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Candidate Physical Ability Test

The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) is more than just a test to measure a candidate’s ability to perform the physically demanding tasks of firefighting. It is a central component of FCTC's commitment to comprehensive recruitment of a highly-qualified and diverse candidate pool for the California fire service.

Rigorous and job-specific, the CPAT is the internationally recognized standard for assessing physical ability for entry-level firefighters. Successful candidates receive the FCTC CPAT Card of Completion, an increasingly universal indication that an individual has the core physical skills to be a front line firefighter. 

The FCTC CPAT is administered by the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Cal-JAC) at one of four FCTC locations -- Orange, Livermore, Sacramento and San Diego. Since 2004, more than 30,000 candidates have taken the CPAT through CFFJAC. It is the "Gold Standard" in California.


There is NO charge to any fire department for accepting the FCTC CPAT Card of Completion in the hiring process. Once a fire department has accepted the Cal-JAC CPAT, it has access to a pool of candidates who have completed the CPAT at any FCTC facility. This eliminates the high cost of a department offering its own CPAT and reduces the testing liability.


Cal-JAC has committed staff, facilities and equipment to provide the CPAT to the entire state. Sites in both northern and southern California assure a constantly available, diverse candidate pool that is available when a fire department is seeking qualified applicants.


The FCTC CPAT has been the subject of dozens of transportability studies documenting its compatibility with the major work behaviors required by individual fire departments. While CPAT has become a recognized standard across the state, Cal-JAC can help your fire department complete a transportability study, should you require it.

Experience You Can Trust

Through the Cal-JAC, the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center has more than a decade of experience adminstering the CPAT. Fire chiefs, labor presidents and human resource staff have come to rely on the Cal-JAC to provide the technical expertise necessary to implement the CPAT, ensuring a candidate pool they can trust.