(female narrator) Congratulations, you have been tentatively selected as a candidate for the position of Customs and Border Protection Officer with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, also known as CBP. Customs and Border Protection Officers, also known as CBP Officers, serve on the frontline at our nation’s air and sea ports of entry. A career as a CBP Officer offers excitement, variety, and the reward of public service. The job duties are physically demanding, therefore, the CBP Officer benefits from intense, rigorous training at the Office of Field Operations Academy, located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. As one of the requirements in the hiring process, you must pass the Pre-employment Fitness Test-1 also known as PFT-1. The PFT-1 is designed to predict a candidate’s ability to successfully complete the physical fitness requirements of the Field Operations Academy.
This presentation will introduce you to the PFT-1 protocol so you can prepare and know exactly what to expect the day of your scheduled fitness test. To increase your chance of passing, carefully review and practice the tests as demonstrated in this presentation. Remember to consult with a medical provider before practicing the fitness test or starting any exercise program. Here are some things you should know about the fitness testing process. When you arrive at the testing location, a test administrator will greet you to ensure you have your government-issued identification and Candidate Health History Questionnaire. If you have a medical condition that might affect your ability to participate in or complete any of the fitness tests, you must get clearance in advance from your medical provider prior to the scheduling of your fitness test. Bring the completed and signed Candidate Health History Questionnaire and, if necessary, the Medical Provider Statement with any medical restrictions to your fitness test appointment. You will receive further instructions on these forms when you schedule your PFT-1 appointment.
After confirming that everything is in order, the test administrator will take your height and weight. Bring any braces or supports you routinely wear while working out as the fitness tests require heavy lifting and repetitive task activities. Immediately following the review of your paperwork and the taking of your height and weight, the PFT-1 will begin. Wear clothing appropriate for the fitness tests. Dress in the clothes you would wear inside to work out at a gym: a t-shirt or tank top, sweat pants or shorts, and athletic shoes with good support. The PFT-1 battery consists of five physical abilities tests administered and scored in two parts. Here is the PFT-1 order of tests: the Sit-up Test, the Push-up Test, the Side Step Test, and the Lift/Lower Test. Part 2 consists of a 5-minute Step Test. While each test will help you loosen up for the next one, you may also want to warm-up and stretch prior to beginning the first test and as well during the three minute intervals between each test if time permits.
To ensure consistency in how the PFT-1 is administered, the entire PFT-1 is played by an audio file that contains all instructions and time frames. The audio file has three minute intervals for practice and instructions in-between. Throughout the test, the audio file provides instructions and gives you start and stop commands in addition to the audio beeps to help indicate the beginning and ending of each test. (narration on audio file) Ready? Go. (female narrator) During the three-minute intervals the audio file will explain the next test and allow you to practice the movements as well. Once the audio file starts, the fitness test will not be stopped for any reason until it is completed, unless a injury occurs or you voluntarily stop. As mentioned earlier, there are two parts to the PFT-1. Part 1 uses a compensatory or cumulative scoring system to score the tests. The number of repetitions you complete during the sit-up test, push-up test, side step test, and how many seconds it takes for you to complete 8 lift/lower cycles is tallied and a total score for each test is assigned.
Each test score from Part 1 is added together for a final cumulative score. You must earn a score greater than zero on each test and a total score of at least 80 points in order to pass Part 1. Therefore it is to your advantage to perform as many repetitions as you can to earn the highest score possible for each test. The test administrator will administer the entire battery of tests even if you do not complete a test within the required time or perform the minimum amount of repetitions. For example, if you fail to perform the required amount of push-ups, you still must perform the next fitness test, the side-step test. Part 2 of the PFT-1 consists of the step test where you step on and off of a 12-inch bench to a cadence of 120 steps per minute for five minutes. You pass the PFT-1 when you have a passing cumulative score of at least 80 and successfully complete the step test. Remember a score of zero on any test in Part 1 will result in failing the PFT-1. The Sit-up Test is the first of four tests in the PFT-1. You are required to complete as many sit-ups as possible in 60 seconds with a minimum of 20 repetitions.
The sit-up test measures dynamic strength and endurance of the abdominal muscles. Start in the down position with your back on the mat, feet flat with your knees bent at a ninety-degree angle. This should give you about an 18 inch separation between your heels and buttocks. Place your hands behind your head without interlocking the fingers together with your thumbs by your ears. Let the weight of your head rest comfortably on your fingers to prevent strain on the neck. The test administrator will hold your feet down with his or her hands either on top of the feet or behind your heels for the entire test. If you like, the test administrator can kneel on top of your feet while holding behind your heels or ankles.
To get to the up position, your elbows must touch your knees or break the plane of your knees. Between each sit-up you must lower yourself until your shoulder blades touch the mat. This equals one proper form sit-up. When you hear the word “go”, on the audio file, the sit up test begins. The test administrator will count aloud the number of sit-ups you complete with proper form. (test administrator) Twelve, thirteen… (female narrator) They also inform you when a sit-up does not count. As mentioned, you must perform as many proper form sit-ups as possible in 60 seconds with a minimum of 20 repetitions. You may rest in the up position only, but the time will continue. Staying down for three seconds or more will result in a score of zero for the sit-up test.
A sit-up will not count: If the buttocks are raised off the mat. If the hands are used to pull yourself up from the down position to the up position. If half sit-ups are performed, when you fail to touch your knees with your elbows or break the plane of the knees with your elbows Or, if the shoulder blades do not touch the mat The sit-up test ends when 60 seconds expires, when you stay in the down position for three seconds or more, or when you cannot perform any more sit-ups. During a timed three-minute interval the push-up test is explained via the audio file. The Push-up Test is the second test in the PFT-1. It is a measure of upper body strength and muscular endurance. You must complete as many proper form push-ups as possible in 60 seconds with a minimum of 12 repetitions.
Start in the up position with elbows straight, hands spaced shoulder width apart with the thumbs aligned with the crease of your shoulders. Keep the body in a straight line with feet no more than 12 inches apart. You may rest in the up position only, but the time will continue. While you are in the start position, a 4 or 5 inch foam block will be placed directly below your sternum, which is also known as your breastbone, and held in position by the test administrator, who may be a male or female, throughout the entire test. The 5-inch foam block is used for candidates 5 feet 9 inches tall and above. When you hear the word “go”, bend your elbows and drop down, keeping your back straight until your sternum touches the foam block then push back up until your elbows are straight. This equals one proper form push-up.
The test administrator will count out loud the number of proper form push-ups completed correctly. (test administrator) Six, seven (female narrator) They also inform you when a push up does not count. A push-up will not count: If you have a sagging back, If your buttocks are raised in the air, If your feet are spread wider than 12 inches apart, Or, If you perform half push-ups, where you fail to touch the foam block with your sternum or do not come all the way up with your elbows straight. The push-up test ends when 60 seconds expires, when you cannot perform any more push-ups with proper form, or when one or both knees touch the ground. The Side Step Test explained via audio file during the timed three-minute interval. In the interval, you will have a brief period to practice the techniques of the side step test.
The side step test is the third test in the PFT-1. The side step test is a measure of coordination, explosive strength, and anaerobic power. You are required to perform a minimum of 8 line touches or crosses in one of the two 10-second trials. There is a 20 second pause to allow you to get back into position between the first and second trial. The highest number of outside line touches or crosses and center line crosses of the two trials is recorded and a final score for that trial is assigned. You will stand straddling the center line with your right foot on one side of the tape and the left foot on the other side of the tape.
The measured distance is six feet to either side tape from the center line tape. When you hear the word “go”, slide either right or left towards the outside taped line until the closest foot touches or crosses the outside line. Count 1. Now slide in the opposite direction, crossing the center line, count 2, towards the other outside line where the other closest foot touches or crosses the other outside line. Count 3. Continue to slide right and left, touching or crossing the outside lines and crossing the center line until 10 seconds expires performing as many repetitions as you can. Remember, you must complete as many outside touches or crosses and center line crosses as possible with a minimum of 8 repetitions in 10 seconds. Here are some things to keep in mind. While performing the side step test, you cannot cross your feet or turn your torso to the side. You may turn your head, but not your torso.
If you cross your legs, or turn your torso during the test, you will get a zero for the first trial. Regroup and wait for the second trial to begin in 20 seconds. If you fail to maintain the correct position during the second trial or you do not attain at least 8 line touches and crosses, you will get a zero, and you will fail the Side Step Test. The Lift/Lower Test is explained via the audio file during the three-minute interval. You are given time to practice the techniques of the lift/lower test.
The lift/lower test is the fourth test in the PFT-1. The lift/lower test is a measure of muscular strength and endurance. The lift/lower test requires that you complete 8 lift/lower cycles as quickly and safely as possible in 60 seconds. A lift/lower cycle is when you lift a crate of 50 pounds of loose weights from the floor to a 30 inch high table and back to the floor. First, you will practice lifting the crate of 50 loose pounds a few inches off the floor to get a feel of the crate and weight. At the start of the test, the audio file beeps and the test administrator begins the stopwatch at the same time.
(audio file) Go (female narrator) There are no verbal instructions of this test during the entire 60 seconds. Step up close to the crate. The table is on your right or left. You are not facing the table. Bend your knees, squat down, with your back straight, and grip the crate handles. Look up slightly. Proceed to stand while lifting the crate, turn towards the table with the crate. Place the crate on the table and release your grip briefly by opening your hands, then re-grip the handles of the crate again. Lift the crate from the table, turning and moving your feet back to the starting position, while still holding the crate, lower your body by bending your knees while keeping your back straight, squat down, and place the crate on the floor.
Here are some safety reminders: Look up and out slightly as you lift. Keep your back straight and aligned, from your neck to the base of your spine. Bend your knees as you lift and lower the crate. Turn your body by moving your feet. Do not twist your spine or knees when placing the crate on the floor or the table. Although using an incorrect lifting technique will not cause you to fail the test, to prevent injury, you should always lift in a safe manner by bending your legs when lifting. You should also move your feet when lifting the crate to and from the table, and make sure not to twist your spine. Keep your back straight with your chin slightly up while lifting.
The lift/lower test ends when you complete 8 cycles as quickly and safely as possible. You will hear the beep on the audio file along with the stop command at the end of sixty seconds. If you hear the word stop, the beep sound on the audio file and you have not completed 8 lift/lower cycles, you will receive a zero for this test. Part 2 of the PFT-1 is the 5-minute Step Test. This test is the fifth and final test in the PFT-1 and is scored as pass/fail. The step test is a measure of cardiovascular endurance. The step test is explained via the audio file during the three-minute interval. You will also have a brief period to practice the techniques of the step test. The video will take you through several practices to illustrate the movements and the pace of the step test. The step test is performed by stepping on and off a 12-inch high step to a cadence of 120 steps per minute for five minutes.
The step test is performed by stepping onto the step with either your right or left foot as the lead foot, followed by stepping up with the other foot; then stepping down with the lead foot, followed by stepping down with the other foot in a up-up-down-down sequence. The audio file is narrated along with the cadence sound throughout the entire five minutes. (narration on audio file) Up, up, down, down Up, up, down, down (female narrator) Changing the lead foot lessens local muscle fatigue, thus enhancing your likelihood of successfully completing the test.
It’s difficult for some people to perform a lead foot change and stay in cadence. If you experience problems with changing your lead foot, just keep stepping and change when or if you can. The important thing is to keep stepping in cadence and not to stop. Remember, you must step with the cadence sound, which is heard with the audio file throughout the step test. (narration on audio file) Up, up, down, down Up, up, down, down (female narrator) Reasons for failing the step test include: Not completing the entire five minutes; Not maintaining the stepping cadence in accordance with the audio file for three consecutive up, up, down, down sequences; Using your hands to push on your legs to assist in stepping; or, missing six up, up, down, down cadence sequences, during the 5-minute test.
To decrease the number of missed cadences, keep stepping while working to get back on pace. The 5-minute step test will stop when: five minutes is up, you stop yourself due to medical issues or other immediate hazards, the test administrator feels you are posing a health or safety risk to yourself, for example you could trip, experience dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, severe shortness of breath, or if you complain of chest pain, You use your hands to push on your legs to assist in stepping, You do not maintain the stepping cadence in accordance with the sound file for three consecutive up, up, down, down sequences; Or You miss six up, up, down, down cadence sequences during the 5-minute test. Upon the completion of the fitness tests, the Minneapolis Hiring Center will contact you with your results and advise you of the next steps. (Candidate #1) Make sure you practice at home, it really helps. (Candidate #2) It was really hard, but I believe I passed. (Candidate #3) My advice is to be prepared by practicing, watching the DVD provided on CBP.gov, and reading all the material available.