Belfast Telegraph

PSNI fitness test candidate: 'I was riding high, but got axed over a few lost seconds'

In my initial selection for the PSNI I scored 69 points out of 75. At the assessment centre I received a grade A having scored 71 points out of 75. This put me through to the physical test. I really wasn't worried about it because as soon as I had applied to join the PSNI I started training.

I spent hundreds of pounds going to personal training sessions and the gym. I was training around three times a week and I was following the guidance the PSNI gave us about the kind of work we should be doing to prepare.I trained from September through to April and on the day of the test I was feeling well prepared.

But on my third lap I made a couple of stupid mistakes which incurred time penalties. I failed by a few seconds. It was heartbreaking. It was the only thing I wanted to do. As far as I was aware I was one of the top in my group and then because of a few lost seconds I was out.

I think the test is discriminatory. It is definitely suited to the male body more than the female. Women need to work much harder to attain the body strength needed to pass the PSNI's test. Anyone I have spoken to, male and female, agree with me.

Part of the test was climbing over a 6ft wall. How many officers do you see climbing over a 6ft wall on a day-to-day basis?

I don't think that the test is a true reflection of what officers face on the job. It's unfair that you only have one shot at it. I think they need to look at what is in the test and maybe change to what it is like in other parts of the UK. I also think that if you fall five or 10 seconds short of time you should get a second chance a few weeks later. If you fail again then that is fair enough.

I was insulted by Mr Finlay's comments. I know that when I applied and when I did the test I was in good physical shape. I had made sure I was and I know the majority of the other women had trained hard too. I would like to know how many of the serving officers could do it?

  • Interviewee's name has been withheld

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