RAF Coningsby PEd Flight RAFFT Policy

The primary aim of the fitness testing programme is to assess/evaluate the physical fitness of RAF personnel.

The RAF Fitness Test (RAFFT) is an objective marker of physical fitness, but more importantly it provides an indication of the amount of physical conditioning undertaken by an individual/population.

The RAFFT is a health based test and as such, must take into account the physiological differences between men and women, and the physiological changes that occur with advancing age.  Standards are set so that males and females from all age groups have to work equally as hard in order to achieve the minimum (pass) standard. The RAFFT is therefore both a gender and age fair test.

Relative risk is a simple, but effective method of comparing the performance of an individual to a recognised standard.  In the case of the RAFFT (aerobic element), the reference standard is indicated by the RAFFT pass standard.  When an individual reaches the RAF aerobic pass standard (indicated by the ‘Green’ colour zone) the individual is awarded a relative risk rating of 1.  This indicates that the individual has reached the minimum level of aerobic fitness to give him/herself the best possible chance of ageing healthily and disease free.  If the individual is able to continue beyond the RAFFT standard and enter the ‘Blue’ zone, their degree of risk is reduced even further.  Individuals unable to reach the minimum level are endangering their long-term health by a risk factor of up to 8 times, and must review their lifestyle immediately.  All standards are in accordance with scientific literature and reflect a risk rating of chance and/or likelihood of developing chronic disease and dying prematurely.  Consequently, all RAFFT failures (those achieving a RAFFT score within the yellow, orange or red zones) are to follow a 12-week physical conditioning programme.

The RAFFT encompasses measurement of both aerobic capacity and local muscular endurance (LME); aerobic capacity is assessed using the Multi-Stage Fitness Test or Rockport Walk Test (RWT) and LME is assessed using press-ups and sit-ups.

All personnel are individually responsible for ensuring that they are current RAFFT which is to be taken every 6 months, or 12 months for those achieving very good or excellent scores in all three elements of the RAFFT.  RAF Coningsby runs a ‘block testing’ period in Apr and Oct.  The purpose of this is to test as many station personnel as possible in this time and then test any further personnel that could not make these dates in the following months.  Personnel are to align themselves with the block testing at RAF Coningsby at their earliest opportunity.  Those personnel who go out of date between Apr and Oct are to ensure they remain in date and fall into line with this system as soon as practically possible.  It is the responsibility of all RAF personnel to ensure they are ‘in date’ all JPA Competencies at all times.

Personnel who fail their RAFFT are to show a continued improvement and positive attitude throughout their subsequent 12-week Conditioning Training (CT) and are, if they opt into PEd assistance, to attend a minimum of 3 PTI lead training sessions per week.  All sessions MUST be PTI lead: 2 sessions are to be outside of the working day and at least 1 within the working day, 2 are recommended.  Failure to attend CT or to show a reasonable improvement after 12 weeks of CT could/will result in administrative action.  Mitigating circumstances will always be taken into account; though if physically able, individuals must undertake suitable fitness training, at least 3 sessions are required per week.  The PEd Flt recommends at least 4 sessions if individuals really wish to improve their fitness.  Individual training must still be completed even during absence from station such as leave or courses.  Individuals on CT are to keep their Line Managers informed of their progress.

PEd Flight RAF Coningsby