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Where South Carolina Law Enforcement is Defined

SCCJA PAT Course

Physical Ability Test (PAT) Protocol

The Physical Ability Test (PAT) will be conducted on the first Sunday of each Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) course offering. BLE students will be required to report to the Academy gymnasium no later than 14:00 hours. BLE students will be required to report in appropriate physical training attire as was described during the registration orientation. The orientation for the P.A.T. will be conducted by an Academy staff member.

 The orientation will consist of the following:

  • an explanation of the course;
  • an explanation of the purpose of the course;
  • an explanation of the success criteria for the course, and;
  • a demonstration by an Academy staff member or designee of the course.

 
BLE students will be allowed to ask for clarification of any issue concerning the course prior to beginning. BLE students will be queued prior to participation in the order in which they are listed on the official BLE roster. BLE students will be required to remain in the gymnasium during the conduct of the PAT unless given permission to leave by an Academy staff member. All BLE students will be required to participate in the PAT. Each BLE student will be allowed one attempt to complete successfully the PAT course.

Any BLE student not able to participate will be dismissed from the training cycle. The Basic Training Coordinator or designee will be notified before any dismissal of any BLE student from the training cycle. Any BLE student dismissed will be given a full explanation and a written explanation that is required to be delivered by the student to his/his department representative.

The following law enforcement student categories will be exempt from participation in the PAT:

  • Special Basic students
  • Limited Duty (Class 3) students
  • Recycled BLE students who have previously satisfied the PAT criteria within the past twelve months
  • a demonstration by an Academy staff member or designee of the course.

 

Staff Protocol

Only Academy staff members who are experienced in the conduct of the PAT will be allowed to conduct the course or act as spotters. Two (2) Academy staff members (one [1] per student) will be required to oversee, direct and time the BLE students on the PAT course and act as spotters. Two (2) BLE students will participate on the course simultaneously in a staggered manner. One (1) Academy staff member will be responsible for accurately recording each BLE student performance result, recording each BLE student ability result (e.g., the failure to negotiate any/all obstacles).

Academy staff members, one (1) each, will be assigned to act as spotters at the following obstacles that have been identified as prone to cause injury due to poor execution:

  • the stair climb;
  • the chain-link fence, and;
  • the wall/window.

The staff member assigned as the spotter at the wall/window is also responsible for the retrieval and placement of the 150 lbs. bag. Academy staff members assigned as spotters are NOT to assist any BLE student with the execution of the obstacle, but to provide safety assistance to mitigate the possibility of injury.

 

 The Course

 The standard for successful completion of the PAT will be for the BLE participant, unassisted during the event, to complete the course in two minutes and six seconds (2:06).

A time penalty (two [2] seconds added) for failure to negotiate the low crawl or the ditch jump will be imposed and added to the individual’s cumulative score. Failure to negotiate any obstacle and/or to stop continuous motion will NOT constitute a “failure”.

BLE participants will be allowed three (3) attempts to successfully negotiate obstacles (e.g., stairs, fence, wall/window). At each failed attempt, the instructor will tell the student to back-up to a designated point in attempt to gain momentum to negotiate the obstacle. Following a third failed attempt at a given obstacle, the student will be instructed to walk around the obstacle and finish the course in order for the individual’s time to be recorded for purposes of the comparison of performance (time) to ability (non-negotiation of obstacle[s]).

A minimum of six (6) Academy staff members will be required to conduct the PAT course. The duties of the assigned staff are as follows:

  • Two (2) Academy staff members will serve as course guides, timekeepers and spotters.
  • One (1) Academy staff member will serve as the time recorder, participant coordinator.
  • Three (3) Academy staff members will serve as spotters at selected obstacles (stair climb, chain link fence and window/solid wall) – spotters are critical to the maintenance of safety.
  • Spotters will NOT assist the student with the execution of the obstacle, but will provide safety assistance to mitigate the possibility of injury.
  • All PAT results will be recorded in the physical training results database for purposes of analysis.

 

The course has been designed for set-up in a gymnasium and occupies two-thirds of a regulation basketball court when fully deployed. The course will be set-up indoors as to allow for the control of environmental factors.


Course Description:

The course measures a total of 870 feet (290 yards/ 265.2 meters). The course consists of a series of nine interspersed individual tasks, arranged in a continuous format that are viewed as being essential (physical) job-tasks for law enforcement training:

 

  • running;
  • jumping (low hurdle);
  • climbing stairs;
  • low crawling;
  • jumping (broad-type);
  • climbing a fence (chain-link/four feet);
  • climbing through a window;
  • moving/dragging a weight (150 pounds);
  • changing direction on the run.

 

 The trainee starts the course at a point, indicated in green on the course map.

The course is outlined as such:

 

  • The candidate runs one and ¾ laps around the perimeter of the course
  • The first obstacle encountered in the interior consists of two low hurdles, one and a half feet high and four feet long, placed 13 feet apart.
  • After clearing the hurdles, stairs (five steps up to a 32-inch wide landing, 45 inches above the floor, and five steps down) must be negotiated twice (note that each step has a 7.5 inch rise and tread that is 11 inches wide).
  • Once the stair event is completed another low hurdle must be cleared; the trainee must then successfully negotiate a low crawl under an obstacle set at 2 ½ feet above the floor.
  • Make a turn and clear a ditch simulation that is six feet in width.
  • After another turn, a chain-link fence (four feet in height) must be climbed.
  • Two additional turns made, and a four-foot high window (opening is 3' wide x 4.5' high) must be successfully entered.
  • The candidate must then drag a 150-pound dead weight a distance of 20 feet.
  • After the weight drag, the candidate exits the course, completes one final lap around the perimeter and finishes at the point indicated in red on the course map.

                          Map of PAT course

 Student Dismissals

 Any BLE student failing to meet the established performance criteria will be provided an explanation of the failure, a “prescription” for improvement (e.g., physical training and/or nutrition) and will be instructed to follow the prescribed improvement prescription until the individual’s next testing opportunity. The Basic Training Coordinator or designee and Instructor/ Timer must be in agreement that a BLE student has failed to meet the criteria for successful completion of the PAT and both will sign the prescriptive improvement plan. A copy of the improvement prescription will be forwarded to the Administrative Coordinator and placed in the class file.

Any BLE student who fails to meet the established performance criteria will remain in the assigned training cycle and will be required to attempt the PAT a second time with the next BLE class. If the BLE student successfully meets the established performance criteria on the second attempt, the Basic Training Coordinator and their employing agency will be notified, and the student will be allowed to continue with the original BLE class training cycle.

If the BLE student in question fails to meet the established performance criteria on the second attempt he/she will be dismissed from their respective training cycle and, upon the request of their employing agency, be allowed a third attempt no sooner than thirty (30) days from the date of the second failure. If the BLE student in question fails to meet the established performance criteria on the second attempt he/she will be dismissed from their respective training cycle and, upon the request of their employing agency, be allowed a third attempt no sooner than ninety (90) days from the date of the third second failure.

If the BLE student in question fails to meet the established performance criteria on the fourth attempt, he/she will not be allowed to be presented for BLE training for one (1) calendar year from the date of the third failure.

Employing agency notification procedures will be followed for each subsequent attempt by the BLE student in question.

 

 Time Penalty Methods

There are two (2) time penalty methods employed throughout the conduct of the PAT. These are described and contrasted below.

1. At all obstacles (stair climb, chain link fence, window/solid wall), with the exception of the low crawl and ditch jump, each participant is allowed a maximum of three (3) attempts to negotiate each respective obstacle – failing the third, the participant is instructed to walk around the obstacle and continue on the course. Most participants are capable of negotiating each obstacle on the first attempt. If, however, additional attempts are necessary, they are attempted while the clock is running and results, therefore, in a “self-imposed” time penalty.

2. The time penalty for failure to negotiate successfully the low crawl and ditch jump (six feet in length) is an added two (2) second penalty for each failure. These are “staff imposed” penalties. These penalties are added to the cumulative score (time) of a given individual upon completion of the course.

Note: included in item #2 is a two (2) second penalty for failure to negotiate (knocking over) a low hurdle.