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Recruitment training: what it is like doing the fitness test virtually?

Participants in Nottinghamshire Police's adapted virtual recruitment programme share their experience of taking their fitness tests remotely.
Published - 22/05/2020 By - Chloe Livadeas

Nottinghamshire Police’s Operation Uplift team have been working to ensure their recruitment drive continues to be ahead of schedule despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes allowing applicants to complete the fitness test remotely.  

The force has issued guidance to trainees on how to complete the bleep test on their own and they in turn have been grabbing the tape measure, a willing camera operator and braving the funny looks to complete the test in their local area. 

The force received their first round of videos at the beginning of this month.

The test should ideally be recorded by a trusted friend or family member, the force said.

As part of the recording applicants must also be seen holding a driving licence or passport clearly showing the photograph and personal details section as proof of identity.

Applicants download an App on their phone and then send the video to the force for evaluation by the officer safety training lead.

The force said any successful applicants will run the regular test when it is "safe to do so".

Each candidate is given a deadline to submit their test video and they are free to do as many practice runs in advance as, the force said, would be for the case for regular fitness tests.

Last month the force began working towards its plan to recruit a further 150 officers by March 2021.

Force lead for Operation Uplift Suk Verma said: "I'm really proud of the Operation Uplift team for continuing recruitment in these challenging times.

"We've had to think outside the box a little when it's come to the fitness test, but we are now getting the completed tests sent into us.

"We've given potential applicants clear guidelines about the distance and what level of fitness we expect them to be able to pass.

"They've also been advised to complete the test in a safe place. Once the checks have been done, we will of course have the new officers doing it again, but by doing them virtually it doesn't slow down our recruitment process.

"There are plenty of empty car parking bays in pubs and empty parks where you can go out and do your exercise and the first few videos I've seen from new officers I have been impressed with."

Natalie Short, 21, had been a Special Constable for two years and has not let the pandemic curb her excitement for her next policing challenge.

Ms Short said: "I've always enjoyed working for the force and ever since arriving in the county to do my Policing degree at Nottingham Trent University, this was my goal.

"Obviously the fitness test is part of the application process and although it was a bit odd doing it on your own, it was quite nice and it was good to be focussed and not distracted."

Ms Short lined up cones in a courtyard close to her home and got her partner to film her doing the test.

"Thankfully I had no one walking past as I might have got some weird glances!” she said.

Ms Short praised the way the force has adapted to the crisis.

She said: "I'm really impressed how the force is just carrying on and thinking of new ways to complete the processes. The team has kept me up to date every step of the way. When the outbreak began I was quite stressed as I didn't know what the future held and I thought I might have to wait for a while, but no, it's been great. I've passed my interview, so I just need to complete my vetting before I start in July. I'm very excited to begin my career as an officer."

39-year-old Khalid Razaq has had a varied career after leaving school including working in the food industry, a petrol station, for the Royal Mail, a taxi driver and a gas engineer.

Mr Razaq said: "I'm always looking for a new challenge, so to hopeful

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