Injuries less likely for Canterbury police during physical competency test

Photo: NZH
Photo: NZH
Canterbury police appear to have shaped up well among the force’s survival of the fittest, with only three officers consigned to light duties after suffering injuries during the physical competency test since 2015.

The Physical Competency Test, a timed run on an obstacle course involving 12 physical tasks, must be completed every two years by officers, with part of their salary contingent on them passing.

Figures released under the Official Information Act indicated 37 police nationwide suffered PCT-related injuries that saw them designated light duties or be deemed fully unfit between January 1, 2015, and November 30, 2020.

The average number of workdays on reduced duties was between 19-24, while another 151 officers countrywide had no time off or less than seven days on reduced duties after sustaining an injury.

In Canterbury, two males and one female officer in the 40-49 and 50-plus age groups were limited to light duties.

When officers pass the PCT they are entitled to a payment determined each year by the terms of their employment agreement; for 2021 the amount is $1668. 

Meanwhile, if police do not pass the PCT they are supported by a physical education officer with a remedial plan and input from medical professionals, if required, until they are able to safely complete it.

The PCT includes a 200m run, pushing a trailer, walking along a raised beam, crawling under hurdles and climbing through a window.

In 2018 the beam height was reduced due to the number of injuries related to that apparatus.

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