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Information for Candidates Attending Pre-Placement

Medical and Fitness Assessment


All applicants made an offer via UCAS, whether conditional
or unconditional for qualification purposes, must also
undertake a fitness test as part of the post-selection
criteria. This is a vigorous test that applicants must pass,
along with a medical assessment and Enhanced CRB
Disclosure.
In order that you give yourself every
opportunity to pass, we have outlined the tests that you
are required to perform at the end of this document. The
pass marks for each test are of a high standard due to the
requirements of the duties involved.

Advice to Prospective Candidates


The fitness test is designed to assess your ability to carry
out peak demands of ambulance work. This is necessary
to ensure that you have sufficient physical ability to cope
with extreme work demands as and when these occur and
to minimise the health / injury known to exist within low
fitness groups when regularly engaged in such hard
physical work.
The fitness test is described at the end of this sheet. If
you feel that your current fitness level may impede your
ability to complete such a test, follow the advice given
below.
In order to assist your preparation, it is recommended that
you start and follow a regular programme of fitness
training, which should commence at the earliest
opportunity. Any exercise that is continuous, rhythmical
and engages the large muscle groups of the body would be
suitable. Typical activities are Walking, Jogging, Cycling,
Rowing, Swimming, Aerobic / Dance / Step.
Exercise should be brisk and vigorous, leaving you
sweating and moderately breathless. It should NOT cause
exhaustion or leave you totally breathless, or with aching
muscles. Intensity levels should be between 70% - 90%
of your age predicted maximum heart rate, calculated by
subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying by 0.7 or
0.9. Start the programme at the lower intensity (70%) and
gradually progress over a period of weeks to the higher
level as your fitness level increases. A simple method of

determining your fitness level can be obtained by


measuring your resting heart rate. This is best taken
immediately upon waking after a good nights sleep. Allow
five minutes relaxation if waking to an alarm clock. The
average resting heart rate for men and women is between
60 and 80 beats per minute. Poorly trained, sedentary
individuals may have heart rates that exceed 100 beats per
minute. Resting heart rate levels can decrease as a result
of undertaking some form of physical activity, especially for
people who do little or no exercise.
You should aim to complete 3-5 sessions per week at this
intensity, beginning with 15-30 minutes and progressing to
longer sessions as your fitness level increases. You will
find as you progress you can extend the duration of your
exercise periods. You may wish to mix exercise types for
variety and include some form of weight training for
strength improvement.
Always include a gradual warm up before vigorous exercise
and a cool down after completion. These include gentle
mobilisation of the muscles and joints and some stretches
for flexibility.
If you have not been following a regular systematic training
programme similar to that outlined above, you are unlikely
to be able to complete the test satisfactorily.
NOTE:
It is suggested you consult your GP before starting any
exercise programme, especially if:
You have not engaged in physical activity for some
time.
You are not used to exercise.
You suspect any problems (e.g. heart, joint or muscle)
that may be made worse by exercise.
Do not exercise if you have or are recovering from colds,
flu, fever, etc.
If you require further specific advice about types of
exercise, intensities or duration, seek the assistance of a
reputable, qualified fitness trainer or health club, explaining
your requirements.

TESTS
The pre-test conditions require that you do not eat, drink or
smoke for 2 hours prior to the appointment. In addition you
are advised not to take any aerobic exercise prior to the appointment on the day of the test. You should wear or bring
with you clothing which is appropriate, e.g. track suit and
trainers.
Grip Strength
You are required to squeeze a grip meter which records
measurements. This test is performed up to 3 times for
each hand. You will be expected to reach a score of 40-35
(men) and 40-32 (women) in dominant hand and 38-33 (men)
and 38-30 (women) in the subordinate hand over the three
tests. The test is in place to measure how strong the hand
and arm muscles are and can be likened to use of a nut
cracker.
Leg and Back Pull
This test measures the strength in your leg and back muscles.
You will be asked to pull against resistance in a standing position. The measurement will be recorded and should reach
150kg (men) and 140kg (women).
Sit and Reach
This is like touching your toes. The test is performed sitting
on the floor and reaching towards a measurement board.
You will be expected to push the stretch indicator block
30cm beyond your toes.
Aerobic Stop Test
This is performed in two phases.
Phase one involves a warm up test whilst your heart is being monitored. You will be stepping on and off a 30cm step
in 3 incremental two minute stages, increasing the rate of
stepping as you progress. Your heart rate will be recorded
at the end of each two-minute interval.
The test will end if you are unable to complete any stage or
if your heart rises above 80% of the predicted maximum
value.

As well as the above EPS, candidates will be expected


to complete the following after a two-minute rest period,
there is no rest period between the following tests:
Stepping whilst carrying a 10kg weight (mock first
response kit) for two minutes on the 30cm
step.
Resuscitation (heart compressions only) for two minutes.
Stepping whilst carrying two 15kg weights (just less
than half the weight of the average human
by stretcher) for 3 minutes on the 15cm and
30cm steps.
The rest will end if you are unable to complete any
stage, or if your heart rises above 90% of the predicted
maximum value.