Medical and psychological assessment gateway

AFP medical standards apply to recruitment of sworn AFP officers, including:

  • national investigators
  • community police officers
  • protective service officers
  • lateral recruits
  • a range of special members, including Joint Airport Investigations Team and Joint Airport Intelligence Group

AFP medical standards are based on the inherent requirements of an operational policing role. Requirements include:

  • the need to act quickly in emergencies
  • the ability to function in an urgent duty driving capacity
  • being able to safely carry, use and secure a firearm

If you progress to the Medical Gateway, the medical and psychological assessment will be undertaken by the AFP's contracted health service providers, Aspen and Sonic Health Plus. Following your assessment, the provider will make a recommendation to the AFP on whether they believe you meet the AFP Medical and Psychological Standards. The final decision on clearance for entry is made by the AFP Medical Advisor.

There are some medical conditions that may have an impact on your ability to meet the inherent requirements of an operational policing role. These conditions are outlined below.

Please note: Acceptance of applicants with Type 1 Diabetes is currently under review.

The following standards for vision and hearing need to be met by applicants:

Vision

All of the following must be met:

  • monocular visual acuity of 6/12 or better in each eye (glasses or contact lenses may be used to meet this standard)
  • binocular visual acuity of 6/9 or better (glasses or contact lenses may be used to meet this standard)
  • unaided binocular visual acuity of 6/36 or better (glasses or contact lenses cannot be used to meet this standard)

Moderate to severe colour vision deficiency is not acceptable.

Hearing

Both of the following must be met:

  • hearing level averaging 35dB or less in either ear between 0.5KHz and 3KHz
  • hearing level of 40dB or less at 4.0Khz in either ear.

This standard must be met without the assistance of a hearing aid.

Medical conditions

There are medical conditions that may result in a person not being able to meet the inherent requirements of recruit training and an operational policing role. Advice on whether an applicant will meet these inherent requirements cannot be provided until the applicant has undergone an individual medical assessment, specialist reports provided (where necessary) and all the information is reviewed.

Where additional information is requested as part of the medical assessment, such as specialist's reports and/or results, the cost is the responsibility of the applicant.

Medical conditions which are unlikely to meet medical standards for recruit training due to the high risk of re-injury:

  • Unreconstructed shoulder following dislocation (an MRI or MRA scan is likely to be required)
  • Unreconstructed Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears

Medical conditions which are unlikely to meet medical standards for operational policing role:

  • Epilepsy (applicant is required to meet standards for unrestricted commercial driver's license)
  • Bleeding disorders, clotting disorders and current treatment with anti-coagulants

Medical conditions that will be considered on a case by case basis:

Vision

  • Mild colour vision deficiency
  • A history of retinal detachment, glaucoma, radical keratotomy and acute keratotomy.

Musculoskeletal conditions

  • Shoulder subluxation (an MRI or MRA is likely to be required)
  • Clinically evident osteoarthritis of the knee with clinical evidence (x-ray changes and effusion)
  • Shin splints or compartment syndrome
  • Clinical signs of a lumbar nerve root (straight leg raise limitation less than 40 degrees)
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Chrondromalaicia, patella dislocation or tracking disorder, cruciate ligament repair or menisectomy
  • Prior joint surgery or joint replacement surgery
  • Back pain and/or injury
  • Lumbar spine fusion
  • Poor muscular development, abnormal gait and limitation of movement of a joint.

Respiratory

  • Asthma (supporting reports will be required)
  • Chronic obstructive airways disease, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Recurrent pneumothorax.

Neurological

  • Migraines and cluster headaches
  • Organic disease of the nervous system.

Endocrine

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders.

Cardiovascular

  • Systolic blood pressure of greater than 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mmHg
  • Organic disease of the heart or arteries
  • A history of deep vein thrombosis.

Gastroenterological

  • Liver disease
  • Hernia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome; Chrohn's Disease or Ulcerative Collitis.

Other

  • Organic disease of the bladder or kidney
  • Current chronic fatigue
  • Leukemia, polycythaemia and myelofibrosis
  • Bleeding disorders, clotting disorders and current treatment with anti-coagulants
  • HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
  • Some chronic skin conditions
  • Narcolepsy and sleep apnoea
  • BMI greater than 33
  • Tinnitus
  • Cancer
  • Any condition that results in a 'conditional' driver's licence under Assessing Fitness to Drive for commercial and private motor vehicle drivers — medical standards for licensing and clinical management guidelines March 2012 (as amended up to 16 March 2013).

Visual correction

If you are required to wear prescription glasses for AFP recruit training and operational policing duties, they must have polycarbonate lenses. Where contact lenses are worn, they must be able to be worn for a full shift without problems and back-up glasses with polycarbonate lenses must be available.

Integrity in the provision of medical history

Applicants must declare all current medical conditions, past medical history, use of medications, and the need for medical aids (such as orthotics) at the time of the medical assessment.

It is important to declare your full medical history in the medical questionnaire, and at the medical and psychological assessments and at any time it changes during the recruitment process before commencing at the AFP College.

Failure to declare a complete medical history may be regarded as a breach of integrity for AFP recruits and members, which could result in investigation by AFP Professional Standards. An adverse finding by Professional Standards could result in dismissal from the AFP.

It is your responsibility as a candidate to ensure that the AFP is kept up to date and informed of any changes to your medical or physical wellbeing during the selection process, prior to commencing at the AFP College and throughout your time at the AFP College.

Any health issue or injury incurred since your medical assessment, regardless of how minor or inconsequential it may seem to you, must be reported as it may affect your ability to meet the medical and physical requirements on the recruit program.

Should you sustain any injuries or illness at ANY time during the recruitment process (particularly if you have been selected for placement on a course), please inform AFP Recruitment.

Psychological standards

The Psychological gateway consists of an individual face-to-face interview and evaluation by a registered psychologist on factors related to successful job performance. The information evaluated also includes written psychological tests completed prior to the face-to-face interview. The results are valid for 12 months.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate high levels of psychological resilience in response to past stressors and the ability to practice high levels of psychological self-care.

Particular strengths must be demonstrated in the following areas:

  • teamwork
  • emotional self-control
  • conflict resolution
  • decision making under stress
  • ability to understand other people's behaviour.

Candidates with a history or prior diagnosis of a psychological or psychiatric condition, or who have been treated with medication or therapy for such conditions, will be asked to provide relevant information.

Learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder may require additional testing and review of relevant medical information.

Candidates with a current condition such as bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and other diagnoses leading to a psychiatric hospitalisation or requiring treatment will not meet the AFP's psychological standards.

Use of psychotropic medication

If you're currently taking any form of psychotropic medication (prescription medication that is capable of affecting the mind, emotions or behaviour), you will not clear the AFP Medical or Psychological Gateway. Examples of psychotropic medication include Zoloft, Cipramil, Prozac, Cymbalta, Mirtazapine, Effexor, Valium.

If you have taken any form of psychotropic medication for more than one week in the last five years, you must bring a record of your medication history with you to the AFP Assessment Centre (if this is part of your recruitment process), the medical assessment and the psychological assessment.

In general, you will need to have successfully withdrawn from psychotropic medication (under supervision from the relevant registered medical practitioner) and be symptom free for a period of time equal to the amount of time you have been on the medication. In other words, if you were taking medication for a period of six months, you need to demonstrate symptom free functioning for a period of six months after ceasing medication.

There is a cap of two years on the period you must demonstrate symptom free functioning. For example, if you were taking medication for a period of two years, you need to demonstrate symptom free functioning for a period of two years after ceasing medication. If however you were taking medication for a period of more than two years, you still only need to demonstrate symptom free functioning for a period of two years after ceasing the medication.

It is very important to note that if you are currently taking psychotropic medication and are considering withdrawing from the medication in the future, this decision must be made in consultation with a registered medical practitioner. Your withdrawal must be managed and supervised by the relevant registered medical practitioner. You will then need to produce written evidence to the AFP from the same medical practitioner that you have successfully withdrawn from medication and have been functioning in a symptom free state for a period of time equal to the period of time you took that medication.

Successful withdrawal from psychotropic medication does not guarantee that you will clear either Medical or Psychological gateway.

An absence of a current or past psychological or psychiatric condition does not guarantee that the AFP's psychological standards will be met.

Further advice can be obtained by contacting AFP Recruitment.

National Security Hotline

Visit the AFP Futures Centre

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.