Starting 2026, Korean Police Agencies Will Recruit Based On The Same Standards — Regardless Of Gender

Males and females will be tested using the same grading scale.

According to Insight, it was reported that starting in 2026, the Korean National Police Commission will test the abilities all of their recruits — male and female — based on the same exact standards.

Unrelated photo used for illustrative purposes.

On June 23, the National Police Commission announced that they came to a decision to introduce a “gender-free” physical fitness test. This means both male recruits and female recruits will be subject to the same testing process. The National Police Commission stated that they are implementing this new recruitment process with the hopes of hiring new police officers “without gender discrimination.”

They further shared their honest reasoning behind their new 2026 standards, stating that there is a noticeable difference between the physical capabilities between males and females.

The wide gap between men and women made it difficult for us to fairly select in the recruitment process.

— National Police Commission

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The current physical fitness test includes five different parts — push-ups, sit-ups, grip strength, 100 meter run, and a 1000 meter run. Both male and female recruits take part in the fitness test, but have been evaluated differently due to their varying physical abilities. Starting in 2026, however, this will no longer be the case.

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Police academies throughout the nation will slowly begin to implement the new recruitment process starting 2023, by applying it to select recruits, such as college students. After doing their “test run,” they have plans to introduce their gender-free fitness test full-force in 2026.

The National Police Commission concluded their statements by expressing the importance of the police department and the recruitment process.

Police recruitment is an important issue that is directly related to the public’s safety. With that said, we have decided to gradually implement the new recruitment process starting in 2023 with the preparation period in mind.

This type of physical examination is the first to be introduced in South Korea, so we want to make sure we introduce it gradually. We plan to provide opportunities for the test takers to practice by installing, opening, and measuring the provided equipment at the police stations.

— National Police Commission

Unrelated photo used for illustrative purposes | Segye Ilbo

Source: Chosun