UPDATED: 14 April 2018
The Commander can direct a record or diagnostic APFT whenever they deem it appropriate.
There is no requirement to provide notification for an APFT test however FM 7-22 Appendix A states:
A-8. The commander should ensure that testing is consistent with regard to events, scoring, clothing, equipment and facilities. Testing should be planned to permit each Soldier to perform at his maximal level, and should ensure the following:
- Soldiers are not tested when fatigued or ill.
- Soldiers do not participate in tiring duties before taking an APFT.
- Weather and environmental conditions do not inhibit physical performance.
- Risk analysis is conducted.
This implies the command should provide adequate notice to ensure the best possible performance.
With regard to how often the test can be administered see AR 350-1 which states:
Commanders may administer the APFT as often as they wish; however, they must specify beforehand when the results are for record. AA and AGR Soldiers will take the APFT twice each calendar year. A minimum of 4 months will separate record tests if only 2 test are given in a year.
SPECIAL THANKS: To Shawn for point out this post required updating.