Physical Readiness Testing
Reasons to outsource applicant fitness testing, #17: The American’s with Disabilities Act prohibits a pre-conditional offer of employment medical inquiry, however, the statute does allow pre-offer “agility testing”. Conducting a fitness test on anyone without first classifying their risk for injury is a no-no for professionals in the field and despite the allowance, and the terms notwithstanding, none would support the practice.
Parties conducting physical testing and training have a basic “duty to care” which includes doing all that can reasonably be done to ensure safety. Therefore, the decision to allow a third party to conduct testing may make perfectly good sense. A third party can and should screen participants prior to testing. If your department has a history of challenges to your its practices, an especially ‘politicized’ or contentious environment, struggles with consistent application of policies, geographically dispersed, or limited personnel or resources, an independent partner dedicated to testing may be the remedy.
FitForce staff has professionally tested tens of thousands of applicants, recruits, incumbents, and validation study subjects in the last 25 years. In addition, our team has individually and collectively trained over 10,000 fitness coordinators and instructors to conduct testing. As a result, FitForce can provide its clients with:
Certified and credentialed staff to oversee the testing process;
Test sites and equipment necessary to conduct your test safely and effectively;
Schedule sessions and conduct registration for testing;
Identify those individuals whose participation in testing is contraindicated due to their current risk factor status;
Conduct the testing in a safe and effective manner; this can be accomplished with our staff or in combination with agency staff;
Report the results of the testing, usually within 24 hours, including pass/fail percentages;
Ensure impartial and objective testing;
Ensure compliance with all the prevailing anti-discrimination, confidentiality, and industry-specific requirements.
These are the benefits and services we provide to our clients. One of those clients is the Amtrak Police Department.
Amtrak Police Department
As one part of our ongoing relationship with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, FitForce is providing testing services for the Amtrak Police Department. We validated physical readiness standards for the agency in 2008 and shortly thereafter began conducting applicant testing at several locations around the country.
A typical day of testing begins early with FitForce staff and Amtrak personnel on-site together. We routinely test in New York, New Jersey, Boston area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Northern California, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. A uniformed, command presence as well as sworn members trained and certified as Physical Readiness Coordinators assist in the day’s events. Each applicant completes a pre-participation questionnaire and an informed consent form which is then reviewed by FitForce personnel. The participants then receive an in-briefing, a warm-up is conducted, and then they are placed in a specific order in which they will remain for the rest of the session. The five item test battery is administered with standardized recovery intervals. At the conclusion of the testing, there is an exit-briefing by FitForce staff then Amtrak personnel detail next steps in the selection process and answer any questions the applicants may have of them. We report our results to Amtrak, usually within 24 hours.