Correctional Officers

sec_arr Appendix B: Fitness Test for Ontario Correctional Officer Applicants (FITCO)

Appendix B: Fitness Test for Ontario Correctional Officer Applicants (FITCO)

In 2010, Jamnik, et al., described the critical tasks that COs perform,35 and constructed, validated and derived a fitness test and performance standards for COs,36 following the Meiorin ruling in Canada37:

“Fitness components tests measure the underlying physical and physiological attributes necessary to carry out the critical physically demanding on-the-job tasks (Bonneau 2001). Compared with fitness components tests, job simulation tests have greater content or face validity and consequently are more readily accepted by workers, management, and arbitrators (Bonneau 2001; Gledhill et al. 2001b).”

“Construct validity was assessed by measuring the physiological responses while experienced COs were performing the ERC [emergency response circuit], then comparing these measurements with the physiological responses that were recorded for COs during the earlier characterization of on-the-job tasks.”

“Content validity was evaluated by completion of a questionnaire by the incumbent COs following their completion of the FITCO.”

“Test-retest reliability of the ERC was established with a sample of 70 female and 85 male incumbent COs who completed the ERC 3 times on the same day, with repeat trials separated by a minimum of 30 min.”

“The FITCO is a hybrid applicant fitness screening protocol composed of a cell search, ERC, and aerobic fitness test.”36

Table 2. Example of a Fitness Test: FITCO Performance Components*

Activity Performance Measurement Requirement
Cell Search Demonstrates agility, strength, and range of motion Lift and remove mattress from the top bunk of a bed, hold the mattress, replace it on the bunk.

Search area around the bunk.

Must be completed within 120 seconds

Emergency Response Circuit (ERC) Measures aerobic capacity, upper body strength, upper body muscular endurance, and functional flexibility Run 60 meters while scaling 4 sets of stairs, followed by simulated inmate body control by pushing and pulling 38.6 kg mass, then simulated wrist restraint and arm retraction by maintaining a grip of over 26 kg while retracting a lever requiring a force of 28.5 kg; finnaly drag a 39 kg mannequin a distance of 40 meters.

Must be completed in 128 seconds.

Leger 20 Meter Shuttle Run Measures aerobic fitness Run back and forth over a 20 meters course at progressively faster pace.

*Adapted from the Fitness Test for Ontario Correctional Officer Applicants.