Be #MDPfit for the job

To operate effectively as an MDP officer, it’s important that you have a good level of fitness. That’s why every new joiner to the Force is required to successfully complete a fitness assessment, known as the JobRelated Fitness Test (JRFT).

Multi-stage Fitness Test

The JRFT consists of the MultiStage Fitness Test (MSFT), which is commonly known as the “bleep test.” This involves shuttle runs over 15 metres at a gradually increasing level of speed. To pass the test you need to achieve level 7:6, which is the MSFT national standard required for an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO), set by College of Policing Fitness Standards.

If you do not pass the MSFT on the first attempt, you will be allowed a second attempt after a recommended period of training. You will also be offered the option of taking the Police Chester Treadmill Test (CTT), as an alternative to the MSFT.

Police Chester Treadmill Test (CTT)

The CTT takes place on a treadmill and, after a suitable warm-up, you’re required to walk at a brisk pace (6km/hr). Every 2 minutes the gradient is raised by 3%. To pass the test, you need to achieve 12 minutes, which is the CTT national standard required for an Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO), set by College of Policing Fitness Standards.

JRFT results

If you’re unsuccessful at the second attempt of the JRFT, using the MSFT or CTT, your application will not be progressed. You will be able to re-apply after three months, subject to there being a live campaign.

If successful, you will progress to the next stage in the application process.

You will repeat the JRFT during your recruit training and then annually throughout your career, to ensure you continue to maintain the required fitness standard for your role. It is therefore important to maintain your fitness levels.

JRFT Training

You should start training as early as possible and develop your fitness levels progressively. Aerobic exercises – such as running, cycling, hill-walking or use of cross trainers and other gym equipment – are recommended for improving cardiovascular fitness.

To improve your fitness level, you need to work harder than normal and your progression should be made gradually. You should avoid large increases in training demands, to minimise risk of injury. Before any form of exercise, it is important to warm up adequately and prepare the body for activity.

If you are in any doubt or you have any health concerns, it is advisable to consult your doctor prior to starting any training regime, to ensure that it is safe and effective. Always start at a lower intensity and duration, allowing your body to adjust to the new demands you are placing on it.

JRFT practice

To prepare for the MSFT or the CTT, it is also recommended that your training is specific to the demands of the tests. This includes practicing the tests themselves and including interval training, with bursts of harder work that enables your body to adapt in a manageable way.

Practicing the MSFT

The MSFT can be practiced using an outdoor space or sports hall environment, by marking out a 15 metre track and using the bleep test soundtrack:


There are also a number of dedicated Police Fitness apps available for both android and apple mobile devices.

Note: When you reach level 7, count the number of shuttles you run. You will need to do at least 6, to reach Level 7:6.

Person running on a treadmill, with only legs and trainers visible

Practicing the CTT

The CTT can be practiced using a treadmill. Once you have completed a suitable warmup, set the treadmill speed to 6kph and 0% gradient to begin. You should then increase the gradient, at 2 minute intervals, as follows:

Time in minutesGradient

You should use the MSFT and/or CTT tests periodically to assess progress.

Training tips

  • Train with friends as this will make your exercise programme a more enjoyable and safer activity.
  • Monitor your progress by recording time taken, distance covered and recovery time – this will give you feedback on improvements and an incentive to continue training.
  • Do not over-do it – start gently and build up gradually over a period of weeks or months.
  • Spread out your training sessions, rather than do all your activities in one day and do nothing else the rest of the week.
  • Complete a warm-up before you begin any exercise. This will prepare your body, by gradually increasing your heart rate and circulation, loosening your joints and increasing the blood flow to your muscles. Stretching your muscles also prevents injuries.


  • Raise your heart rate, respiratory rate, and core temperature by starting your warm-up slowly, with small movements, and gradually build up to larger movements involving multiple body parts.
  • Activate and mobilise all the major muscles and joints, paying special attention to those being used in the activity.

  • Potentiate, by performing a warm-up activity that is specific to the test you are going to complete.

The Raise, Activate, Mobilise and Potentiate approach is known as a RAMP warm-up.

FAQ: Do I need to be able to swim to join the MDP?

There is currently no requirement for you to be able to swim to join us. However, where officers in the Force are looking to transfer to or join one of our Marine Units, they are required to undertake a swimming test as part of the selection process.