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Physical Abilities Test Follow-Up Validation Study

NCJ Number
John Weiner
Date Published
March 1994
This report describes a validation study of the Work Sample Test Battery (WSTB) of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), a physical abilities test that California's entry-level peace officer cadets must complete during their basic training.
The validation study of the WSTB, which was conducted to determine whether scores on the WSTB were predictive of academy students' subsequent performance in the entry-level patrol job, found that WSTB scores were predictive of physical job performance throughout field training, including quality of performance, rate of physical activity (average number of physical incidents per day), and overall field training success/failure. All WSTB events were found to predict trainees' physical performance ratings, but only the chain-link fence, wall-climb, and body-drag events were predictive of physical incident/activity rate; and only the chain-link fence, wall climb, and obstacle course predicted overall field training success/failure. Analyses computed separately for males and females did not produce as many significant predictor-criterion correlations as did results based on the total sample; however, WSTB scores predicted females' physical job performance at least as often as males' WSTB scores. Neither gender's physical incident performance ratings were significantly predicted by WSTB total scores. WSTB and physical ability test (PAT) scores were obtained for approximately 700 basic academy students, including 149 females. They completed basic raining between June 1990 and November 1991. Five large municipal police departments participated in the study. The WSTB is administered to basic academy students following a 12- to 14-week physical conditioning program. Job performance measures were developed in order to obtain standardized assessments of officers' performance throughout field training. Performance data were obtained between July 1990 and January 1992. 29 tables, 11 references, and supplementary information on methodology and statistical analysis