Initial Fitness Testing Scores as a Predictor of Police Academy Graduation

Jay Dawes, Robert G. Lockie, Rob Marc Orr, Charles Kornhauser, Ryan Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Law enforcement academy training can be physically taxing for cadets. Considerable administrative costs are associated with cadets that separate from academies due to injury or self-termination. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to determine if initial fitness scores could be used to predict cadet graduation from law enforcement training academy. Retrospective fitness test data for 99 (M=89, F=10) cadets (age: 30 ± 7 yrs., ht: 178± 7 cm, wt: 85 ±13kg) belonging to three different 27-week training academies were analyzed. Cadets were separated into “pass” (n= 81) and “fail” (n =18) groups. A series of independent samples t-tests were performed to determine if mean score differences existed between these groups, and effects sizes were calculated. A regression analysis was also conducted to determine which fitness tests may best predict academy survivability. Significance was set a p < 0.01. Cadets that failed to complete training were significantly older and exhibited lower mean scores in all fitness tests (push-ups and sit-ups completed in 1-minute (p ≤ 0.01); vertical jump height (p ≤ 0.01); and 20m-MSFT (p ≤ 0.01)) when compared to those that graduated. One-minute push-up scores and VJ height were the best predictors of academy graduation for males only (r2 = 0.149), whereas push up scores (r2 = 0.139) were the best predictor for all cadets. Physical training instructors and coaches responsible for conditioning cadets, both pre-enlistment and during training, should focus on improving the muscular endurance, lower-body power, and c of cardiorespiratory endurance as a means of improving training survivability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Australian Strength and Conditioning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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