Public Safety Standards

Linking Standards to Job Requirements

Physical and Medical Standards

PSI has had a strong history in developing and implementing physical and medical standards in public safety positions for over the past 20 years. Our physical and medical standards link to job requirements, are developed to comply with relevant statutes (e.g., ADA), and capture scientific best practice through the guidance of leading exercise physiologists and medical professionals.

Not only can PSI help you select the right people, but we can also reduce your costs by reducing the chance that work-related injuries will occur during the performance of physical job requirements. Our approach to physical and medical standards can be tailored to mirror the unique characteristics of any job.

Physical Standards

Our process of developing physical standards is directed at developing valid, job-related physical standards that will assess a candidate’s capacity to perform the physical tasks ordinarily performed by law enforcement officers while on the job. This is accomplished by requiring candidates to perform a series of test events that simulate police officer activities and measure the physical abilities required to perform the law enforcement officer position.

A typical law enforcement officer physical ability test includes approximately 4 to 6 events. These events are arranged in a sequence similar to that performed by incumbents on the job (i.e., getting to the problem, resolving the problem, removing the problem). In general the law enforcement physical ability tests simulate:

  • Get to the Problem: This simulates the actions necessary to pursue and takedown a suspect.
  • Resolve the Problem: This simulates separating one party from another and maintaining control of individuals.
  • Remove the Problem: This simulates moving a victim away from danger or a resisting suspect.

The test events are individually scored on a pass/fail basis using incumbent based standards. Specifically, we recommend administering the physical ability test to a sample of incumbents representative of your agency’s work force in order to establish a reasonable and defensible cut-score for each event.

Physical standards can also be combined with other assessments to make hiring decisions and can be used to implement recruit training and incumbent physical standards programs in order to maintain the continued fitness of existing employees.

Medical Standards

Adequately performing the responsibilities of the job without risk to self and others is critical to law enforcement officers. Our process of developing medical standards is directed at developing valid, job-related medical standards that will identify disqualifying conditions. The tests determined to be the most appropriate to assess such conditions are used within the employment-related physical to ensure that they are conducted in a standardized and job-related manner.

Our medical standards assist physicians in the identification of physiological or pathological conditions of an individual that may affect that individual’s medical fitness to perform the essential functions of the job. The conditions are grouped into biological systems that include, but are not limited to:

  • Ears and Eyes,
  • Cardiovascular system and Heart,
  • Chest and Respiratory system,
  • Musculoskeletal system,
  • Immune system,
  • Neurological and Nervous systems, etc.

Conditions are divided into two types based on the extent to which the condition affects an individual’s ability to perform essential functions of the job. The first precludes an individual from performing the essential functions of the job and disqualifies a candidate from the selection process. The second is a medical condition that, based on its severity, may or may not preclude an individual from performing the essential functions of the job. This type of condition requires additional testing to determine the extent to which the condition may limit the performance of an essential job function.