15m Bleep Test Instructions

The 15m bleep test is a maximal running aerobic fitness test, a variation of the 20 meter shuttle run or beep test. This test was developed by Loughborough University in 1995 for the UK Met Police Service. This shorter version was created to cater for those with less room to conduct the longer 20m test, and is used as the aerobic assessment for UK Police and Fire Services. There is also a 15m version of the PACER test, which has different speeds and laps compared to this test. For more information on beep tests, see the complete guide to the beep test.

equipment required: Flat, non-slip surface, marking cones, 15m measuring tape, beep test audio, music player, recording sheets. For details of the levels, speeds, distances, see the 15m Bleep Test Table.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions (particularly the weather and running surface). Measure and mark out the course. Ensure that the subjects are adequately warmed-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: This test involves continuous running between two lines 15m apart in time to recorded beeps. The participants stand behind one of the lines facing the second line, and begin running when instructed by the recording. The speed at the start is quite slow. The subject continues running between the two lines, turning when signaled by the recorded beeps. After about one minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed, and the beeps will be closer together. This continues each minute (level). If the line is reached before the beep sounds, the subject must wait until the beep sounds before continuing. If the line is not reached before the beep sounds, the subject is given a warning and must continue to run to the line, then turn and try to catch up with the pace within two more ‘bleeps’. The participants are given a warning the first time they fail to reach the line (within 2 meters), and are eliminated after the second warning.

15m bleep or beep test diagram

scoring: The athlete's score is the level and number of shuttles (15m) reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording. Record the last level completed (not necessarily the level stopped at). The standard for UK police is level 5.4, which has been determined to be equivalent to a predicted oxygen uptake value of 35.0 ml.kg-1.min-1.

target population: this test is suitable for groups which do not have the space for the 20m test. Also, for those deemed unsuited to the twists, turns, sharp acceleration/deceleration of 15m shuttle running, there is an alternative Chester Treadmill Police Walk Test. As it is a maximal exercise test, it is not sutiable t for populations in which a maximal exercise test would be contraindicated.

advantages: Large groups can perform this test all at once for minimal costs, using less space than the standard 20m beep test. Also, the test continues to maximum effort unlike many other tests of endurance capacity.

disadvantages: Practice and motivation levels can influence the score attained, and the scoring can be subjective. As the test is often conducted outside, the environmental conditions can affect the results.

reliability: to increase reliability, you can give consistent instructions prior to the test and provide the same encouragement and apply the same strictness to when to finish the test.

factors to consider: Although the beep test is primarily a fitness test of the aerobic energy system, there is a range of other factors that can affect performance in the test and are important to consider. These include: running efficiency and turning technique, anaerobic capacity, motivation and social dynamics, motor skills and cognitive ability (especially in children), environmental differences, clothing and running surfaces, test familiarization and instructions, the purpose and context of testing

other considerations: 

comments: it is called "bleep" here instead of "beep", as this test is used commonly in the UK where they for some reason call these types of tests by that name.

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