Would you like to work for the armed forces in the Netherlands? That means you will have to go through a strict selection procedure. Tests have been developed for each level within the armed forces, such as the Netherlands Marine Corps and the Special Intervention Service. In this article, we will discuss the standard Dutch Ministry of Defense selection procedure, with special emphasis on their fitness test. The selection procedure for the Ministry of Defense in the Netherlands is as follows:

  1. The administrative pre-selection (AVS);
  2. Psychological examination (PO);
  3. Employment assessment (this includes the fitness test);
  4. Security investigation (VO);
  5. Employment conditions interview.

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Employment assessment

After you have been selected during the AVS and have been given a positive PO recommendation, you will be allowed to participate in the employment assessment. This usually takes place on a single day. During that day, you will be thoroughly examined by a doctor and take part in interviews. Eventually, a final interview will take place with this doctor when all the examinations listed below have been completed:

  1. Eye test;
  2. Hearing test;
  3. Lung function test;
  4. Interview with the doctor;
  5. Functional test (this is the Ministry of Defense fitness test);
  6. Body measurements.

Ministry of Defense Fitness Test

The functional physical tests are tests that will be conducted during the Ministry of Defense fitness test. These tests will check whether you are physically able to perform the job you are applying for. It is important that this is carefully analyzed to prevent the risk of injuries during your training or future career. The ministry of Defense fitness test is scored in different clusters (six in total):

  • Cluster 1: this includes the jobs that are not very physically demanding;
  • Cluster 6: this is the cluster with the jobs that are very physically demanding;

The Ministry of Defense websites can tell you what cluster your desired job belongs to.

The ministry of Defense fitness test consists of the following tests:

  • The progressive march test;
  • The progressive carrying/lifting test;
  • The unburdened running test;
  • The digging test;
  • The indoor course in the sports hall.

The Progressive March Test

During this test, you will march with a backpack. The weight of this backpack and the distance you will have to cover wearing it is determined by the job cluster you are applying for. See the table below for more information:

Job clusterTime/weight
1, 2 and 320-minute march with 25 kg
4 and 520-minute march with 25 kg and 20-minute march with 35 kg
620-minute march with 25 kg and 20-minute march with 35 kg and 8 minutes with 45 kg

The Progressive Carrying/Lifting Test

This tests involves lifting and carrying an ammunitions box. You will carry the box for 25 meters to a table. The weight of the ammunitions box and the number of repetitions differs per job cluster:

Job clusterNumber of repetitions/weight
110 repetitions with a 20-kg box
2 and 410 repetitions with a 20-kg box and 10 repetitions with a 30-kg box
3, 5 and 610 repetitions with a 20-kg box and 10 repetitions with a 30-kg box and 5 repetitions with a 40-kg box

The Unburdened Running Test

During the unburdened running test, you will run for twelve minutes without any gear. The distance you will have to cover in these twelve minutes is determined by your job cluster.

Job clusterDistance
1,2 en 32,200 meters
4 & 52,600 meters
62,700 meters

The Digging Test

You will have to shovel sand for a predetermined time. The time is determined by the job you are applying for.

Job clusterTime
1, 2 and 360 seconds
4 and 590 seconds
6120 seconds

The Indoor Sports Hall Course

This course consists of a number of actions that have to be performed one after the other:

  • Climbing
  • Jumping from a vaulting box
  • Assuming five shooting positions
    • squat
    • prone
    • kneeling
    • left/right
    • standing
  • Army crawl
  • Work above shoulder height

How long will the result remain valid?

Say you passed the Ministry of Defense Fitness Test, and you do not want to start the training or job immediately. For how long will the results remain valid? The fitness test is valid for up to six months, after which it will need to be retaken. The results of the test will also expire if you sustain an injury or have to undergo a medical procedure before the start of your work.

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