SCOTLAND’S new national police service has been urged to scrap a make-or-break fitness test for new recruits, after claims it “disproportionately disadvantages women” and could even expose the force to employment tribunals.
The call, from the Scottish Women’s Development Forum (SWDF), a gender-equality working group of the Association of Chief Police Officers, comes as the new Police Service of Scotland (PSoS) considers how to test officers for fitness.
The existing test includes a punishing “shuttle run” in which candidates must run faster and faster between two points 15m apart, keeping pace with a quickening electronic bleep.
The test is usually undergone towards the end of a new officer’s two-year probationary period, and recruits have three attempts to pass.
Failure means leaving the police.
Although the pass criteria are lower for women than men, the fail rate for women is higher.
During one recent recruitment round, the overall “attrition rate” for women hoping to become constables was 47%, compared to 39% for men, with 74% of the female fails down to the test.
Now, in response to a Government consultation, the SWDF says the test should be scrapped, adding “as fitness of an officer is not tested again after the probationary period, it could make the PSoS vulnerable in an Employment Tribunal”.
Police fitness test ‘unfair to women’
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