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Old 10-13-2012, 13:30   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 13,602
We found that quantitative testing worked much better than nominal pass-fail testing.

We went with the Cooper Institute L.E. standards for testing and it provides a scientific and medical based standard for hiring standards. Example - we never had a performance problem with people who could test at 65 percentile or better, but the numbers shot up dramatically when the numbers approached or were at the stated hiring minima, 50 per cent. Some near the minima had the determination to get through and some simply gave up. Hired recruits that give up are expended tax resources with no realized return.

The quantitative testing model proved more successful in identifying those who were in the 'warning zone' and were given additional recommendations to be successful.

The problem with basic pass/fail tests are that they have to be 'dumbed down' and minimized to prevent injuries and legal challenges in courts by unsuccessful job candidates. Example - the wall climb. It is a physiologic fact that mean numbers of female applicants have a lower amount of upper body strength in comparison to an equivalent pool of male applicants, so any testing protocol relying on this exam as part of the testing battery, will likely be considered inherently biased against female applicants by the Courts.

Body drag testing is similar. Are you using a human body to test with [a volunteer specifically instructed to remain physically neutral throughout testing], a weighted sack or bag representation, an inexpensive dummy designed for these tests, or an anthropomorphic representation that is carefully designed to mimic human range of motion? Are you using multiple dummies selected through a random lottery to show the variable size and mass of humans? If every dummy is a 200 pound nylon bag with no human shape, if every dummy is rubber coated and is smooth with no clothing [designed to prevent injury], or a real human test subject is used... well, the challenge points should be evident for anyone considering the test.

Avoiding the Court sanction[s] have proved to be as challenging as selecting a qualified recruit and can be far more expensive in the short to medium term than simply hiring anyone who can fit through a standard door frame and hoping they can pass the PT standards.

Too many young applicants simply believe that because they played football as a 320 pound offensive lineman, they are physically able to be a cop throughout their lives. The opposite is also true in that a 100 pound female whose life experience is solely academic and office work, must be aware that they need a significant amount of upper body strength to restrain combative people.

Applicants know that they 'want' to be officers/deputies/troopers... but increasing numbers of them are not prepared to compete for the jobs available. Our American culture of increasingly equal outcomes clearly imply that applicants are showing up and expecting to do absolute minimums in order to 'pass' and realize their dream. They have months or years to physically or mentally prepare, yet they prepare to the minimum standard or not at all. They believe that simply having a high school diploma/GED and passing rudimentary pass/fail exams makes them 'highly qualified' or 'exceptionally qualified' for the job.

Your job is to establish and maintain a Court reviewable and acceptable testing protocol, based on clearly statable and defensible standards. It isn't easy or as clearly defined as a pass/fail test.
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