Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT)

Welcome to the City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) online booking portal. This portal will provide you with a detailed description of the CPAT and help you prepare for the test. For Information and or inquiry, email

CPAT Overview

Firefighting requires above average aerobic and anaerobic power, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is designed to identify individuals who have the physical attributes to perform the job of a firefighter. If you require CPAT certification for any employment opportunities within the next three months, please book into one the first available dates. Registration is on a first-come first-serve basis and there is no guarantee that CPAT dates will be available at the time of your hiring.


In 1997, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and International Fire Chiefs Association (IAFC) teamed up with 10 major North American fire services and unions to create the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) was developed to test firefighter candidates on their ability to perform simulated tasks consistent with the duties of a firefighter. The test is designed to ensure that candidates possess the physical ability to complete the critical and essential tasks of firefighting.

The CPAT consists of eight (8) separate events performed in a continuous manner.

The CPAT test is a pass/fail event. The CPAT must be completed in 10 minutes and 20 seconds (or less), with each event completed correctly.

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The CPAT certificate issued by the City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service is valid for one year from the date of successful completion of the test.

On successful completion of the CPAT session the CPAT certificate will be made available online the next business day and can be printed for one year, until expiration.

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CPAT Weights and Clothing

The entire CPAT is completed while wearing a 50 pound (22.68 kg) vest to simulate the weight of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and firefighter 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 only for the stair climb event.

What to wear for CPAT Testing and Walk-Thru Orientations?

Throughout all events, the candidate must wear long pants and footwear with no open heel or toe. A hard hat with chin strap, work gloves will be provided. Watches and loose or restrictive jewelry are not permitted.

CPAT Tools and Equipment

All props were designed to obtain the necessary information regarding a candidate's physical ability to complete firefighting tasks.  The tools and equipment were chosen to provide the highest level of consistency, safety and validity in measuring the candidate’s physical abilities.

CPAT Event Sequence and Timing

The events of the CPAT are placed in a sequence that best simulates their use in a fire scene. The test consists of a series of eight events separated by an 85 foot (25.91 m) walk between each event.  This walk allows the candidate approximately 20 seconds to recover and regroup before each event.  To ensure the highest level of safety and to prevent you from hitting exhaustion, no running is allowed between events.

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 a pass/fail time and count down from 10 minutes and 20 seconds. If time elapses prior to the completion of the test, the candidate is deemed to have failed the test.

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Par-Q Form and Medical Clearance form Request

To minimize the health risk, candidates are required to consult with a medical professional to ascertain an opinion on their ability to partake in CPAT testing.

The medical form must be completed by a medical doctor (general medical practitioner). Any costs incurred in this examination or the completion of this form is the sole responsibility of the candidate.

The Par-Q form must be completed by the candidate.

The Par-Q form and medical form are valid for one year from the date of completion.

Both documents are mandatory and must be completed and uploaded to the AFRS CPAT site prior to the CPAT Session.  Failure to submit the completed forms will result in the cancellation of the session and the forfeiture of course fees. Please note both forms must be uploaded as a single document to the site. 

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  • CPAT session is $350.00 CND plus applicable taxes per session.

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Preparing for the CPAT

The CPAT simulates the physically demanding tasks of firefighting. As such, successful completion of the CPAT requires a high degree of physical fitness in the areas of aerobic and anaerobic power, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and balance.

In order to ensure successful completion of the CPAT all candidates should view the CPAT Orientation videos review the CPAT Orientation Guide. The CPAT Candidate Preparation Guide provides information on how to physically prepare for the CPAT test.

It is the responsibility of all candidates to arrive at their scheduled test date familiar with the CPAT sequence of events, requirements of each event and the criteria which constitute a pass or fail at each event.

Remember that it is the responsibility of the candidate to be familiar with CPAT procedures and expectations prior to your scheduled CPAT date. Since CPAT guidelines specify that all applicants must be given an opportunity to attend two Orientation sessions within eight weeks prior to scheduled CPAT, any candidates registering less than eight weeks in advance must complete the Waiver of Orientation form.

It is your responsibility to ask questions if you do not understand any part of the CPAT events or procedures.

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On the CPAT test day, a pre-exercise heart rate will be measured. If the pre-exercise heart rate is greater than 110bpm, you will not be allowed to proceed with the CPAT session.

Please be advised that certain substances may elevate heart rate (caffeine, smoking, energy drinks, some over the counter cold medications) and it is recommended to avoid these substances the day of your Timed Trial/CPAT test.

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Testing Location

AFRS Fire Station #3
28465 Fraser Hwy
Abbotsford, BC.

Spectators are not permitted in the testing facility during test sessions.

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Contact Us

For all CPAT inquiries please email:  

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service
32270 George Ferguson Way
Abbotsford, BC V2T 2L1

Phone: 604-853-3566 (office hrs 0830-1630, M-F)
Fax: 604-853-7941 or 604-853-8452

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