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Understanding Medical Fitness in High-Risk Professions: The SIGYCOP System

Physical and mental fitness is paramount in certain professions, particularly within the military sector. But how exactly do we measure this aptitude? Let’s delve into the realm of SIGYCOP to discover.

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The medical aptitude profile, commonly referred to as SIGYCOP, is a vital tool used by military doctors to determine whether an individual is fit to serve in the military, especially in high-risk roles. Here’s an overview of this system and its significance.

What is SIGYCOP?

Each letter of this acronym stands for a part of the body or a physical/mental capability:

  • S for the upper limb,
  • I for the lower limb,
  • G for the general state,
  • Y for the eyes,
  • C for color vision,
  • O for the ears,
  • P for the psyche.

To each of these letters is assigned a coefficient, typically ranging between 1 and 6, except for ‘C’ and ‘P’ which vary between 1-5 and 0-5 respectively.

  • 1: Fully capable for all roles, even the most demanding. 
  • 2: Suitable for most military jobs
  • 3: Significant training restrictions; a P3 implies temporary unfitness. 
  • 4: Exempt from all combat physical training; for example, C4 means unfit to drive large vehicles. 
  • 5: Major restrictions; P5 indicates total and permanent unfitness.
  • 6: Total unfitness.

A temporary T coefficient can also be assigned to indicate an ailment that might heal, a medical uncertainty, or while awaiting additional information.

  • A nonunion of the scaphoid is coded S5. 
  • A knee extension deficit between 10 and 20° is coded I3.
  • Poorly managed exercise-induced asthma is coded G4.

How is the medical aptitude profile used? 

When military doctors encounter an ailment, they refer to a guide that provides clear instructions on how to rate the ailment using the SIGYCOP system. This rating is then compared to the required medical profile for a specific role. For instance, a watch leader in the national navy must have a profile of 2224221, while a Paris firefighter requires a profile of 2223331.

Even outside of a military context, this system is used by certain high-risk civilian professions, like firefighters and the police. The criteria may vary depending on the specific job requirements.

In conclusion:

The SIGYCOP medical aptitude profile is a crucial tool to ensure that only the most physically and mentally fit individuals are placed in high-risk roles. By understanding how it operates, we can better appreciate the importance of health and fitness in these critical professions.

Philippe Casanova

Specialist in occupational medicine and forensic medicine.