Berkeley Fire Department Recruitment Homepage
Berkeley Fire Department Recruitment Homepage

Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT):

This candidate physical ability test (CPAT) consists of eight separate events. The CPAT is a sequence of events requiring you to progress along a predetermined path from event to event in a continuous manner. This test was developed to allow fire departments to obtain pools of trainable candidates who are physically able to perform essential job tasks at fire scenes.

**Important Notes**

  • It is strongly recommended that two (2) Orientations be attended at least eight (8) weeks prior to taking the CPAT Test. Allow 1 ½ - 2 hours for orientations. 2 Orientations are included in the testing fee.
  • Two (2) timed practice runs are recommended within 30 days of taking the CPAT. Practice sessions are $25 each.
  • Visit the CPAT website to download a schedule of upcoming Orientation, Practice and Test dates.

This is a pass/fail test based on a validated maximum total time of 10 minutes and 20 seconds

In these events, you wear a 50-pound (22.68-kg) vest to simulate the weight of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and fire fighter protective clothing. An additional 25 pounds (11.34 kg), using two 12.5-pound (5.67-kg) weights that simulate a high-rise pack (hose bundle), is added to your shoulders for the stair climb event.

Throughout all events, you must wear long pants, a hard hat with chin strap, work gloves and footwear with no open heel or toe. Watches and loose or restrictive jewelry are not permitted.

All props were designed to obtain the necessary information regarding your physical ability. The tools and equipment were chosen to provide the highest level of consistency, safety and validity in measuring your physical abilities. A schematic drawing of the CPAT is included in this orientation material; however, the course layout may vary in order to conform to the fire department's test area. The events and distances between events are always the same.

The events are placed in a sequence that best simulates fire scene events while allowing an 85-foot (25.91-m) walk between events. To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent exhaustion, no running is allowed between events. This walk allows you approximately 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.

To ensure scoring accuracy by eliminating timer failure, two stopwatches are used to time the CPAT. One stopwatch is designated as the official test time stopwatch, the second is the backup stopwatch. If mechanical failure occurs, the time on the backup stopwatch is used. The stopwatches are set to the pass/fail time and count down from 10 minutes and 20 seconds. If time elapses prior to the completion of the test, the test is concluded and you fail the test.

CLICK HERE to visit the official CPAT website for much more information, including:

  • Basic Information
  • Orientation Guide
  • Candidate Prep Guide
  • Preparation Video
  • Schedule of Events
  • Facility Course Layout
  • Directions

Recruitment Quick Links

 Application Process

 Testing Process

 Department Selection Process

 Pre-Employment Medical Exam

 How To Prepare

 Career Overview

Fire Bottom Banner

Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Berkeley Fire Department Recruitment Homepage, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: fire@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-3473
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
###