To All Members
Please find below the joint statement issued by the Force and the Federation in relation to the Authorised Firearms Officer (Counter Terrorism) AFO CT fitness standard.
Fitness Harmonisation Team & DPF Joint Statement – Authorised Firearms Officer (Counter Terrorism) AFO CT standard for the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) – Deferment of Implementation
Since 2020 the Ministry of Defence Police have embarked upon a process to define a fitness standard utilising the INM and that work has engaged with the national lead for fitness, CoP and the National Lead for Firearms.
That work has now defined a PES including a Final Employment Test (FET) and an annual JRFT. The PES is distinguished from the fitness standards in policing insofar as the exercises are directly related to the requirements of the role of AFO CT and involves tests that are distinguishable (movement and cover; drag test) to the fitness testing (shuttle) in wider policing.
The PES work has been thoroughly undertaken by the INM – who are an internationally recognised organisation – has been assessed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Ethics Committee and has been validated internationally by presentation at the International PES Conference 2023 and by Helen Kilding, New Zealand Defence Force.
The College of Policing (CoP) required the MDP to demonstrate officers performing armed policing roles are able to meet the standards of fitness required to perform the capabilities described in their role profile to retain a CoP Firearms \training Licence.
Confirmation was sought by CCMDP, in Dec 2022, from CoP to recognise the Physical Employment Standards (PES) defined by the INM. Further clarification as to the PES and its correlation to the multistage fitness test was given in Feb 2023.
The organisation intended to implement the new MDP JRFT with effect from 1 April 2023; all equipment and support hubs have been procured and established to facilitate this.
While DPF and the organisation were willing to implement on 1 April, and sign off of revised TACOS, deferment will now take place until such time as the position with the CoP is clarified and MDP confirms its approach to meet organisational and officer needs.
Currently CoP have stated they are unable to endorse the new test as it does not meet their standards. This is disappointing given CoP have been an embedded stakeholder in the entire process from the outset.
It’s understandable that many officers will be frustrated with the lack of a definitive implementation date. Please be assured we are doing all we can and share your concerns.
The organisation would like to reinforce the position that no officer currently contracted to 5.7 will be subject to performance if those individuals have not passed the national police fitness standard and are capable in every other aspect of their role.
Equally, notwithstanding this decision on who can carry a firearm, members’ terms, and conditions of service, including requisite fitness standards, will not change until such time as a collective agreement is reached between MDP and DPF, following receipt and confirmation from CoP.
The DPF remain available to support any member who feels they be being treated inconsistently with his/her terms and conditions of service as they currently stand.