Germany to lower language requirements for federal police recruits | News | DW | 20.01.2020

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Germany to lower language requirements for federal police recruits

Facing a shortage of recruits, authorities have reportedly had to "adapt" their standards for the current generation. The standards for the German language exam have allegedly been loosened to appeal to EU applicants.

In a bid to fill thousands of new positions this year, Germany's federal police (Bundespolizei) has lowered requirements for recruits, according to a media report published Monday.

The newspapers of the Funke Media Group reported on the changes, noting that physical fitness requirements as well as the language level in exams have been changed.

The German-language portion of the exam currently consists of a 180-word dictation, according to the report.

For recruits looking to join the "middle-level" of police service, authorities have also "slightly raised" the number of mistakes they are allowed to make in the test in order to still secure a passing grade.

Police recruits in this level could go on to provide security at demonstrations or patrol airports and train stations as well as customs checks on Germany's borders.

Read more: Berlin police officers must speak German during shifts, state ministry requests

German police - on patrol with bodycams

Appeal to EU applicants

The changes to the grading of the language exam were made "in order to allow a larger applicant pool to continue to participate in the subsequent parts of the exam," authorities said.

By lowering the language standards for the federal police exam, German authorities hope to appeal to other EU-citizens, the report noted.

The physical fitness portion of the test has also been changed to replace standing long-jumps and push-ups with shuttle runs. They've also scrapped height requirements for men and women who apply.

Jörg Radek, the deputy head of police union GdP, told the Funke Media Group that the federal police have had to "adapt to the societal changes of young people with relation to the mental and physical requirements for the police profession."

Germany's federal police are under pressure to fill 2,150 additional positions this year and to appeal to young applicants. Over the course of 2020, some 853 police officers will also retire.

Fighting burglary: Police under pressure

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