Development of an operational fitness test for the Royal Air Force

Ergonomics. 2008 Jun;51(6):935-46. doi: 10.1080/00140130801939725.


Since 2002, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has been working towards developing role-related physical tests for use as an operational fitness test (OFT). The purpose of this study was to establish reliability of the OFT (comprising four tests), investigate gym-based tests as predictors of performance and establish performance standards. Fifty-eight RAF personnel performed the OFT on three occasions. A separate cohort carried out fitness and anthropometric tests before performing the OFT, by way of establishing performance predictors. Documented evidence and views of an expert panel were used to determine OFT standards. Reliability ranged from moderate to good for three tests, with one test (Dig) showing poor reliability. The 95% limits of agreement for the prediction models ranged from good to poor (6.7-34.2%). The prediction models were not sufficiently accurate to estimate confidently OFT performance, but could be used as a guide to quantify likely outcome and training needs.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • United Kingdom