Firefighter Recruitment - The Selection Process

When recruiting firefighters, we often get asked how the selection process works. Check out our handy guide on what to expect...

Stage 1: Online Application

This requires you to give personal information, including work experience, qualifications and supporting evidence for your application. To ensure fairness, managers shortlisting application forms do so without access to personal information.

You can watch a video on how to complete the application below.

Stage 2: Numeracy & Literacy Skills

If you do not have GCSE grade C or above (level 4 - 9) in maths and English, or Level 2 Functional Skills maths and English, you will have to undertake online tests in numeracy and literacy skills.

Stage 3: Functional Fitness Tests

Fitness tests include: Ladder climb, crawlspace, casualty evacuation, ladder lift, equipment carry, equipment assembly, dummy haul and treadmill test. You can view videos of the functional tests below.

 Stage 4: Assessment Centre

This is usually half a day in duration and consists of three to four exercises, with a combination of both group and individual exercises. Applicants are assessed against organisational values and key firefighter role competencies.

Stage 5: Swimming Test

This includes a minimum 50m swim unaided. This is to ensure applicants are confident and safe in water. This takes place in cold open water conditions wearing personal protective equipment.

Stage 6: Interview

You will be interviewed by a panel of senior officers and a representative from human resources.

Stage 7: Pre-Employment Checks

This includes a health screening and medical assessment, large goods vehicle (LGV) medical, enhanced disclosure barring service check and 2 x references.

Final Stage: Offered a place on a recruit course

If successful in the selection process, you will be offered a place as a Recruit Firefighter on a 15-week recruit course. At the end of this training course, you will pass out as a Firefighter in Development. You can watch an overview of the 15-week recruit course below.