternately completed as previously described. You will have completed 9 vaults.
Once you have completed the last vault stand up as quickly as possible. Your test completion time will be determined at this point.
Note: Should any error be made during the vault station, the specific activity must be repeated until it is performed correctly. Placing hands on the rail to pull yourself up is an error. Placing the foot on the rail is an error. Failing to touch the chest or the shoulder blades on the mat is an error.
The timed portion of this test is complete.
Component 4 – Weight Carry
The weight carry must be performed within 30 seconds.
Pick up the bag in a safe manner using both hands.
Once the bag is off the floor it may be carried in front of the body with the arms. Carry the bag around the marker and return it carefully to the floor at the start position.
Format for Testing:
POPAT testers will provide a full, concise explanation of the components as they are stated in the POPAT testing protocol.
Testing participants will be provided with a visual demonstration of each component.
Time will be made available to allow candidates enough time to experience and practice or learn all requirements of the test. Following this practice portion, if a testing candidate feels they are not prepared to run the test, they have the opportunity to notify a tester and they will be officially withdrawn from the test.
Once the testing period begins, the tester will ask the candidate if there are any questions or if there are any areas of the test which require further explanation. The candidate can then assume the starting position at station number 1.