Why Test?

Why should or would an agency test, in this instance for fitness? This seems like an easy question to answer. We have tests for those entering the selection process, possibly another to gain entrance to the academy, with still another to graduate. The lack of any discussion, at most agencies, around incumbent testing further focuses the need for an answer to “Why test?”.

The rationale for the test and the human capital decisions made pursuant to the results vary according to the phase of employment, however, all practices must comply with certain EEO and other pertinent anti-discrimination requirements. In general, there are several important answers to this question:

  1. Testing allows the agency to collect information about an individual’s current status, e.g. health or fitness.
  2. Test results help to establish a starting point from which to base goals and a program to modify current status.
  3. It may be necessary to determine compliance with a requirement, incentive, or other negotiated benefit.
  4. Perhaps most importantly, the results of testing help predict the likelihood of success in training or on the job. Specific examples include:
    1. Academy entrance
    2. Academy graduation or retention standards
    3. Return to duty after an injury
    4. Special duty assignment


FitForce has deep experience in developing and validating tests, conducting testing for clients, and supporting agencies in their own testing.