Fitness Tests

To ensure that you are prepared to pass the fitness tests at your assessment centre practice them first using our mobile web application.

Our web application lets you practice both the bleep test and agility test and lets you know how far ahead or behind the required pass mark you are.

You can also download our Fitness Guidance booklet to help you prepare for your fitness assessment.

Visit this page on your phone or tablet to access our fitness test web application.

Practice Fitness Tests
Fitness app previews

What are the next steps if I am successful at my online assessment centre?

You will be required to attend a medical and fitness assessment with an Occupational Health professional. The purpose of the medical is to assess the general level of health, including weight, blood pressure, eyesight in both eyes and hearing so that an informed opinion can be made on whether you are fit for a role as a Prison Officer and can undergo a fitness test such as the bleep test.

If your blood pressure is too high (i.e. more than 160/100 mmHg) you won’t be allowed to take the fitness test due to health and safety reasons. You will be invited back to resit your medical assessment. 90/60 to 140/90 - is deemed within healthy range and remains fit to proceed to the fitness test.

If you use an inhaler you must bring an in date one with you for the fitness test.

  • Eye test: You MUST have a minimum uncorrected (without glasses or lenses) distance visual acuity of 6/36 with both eyes open and have a corrected visual acuity with a minimum of 6/12 with both eyes open. If correction required to achieve this, at least 6/36 uncorrected with both eyes open.
  • Hearing test: You should be able to hear normal conversation at a distance of 10 feet (3m) without the use of hearing aids. Hearing will be tested by formal assessment on the day.
  • Fitness Test: Prison Officers need to be capable of performing to a certain standard to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of everyone else, including prisoners and work colleagues. Maintaining a certain level of fitness promotes general health and well-being and helps prevent injury. The fitness test includes the 15-metre shuttle run - the ‘bleep’ test. The bleep test, which involves running/jogging, is not a specific test to assess your ability to run, but a simple test to assess the efficiency of your working muscle’s capacity to use oxygen during physical stress/activity using the large muscle groups of the body. Once in post you will be subject to an annual fitness test, so will be expected to maintain your level of fitness during your employment.
  • How to prepare: Bring your glasses or contact lenses with you, as well as contact lens solution if you will need to put your lenses back in after the eye test. Avoid caffeinated drinks which may affect your blood pressure. As mentioned in your OAC invite email, you must also bring a completed Pre-Assessment Health Questionnaire on the day. Click here to download a copy of the questionnaire.

Within 3 days you should receive an online assessment centre result.

The next steps depend on whether you applied to a pass or a merit campaign. You can find out if yours was a pass or merit campaign by checking the vacancy you applied for.

  • Pass campaign: You will be allocated to the next available vacancy and will begin pre-employment checks.
  • Merit campaign: You will be allocated to a vacancy in order of merit, based on their performance in the online assessment centre. This means no one will be allocated to a vacancy until all candidates have completed the online assessment centre or by the closing date of campaign applicable assessments, which run for 8 weeks after the campaign closing date. Once you are allocated to a vacancy, you will begin pre-employment checks.

Once you have been made and accepted your provisional offer you will need to book onto your medical and fitness testing. You should receive an email with instructions on how to do this and where to attend.

Whether you've applied to either a pass or merit campaign, you will need to bring the following documents with you on the day of your assessment: proof of right to work, photographic proof of ID and proof of address. Please refer to your invite email for guidance on which documents are acceptable.

This will help to ensure that your pre-employment checks are completed as quickly as possible, once you are allocated to a vacancy. Please note that if you have applied under a merit campaign, your documentation will be checked, but you will not progress through to pre-employment checks until you have been allocated to a vacancy.

To claim back expenses from attending your assessment centre please complete this form and send it to candidateclaims@justice.gov.uk

Candidates can claim reasonable travelling expenses for attending Fitness Testing or Physical online Assessment centre up to a maximum of £100.00

To claim travelling expenses please note the following:

  • Complete the attached form in full including email address and postal address.
  • Complete the bank details and sign the form.
  • Loss of earnings, hotels, taxis, car parks and meals will not be reimbursed.
  • Taxi’s can be claimed to our Newbold Revel site from Rugby Train station as this has very limited transport links.
  • Mileage will be paid at 26p per mile verified by AA route planner.
  • Claim will be paid for return journeys, i.e. home to centre and back-please detail both on the form (i.e. Home to Fitness Centre-x miles; Fitness Centre to Home- x miles)
  • Public transport journeys will need the tickets (pictures) attached to the form/email.
  • Reimbursement can take between 6 to 8 weeks once it has reached Finance for processing.