Candidate Physical Ability Test – CPAT

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed in 1999 by a joint effort of the International Association of Firefighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. This test simulates many of the common tasks performed on the fireground. Upon successful completion of the test a CPAT Identification Card will be issued to the candidate.

The Candidate Physical Ability Test(CPAT) is a pass/fail test encompassing eight events that challenge the applicant as if they were on the scene of a working fire. It is a timed test that gives the applicant 10 minutes and 20 seconds to complete. Candidates wear a weighted vest to simulate the weight of firefighting equipment, hardhat, and gloves throughout the test.

Candidates have the opportunity to attend a CPAT Pre-Test Program. The Pre-Test Program includes two (2) CPAT Orientation sessions within the eight (8) week period preceding a CPAT test and two (2) timed practice runs of the CPAT within the 30 days prior to the test. These opportunities are optional but available to every candidate.

Candidates may choose not to participate in the mandatory/required orientations or practice tests, but will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that these preparations have been offered.

The price for the CPAT is $XXX.00 and includes two (2) optional CPAT Orientation sessions. CPAT Orientation sessions last approximately 30 minutes. CPAT Practice Tests are $XX.00 per session and include an actual timed run of the CPAT.

Candidates who elect to sign waiver of participation in orientation period may challenge CPAT during Timed Course Practice test dates or CPAT Test Dates by appointment only.

Registration fee is required prior to each test attempt. Each session begins with an Orientation meeting and Station Practice session to familiarize the candidate with the CPAT. Candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions of the proctor staff and Peer Fitness Trainers and to view orientation video of the course and process. As part of the orientation and preparation process, candidate orientation guides and test preparation guides are available for downloading or viewing on our forms page.

If you have any questions regarding the test process, please contact _________________at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

 

CPAT Testing

The CPAT Pre-Test Program consists of CPAT Orientations and CPAT Practice Tests. The CPAT Pre-Test Program is set according to the International standards set by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).  This requires that candidates have the opportunity to participate in two CPAT Orientation sessions within the eight week period preceding a CPAT and two timed CPAT Practice Tests within the 30 days prior to the test.

The following is an overview of each phase of the Pre-Test Program.

 

CPAT Orientation

Orientations are provided to give candidates time to prepare themselves for the CPAT. Orientations give candidates information regarding the test to maximize their probability for success.  During these sessions, the candidates view the CPAT Orientation Video to gain exposure to each of the eight CPAT events, receive a walkthrough of the course with hands-on exposure to the CPAT equipment, and receive information on conditioning programs and techniques to help them prepare for the test.  The CPAT Orientation provides an opportunity for each candidate to view and try each test event, talk with instructors and physically examine test equipment, tools, and props in a controlled and consistent setting.  Candidates are directed to familiarize themselves with all elements of the test.  The CPAT Orientation includes:

  • Overview of the entire CPAT course
  • Overview of each of the eight (8) CPAT events
  • Hands-on opportunity to attempt each of the eight (8) events
  • Physical preparation guide for the CPAT (also available online)
  • Online preparation material; including the CPAT Orientation Guide, Candidate Preparation Guide and the Event Video.

Candidates must be scheduled for a CPAT to participate in the CPAT Orientations.  Candidates must present a valid government issued photo ID prior to participating in the CPAT Orientation Sessions. Candidates will also be required to complete and/or sign the following forms:

  • CPAT Sign in Sheet
  • CPAT Waiver of Claim for Injury

Since CPAT guidelines specify that all applicants must be given an opportunity to attend 2 CPAT Orientations within the eight week period preceding a CPAT, all candidates choosing not to attend 2 Orientations must complete the Waiver of CPAT Pre-Test Form.  This acknowledges that the practice sessions were made available to them and that they voluntarily waived the opportunity to participate in all sessions.

 

CPAT Practice Test

All candidates will be given an opportunity to attend a minimum of 2 CPAT Practice Tests within 30 days of their scheduled CPAT.

  • Timed trial runs to evaluate your level of preparedness
  • Supervised practice on the CPAT course with a proctor
  • Techniques, evaluation and conditioning advice from our CPAT proctors

The timed trials are conducted exactly as the official CPAT with verbatim instructions being read and protocol being followed exactly.  However, candidates who fail events or run out of time will be allowed to attempt/complete the rest of the test events to experience the entire CPAT course.  During the actual CPAT, if a candidate fails any event or runs out of time he/she will not be allowed to continue.  Candidates must be scheduled for a CPAT to participate in a Practice Test.  Since CPAT guidelines specify that all applicants must be given an opportunity to attend 2 Timed Trials within 30 days prior to scheduled CPAT, any individual choosing not to attend 2 Timed Trials must complete the Waiver of CPAT Pre-Test Form, acknowledging that the practice sessions were made available to them and that they voluntarily waived the opportunity to participate in all sessions.

Note: Successfully completing the Practice Test does not guarantee that the candidate will pass the actual test.

Note: There will be no refunds for unused Practice Tests.

 

Proper Attire

Proper attire must be worn at all times. You will not be allowed to participate in any CPAT related event if not wearing appropriate clothing. Following the CPAT standards, all candidates must wear long pants, footwear with no open heel or toe and no loose or restrictive jewelry. Lack of proper dress code will constitute an automatic fail, without fee reimbursement.

FAQ

How do I sign up for the CPAT?

Simply follow the registration at the MAACFoundation.com.  During this process, you can sign up for Orientations, Practice Tests and the CPAT.

How much does it cost to attend a CPAT session?

Cost is $150.00 for each full session payable in full at Orientation/Registration.  The session includes the Orientation, 2 Station Practices (1 immediately following Orientation), 2 Timed-Course Practices, and a CPAT Test.

How much does it cost to take the CPAT Test only?

Cost is $150.00 each time you challenge the test.  NOTE: These test challenges are ONE time test tries only.  Please be aware that with this option, you will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Waiver form waiving any orientation and practice.

What forms or payment are accepted.

The MAAC accepts …………………………..

What time are the CPAT practices and test?

CPAT practices and test are held during the day, beginning at 8:00am, by appointment only.  Additional times will be added as necessary at the discretion of SUFD

How is the CPAT graded?

CPAT is a pass or fail test only. Time will not be recorded and will not be used to rank any candidate in any selection process for employment. You must complete all eight stations within the time limit of 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

Can I just show up and take the CPAT Test

No.  You must request an appointment by email at CPAT@sufd.org by 3:30pm the business day before a scheduled Timed-Course Practice or Test date.  Please refer to our schedule on the Home page for specific dates

What do I wear to the CPAT Practices and Test?

For safety reasons, you are required to wear long pants, a t-shirt or sweatshirt, and athletic shoes (footwear without an exposed heel or toe).  Additionally, you cannot wear any loose or restrictive jewelry, including watches.  NO SHORTS OR SANDALS ALLOWED.  Candidates not adhering to this dress code will not be allowed to participate in any CPAT activities

Do I have to take a CPAT Orientation or Practice Test before taking the CPAT?

The CPAT Pre-Test Program, including 2 practice tests and 2 orientations, is a mandatory/required part of CPAT. Candidates that choose not to complete the entire Pre-Test program must sign a written waiver. Candidates who choose not to attend the Orientation program should review the CPAT Orientation Guide, the Candidate Preparation Guide and the CPAT Event Video prior to taking the test.  Note: There will be no refunds for unused Practice Tests.

When will my CPAT, Orientation and Practice Dates be confirmed?

…………………...

I am in great shape. Do I need to work out?

Unless you typically use a stair climber wearing an additional 75 pounds of weight, you are most likely not prepared for the CPAT.  The Candidate Guide suggests specific exercises for the eight physical challenges within CPAT.  To truly prepare for the rigors of CPAT, you should follow the suggested workouts in the Candidate Preparation Guide.

Will I have an opportunity to try the CPAT prior to the test date?

Yes, Orientations and CPAT Practice Tests as a mandatory/required part of the CPAT Pre-Test program.  For more information on the Pre-Test Program and schedule, follow this link.

Note: There will be no refunds for unused Practice Tests.

How often can I take the test?

Candidates will have unlimited chances to pass the CPAT. It is up to the department how long they will accept CPAT results, but National Testing Network will keep them available to Network departments for one year from test date. Each attempt at the CPAT will require the same payment as the initial testing process.

What do I need to bring to the Orientation, Practice Test and/or CPAT?

You will be required to present a valid government issued photo ID (Driver's License/State ID Card, Military ID, Passport or Visa) when you sign in at both the Orientation Sessions, at the Practice Tests and on test day. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE WITHOUT PROPER IDENTIFICATION.

Can I participate in a Practice Test only?

No, candidates must be scheduled to take the CPAT to sign up for Practice Tests.

Can I reschedule or get a refund for a test?

Exam fees are non-refundable.  You can request an exam reschedule up until one week before your exam date. A schedule change within one week of an exam is not allowed.   Submit your exam reschedule request by contacting support   We do not accept rescheduling requests over the phone.

Can I waive my CPAT practice test and have it count as my CPAT?

A candidate can waive their practice CPAT test.  You must declare that your practice CPAT test is going to count as your actual CPAT before you run the test.  If you fail, you will be able to try again on your regularly scheduled CPAT.  If you fail on your regularly scheduled CPAT, you will be required to purchase a new CPAT if you want to test again.  There are NO refunds for practice CPAT tests. If you choose to declare your practice CPAT is your actual CPAT, you will NOT be refunded for your practice CPAT or your actual CPAT.

How much time does the CPAT Orientation take?

Plan at least 1.5 hours for the evening.  This is an average and may vary depending upon the number of people attending.  The evening Orientation will include registering, paying, scheduling your Timed-Course Practices and Test times, a question and answer period, as well a Station Practice.

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