Pistol Qualification Assessment Review

A policy foundation that achieves core operational outcomes and withstands the rigour of external review

OPS specialist workplace training solutions

The Challenge

To review an Australian Federal Law Enforcement Agency’s firearms qualification assessment (PQA) in order to explore the merit of restructuring it to better reflect extant organisational demands and operational workplace realities.


To help shape a new pistol qualification practice that:

  1. Better reflects their operational context;
  2. Is congruent with domestic and international industry expectations and best practice methodologies;
  3. Is tactically sound and effective;
  4. Adheres to principles of adult learning theory in a law enforcement workplace; and
  5. Could withstand rigorous legal review should lethal force be used in the execution of their duties.


OPS supported the review of an Australian Federal Law Enforcement Agency’s firearms qualification assessment by combining extensive operational experience and detailed training knowledge with the objectivity and holism of proven academic process. This approach resulted in the provision of policy advice that not only achieves core operational outcomes, but provides front line and Executive Level members with a policy foundation that can withstand the rigour of external review, if required.

As a member of the Agency’s working group, OPS was able to look at the policy question through a different lens, which complimented the expertise that existed within the organisation. OPS’ perspective focused on how skill is acquired, how skill is retained and how skills are recalled, particularly during critical incident situations.

OPS’ focus on psychomotor skill development, adult learning theory and the skill cycle, coupled with an analysis of current and alternate training and assessment protocols by the Bond University Tactical Research Unit (TRU), resulted in the identification of an assessment protocol that is not only operationally relevant but a positive and enjoyable adult learning environment as well.

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