Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Biomedical Science


Assessment of physical capacity prior to employment serves a vital function in ensuring police recruits have the physical capability to perform essential policing functions. In the past, law enforcement agencies have used a variety of physical assessments to exclude potential candidates. The assessment criterion that has been used has lacked appropriate validation with critics arguing that the tests are invalid, irrelevant and potentially discriminatory. Additionally, the tests that have been used have focused on the assessment of policing specific skills prior to any skill-based training. For many years, sports scientists have used physiological assessments to identify specific weaknesses in the performance capability of athletes. The individual physiological assessments that are utilised are chosen to assess the functional components of the sport concerned. The results of these assessments are used to develop an effective remedial intervention program resulting in increased sports performance. This same concept can also be applied to a police training and recruitment program. The general aim of this study was to develop a pre-employment functional capacity assessment program that can accurately predict inadequate performance capability as well as determining specific weaknesses in underlying physiological capacity. This allows potential recruits who have less then



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.