New Forces minimum physical fitness test and standard coming

New FORCE evaluation sandbag lift

Personnel Support Programs (PSP) fitness researchers observe a Canadian Forces volunteer perform the sandbag lift during the extensive development phase of the FORCE evaluation.

On April 1, 2013, the Canadian Armed Forces will implement the updated approach to military fitness: the FORCE Program.
The new program has two components: the new fitness test, called the FORCE Evaluation; and the FORCE Exercise Prescription, the operational fitness training system available at

Replacing the 30-year-old Canadian Forces EXPRES Test, the FORCE Evaluation has been scientifically validated and developed specifically for the CAF by the Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Directorate of Fitness. Rather than testing fitness with the traditional push-ups, sit-ups, grip tests and endurance runs, the FORCE Program evaluates members’ ability to execute tasks that are directly linked to true-to-life physical challenges faced on operations.

In a comprehensive analysis of military operational fitness, PSP human performance scientists and fitness experts have looked at more than 400 physical tasks performed by Canadian military personnel in all environments over the past 20 years.

“I am extremely pleased with both the overhaul of the Canadian Armed Forces’ fitness evaluation system and the establishment of a common fitness standard,” said General Tom Lawson, the Chief of the Defence Staff. “The FORCE Program is not about training to pass a fitness test; it’s about training for the variety of military operations we are involved in. As members of the Canadian military, we never know where we may be called upon to serve, or what form that service will take. The FORCE Program will better help us prepare to meet our fitness readiness challenges head-on.”

Four FORCE Evaluation components have been designed to accurately test CAF members’ ability to complete six common military tasks encountered on routine, domestic and expeditionary operations: escape to cover; picket and wire carry; sandbag fortification; picking and digging; vehicle extrication; and a stretcher carry.

“The new CAF fitness program is more than just the fitness test. It is about an end-to-end program of all the elements of a healthy lifestyle around physical fitness,” said Major-General Dave Millar, Chief of Military Personnel. “The program combines nutrition and a tailored and variable workout regime with performance measures to monitor progress, and it is all available online to all CAF members. It has been scientifically designed to ensure it meets the rigors of military life and will help prepare CAF members to meet the challenges of service.”

All CAF members will be tested annually and be required to achieve one common minimum standard, regardless of age and gender.

Starting April 1, 2013, PSP fitness staff and local chains of command will schedule FORCE Evaluation familiarization sessions to introduce the new minimum physical fitness standard to local CAF personnel. Throughout the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Army, Navy and Air Force personnel will have the opportunity attempt the new FORCE Evaluation as their fitness test on a trial basis. As of April 2014, the FORCE Evaluation will fully replace the CF EXPRES test.

“Should some Canadian Armed Forces personnel have difficulties in meeting the new minimum physical standard during a familiarization session, PSP staff will be available to guide them to some training exercises through, in line with the tasks identified though our research,” said Daryl Allard, Director of Fitness. “This will help prepare them for the physical rigours of today’s complex and demanding operating environments.”

Visit for complete program information.

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  1. Cpl Stuart Watson says:

    Lots of flash videos available but where’s all the paperwork found??
    Where’s the manual?
    Where are the forms for CFRC Applicants?
    Where are the forms for serving members?
    Under “Health Appraisal” on the Force Programf Form, where are you supposed to write your details…?
    A for effort on ram-rodding the new program through. F for implementing the details we need.

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