South Australia Police Trials Female-Friendly Fitness Tests

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Police have scrapped the “discriminatory’’ physical fitness entry test for recruits and are trialling a new testing model that will ensure it is easier for women to join SAPOL.

Senior police say the new functional fitness model has not been introduced as a direct result of the recent decision to recruit equal numbers of men and women, but it will “complement’’ it.

Assistant Commissioner (Human Resources) Bryan Fahy yesterday said the new model was directly aligned to the functions of a patrol officer and he was confident it would not result in any lowering of standards of police recruits and subsequent graduates from the police academy.

The new model is more akin to a real-life police incident scenario than a rigid, timed fitness test — although it contains elements of the old physical test.

Women in SAPOL were issued firearms as late as 1977.
Women in SAPOL were issued firearms as late as 1977.

Mr Fahy conceded there was a current shortage of female recruits and that traditionally, there were more male applicants than females. Marketing campaigns and other strategies would be used in future to attract more women to a career in policing.

“All the females I have spoken to simply say ‘all we want is a level playing field, we want to be selected on merit and we want a level playing field’.’’ He said.

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