Police Officers Physical Abilities Test (POPAT) in Edmonton, AB

How do I prepare for the TEST?

To prepare for the POPAT in Edmonton (or elsewhere in Alberta or BC), your training should include both cardiovascular and strength training. These types of training can be done in combination or separately. You are encouraged to be physically active for at least 4 to 6 weeks before attempting the POPAT, including:

  • 3 to 5 cardiovascular training sessions per week, and
  • 2 to 3 resistance training sessions per week

Some of the other law enforcement agencies using the POPAT are:

About the POPAT test

The evaluation consists of six stations

Station 1: Obstacle course – foot chase

This simulates proceeding to the scene of a problem or occurrence.

The first section of POPAT consists of an obstacle run which the participant negotiates six times. The course is laid out in the following manner: (see diagram for course layout)

*note: the participant must complete six laps before starting the next section.

6-ft mat jump

From the start marker, follow the arrow to the second marker, turn right and jump over the 6-foot mat. The participant must clear the jump or they go back to the second maker and attempt the jump again. If they cannot clear the jump on the second attempt, they get one more attempt to jump and then the test is ended.


On landing, the participant turns left around the next marker and proceeds towards the stairs. The participant must run up and down the stairs, touching every single stair on the way up and every single stair on the way down. The participant then proceeds towards the next marker and runs back to the stairs going up and down again.

18-in hurdles

Upon landing, the participant then moves to the next marker, turns left, jumps over the 18-inch hurdles en route to the next marker. Participants who knock down hurdles must pick them up and place them back where they belong and then must re-do the hurdle. Continue to run around marker 5, then outside to the start marker to enter the course a second time. 

The participant must complete six laps before starting the next section.

Station 2: Push/pull section (physical control)

This simulates having to physically solve a problem or occurrence.

Upon finishing the obstacle run, the participant moves immediately to the push/pull station, which consists of a specific push/pull unit set at 80lbs. The participant must perform the pull activity first. You must complete six 180 degree arcs. If the weight drops, you must start back at arc 1. You  cannot lock your elbows, you must have a slight bend in them and you cannot cross your feet as you move through the arcs. You will  be given 1 warning and asked to correct it and then will have to re-do all six arcs. 

Pull Activity

The participant grasps the rope and pulls so the weight plates lift off the base of the machine (80 lbs for Saskatchewan applicants or 50 lbs for BC applicants) and then moves right or left. Six arcs are completed without allowing the weight to touch the base. 

Push Activity

The participant then immediately pushes the weight off the base and begins the activity of 6 arcs. The arms must be bent at the elbows throughout the performance of the activity with the chest off the handle. Six arcs must be completed. 

Station 3: Modified Squat-Thrust-and-Stand and Vault Rail

This station involves modified Squat-Thrust-and-Stand (STAS) activity followed by jumping over a 3′ (.91 m) vault rail. From the Pull-Push Station, the participant moves to Station 3 and begins by doing a STAS so that the chest and chin touch the mat. The participant then stands and vaults over the rail, touching the rail with only the hands. Landing on the feet, the participant then does a reverse STAS (to end up on your back) so that the shoulder blades, buttocks and heels touch the mat. The participant then stands and vaults over the rail and repeats the activity until a total of 10 Squat-Thrust-and-Stands (5 to the front, 5 to the back) and 9 Vaults are completed. Once the participant finishes the last STAS and stands up in a balanced position, the time is stopped. This ends the timed portion of the test. Should any error be made during the vault station, the specific activity must be repeated until it is performed correctly. Placing hands on the rail to pull yourself up or help yourself down to the mat is an error. Placing the foot on the rail is an error. Failing to touch the chest or the shoulder blades on the mat is an error.

This station is the second half of resolving the emergency situation part of the test. The timed portion of this test is complete. The heart rate is taken and recorded on the testing sheet.

Station 4. Torso Bag Carry (carry to safety)

This simulates having to remove an object or a person from the scene

The weight carry section of POPAT is a pass/fail activity; it is not timed. The participant must be able to pick up a weight (100 lbs), and carry it over a distance of 50 feet. This activity should begin 30 seconds after completion of the timed part of the test. The bag must be carried so that it is always in front of the participant, above the knees, and must be grasped by the hands only.  A proper lifting and carrying technique must be used.

This station is the removing the problem part of the test, and is the last activity that must be completed.

Participants failing the weight-carry section fail the POPAT.


To pass the POPAT you must complete the agility run/obstacle course, push/pull machine and vaults in 4 minutes 15 seconds

Learn more about the Police Officers Physical Abilities Test in Edmonton