CPAT Overview for Abbotsford BC

Here’s a great resource to get started on the first step towards becoming a fire fighter for municipalities like the City of Abbotsford.

CPAT Overview

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 fire fighter candidates on their ability to perform simulated tasks consistent with the duties of a fire fighter. The test is designed to ensure that candidates possess the physical ability to complete the critical and essential tasks of fire fighting.
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 20 seconds (or less) with each event completed correctly.
The CPAT certificate is issued onsite after successful completion of the test. The CPAT certificate issued by the City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service is valid for 1 year from the date of successful completion of the test.  Charges may apply for replacement of a certificate.

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 fire fighter 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 fire fighting 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.

Medical Clearance 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 Candidate must bring completed Medical Clearance Request Form to the CPAT Test session. Candidate will NOT be permitted for testing without Completed Medical Form.
This 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.
  • CPAT session is $230.00 CND plus applicable taxes.
  • Walk-through Orientation is $40.00 CND plus applicable taxes.

CPAT Refund and Cancellation Policy

  • Once payment is received and testing is booked, payment is non-refundable.
  • Partial payment will be refunded for medical reasons only. Requests for refunds must be received at least 72 hrs prior to the scheduled test date. Requests for refunds must be in writing and accompanied by a medical doctor’s written verification that you are unable to test due to injury/illness.  A $50.00 administration fee will be deducted from the refund. Refund requests should be emailed to
  • Approved refunds will be issued via cheque and mailed to your account address. No refunds will be given to individuals who take the CPAT but are unsuccessful.
  • The City of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service reserves the right to change or cancel scheduled dates. Notification will be sent via email to the address used during the registration process. Registrants will be placed into the next available date, with the option to reschedule.
  • The information on the registration form is collected for internal purposes only and will remain confidential.
CPAT Booking Policy
Sessions cannot be rescheduled within 72 hours of the scheduled testing. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in the forfeiture of course fees.
 Privacy Policy
Personal information is collected for the administration of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service programs only, as authorized under Section 26 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  The City of Abbotsford does not use or disclose personal information for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual whom the information is about or otherwise in accordance with law. The City of Abbotsford retains personal information only as long as necessary for the purposes of this program and as required under the Act. If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, contact the Information & Privacy Co-ordinator at 604-864-5575, City of Abbotsford, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, BC V2T 1W7.

Preparing for the CPAT

The CPAT simulates the physically demanding tasks of fire fighting. 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 2 Orientation sessions within eight weeks prior to scheduled CPAT, any candidates registering less than 8 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.

CPAT Walk-through Orientation Only (THIS IS NOT A CPAT TEST)

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) provides the foremost opportunity for applicants to prepare for the CPAT. Candidates booking a test date 8 weeks or longer have the opportunity to register for a scheduled walk-through orientation sessions within eight weeks prior to their CPAT date.
The Walk-through Orientation session provides you the opportunity to view the CPAT events, talk with instructors, physically examine test equipment, tools and props and practice. The Orientations are conducted in small groups and pre-registration and payment is required. Note: this is not a test nor a practice run. This is optional and is not required prior to the Test.


CPAT test day, pre-exercise heart rate will be measured. If pre-exercise heart rate >110 bpm, you will not be allowed to proceed with the CPAT. 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.
Testing Schedule

It is RECOMMENDED that if you are requiring CPAT for any hiring occurring within the next 3 months,  book one of the soonest dates available as it is first come first serve and there is no guarantee that CPAT dates will be available at the time of your hiring.

NOTE: Mobile (iPhone etc.) and Mac Computer (Safari browser) equipment might not be compatible with this website, when booking and making payment for the test, use standard computer.

Testing Location

1544 Riverside Road
Abbotsford, BC

Contact Us

CPAT information or inquiry Email   NO PHONE CALLS

Business Addresses and Phone Numbers
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
City of Abbotsford, Collections Department
 32315 South Fraser Way
 Abbotsford, BC
 V2T 1W7
 Phone: 604-864-5522 (office hrs 0830-1630, M-F)
 Fax: 604-853-8505
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