To All Members
20th March 2017
It is extremely disappointing that we have found ourselves having to issue this circular to our members but we have received several enquiries in relation to rumours which are circulating, around the Force’s intention to raise the fitness standard for Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) officers from 5.7 to 7.6 on the MSFT.
At the JCC on Thursday of last week, the Chief Officers identified that they wished to raise the standard, through a further ‘without consequence period’, to 7.6 in order to address concerns raised by the College of Policing and that they had been discussing this at focus groups and other meetings with members.
The current standard for all officers within the MDP is 35.6 Vo2 or 5.7 on the 15m shuttle run. This level is specifically referenced in the TACOS agreement and would require negotiation with the DPF and agreement to change it. It is not within the gift of the Chief Officers to alter this standard without that agreement and at this time we have not received any approach to consider this.
During the TACOS negotiations, we were careful to ensure that certain safeguards were put in place to ensure these agreements could not be adjusted without agreement, including around fitness testing, where we have been clear from the outset that any change would only be agreed where there was:
- A material change to the role requiring a re-evaluation of the standard; &
- A full scientific evaluation of that material change by the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) or an equivalent scientific body.
We are less than one year into the new TACOS standards and have not yet evaluated the impact, on either the operational output of the Force or the impact to individuals, of the current standard and are therefore concerned with any consideration of a change to increase this requirement. Additionally we are unaware of any material change to the role of the MDP, in fact the opposite, we are quite certain the role is exactly the same as when the TACOS agreement was made.
The current standard potentially discriminates against older officers, females, and officers with disabilities and any increase to this standard would only increase that level of discrimination exponentially.
This discrimination raises serious concerns for the DPF alongside concerns in relation to officers whose fitness levels are below this proposed standard and who would be at risk of injury from trying to participate to the level where they could no longer continue, rather than the current process where they stop at level 5.7.
Therefore, this circular is provided as guidance for officers that the standard required, for employment purposes within the Ministry of Defence Police, is 5.7 on the 15-meter shuttle run or its equivalent.
It is currently in a ‘Without Consequence’ period, which means you cannot be dismissed for failing to achieve this standard, but will move to a consequential test in June of this year. It is essential that all officers participate in this without consequence period of testing, to evaluate their level of fitness and to demonstrate improvement where necessary, but that is only to the standard required of 5.7.
This standard cannot be altered or increased without agreement from the DPF on behalf of our members and this agreement has not been either sought or given and will not be given unless you direct us to do so, or the conditions set out above are met, which they have not been.
It is deeply disappointing that this situation has arisen, but we must be clear –
The standard for all officers within the MDP is 5.7 on the 15-meter shuttle run or its equivalent as identified from the INM review and subsequent report, based on a scientific evaluation of all of the exercises identified by the Force as being relevant.
No officer is required to exceed this level for employment purposes.
Eamon Keating Mitchel Batt
National Chairman General Secretary
Extract from formal Agreement on Ministry of Defence Police Terms and Conditions of Service 2016
MDP OCCUPATIONAL FITNESS STANDARD
5. All MDP officers will be required, as a condition of service, to meet an MDP Occupational Fitness Standard that has been determined by the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM Report 2015.008 refers) and agreed by the College of Policing. All officers will be required to pass an annual fitness test that equates to Level 5.7 on the 15 metre version of the Multistage Fitness Test (INM Report 2015.009 refers). Implementation of the new MDP Occupational Fitness Standard will commence during 2015/16 through a 12 month programme of “no consequence” fitness testing. “With consequence” fitness testing will begin during 2016/17. Implementation of fitness testing in the MDP will be based on the policy and process that has supported the introduction of job related fitness testing within Home Office Forces.
6. Detailed policy guidance on the implementation of the new MDP Occupational Fitness Standard (including the supporting annual fitness testing process) will be the subject of separate consultation. This will draw upon the recommendations made by the Institute of Naval Medicine and will detail the remedial support, advice and training that will be provided to officers who are unable to meet the agreed MDP Occupational Fitness Standard. The policy guidance will also detail the process for managing officers who are unable to meet the MDP Occupational Fitness Standard after remedial support, advice and training has been provided. This will be in accordance with the MDP Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures.
 Annex A contains an extract from the TACOS agreement outlining the standard