The physical competence test of the Dutch National Police: the effects of wearing a police uniform on test performance

Matthijs Koedijk, Hessel F. Stuurman, Peter G. Renden, R. I. (Vana) Hutter, Marian Strating, Raôul R.D. Oudejans

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Abstract

In this study, we investigated the effects of wearing a police uniform and gear on officers’ performance during the Physical Competence Test (PCT) of the Dutch National Police. In a counterbalanced within-subjects design, twenty-seven police officers performed the PCT twice, once wearing sportswear and once wearing a police uniform. The results showed clear indications that wearing a police uniform influenced the performance on the PCT. Participants were on average 14 seconds slower in a police uniform than in sportswear. Furthermore, performing the test in uniform was accompanied by higher RPE-scores and total physiological load. It seems that wearing a police uniform during the test diminishes the discrepancy between physical fitness needed to pass the simulated police tasks in the PCT and the job-specific physical fitness that is required during daily police work. This suggests that wearing a police uniform during the test will increase the representativeness of the testing environment for the work field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-278
JournalPolice Practice and Research
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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