Selection Criteria

The selection process to become a wholetime firefighter is a highly competitive one designed to assess your fitness, resilience and both physical and personal strengths against the skills and qualities we are seeking.

If you successfully passed each stage of the selection process, you will be offered the opportunity to start training to become a wholetime firefighter.

The process

What does each stage of the selection process entail?

Application form
When completing the online application form you will be asked to provide personal details such as your name, address, contact details, qualifications etc. You will also be asked to provide evidence of how you meet the selection criteria for the role (listed below) in no more than 1,000 words. You may use evidence from both your personal and professional experiences.

  • How you approach working in a team and the role you play in successful teamwork
  • How you have overcome obstacles or challenges to ensure you always perform to the best of your ability
  • Your experience of working under pressure and / or having to deal sensitively with people in difficult emotional circumstances
  • Your experience of engaging with / working alongside people who are different to you

Situational judgement test
This online test assesses the strengths that you have against the requirements we have identified for the role. You will be asked to read a series of scenarios and then chose how you would respond.

Verbal and numerical ability test
These tests measure your ability to read and interpret information, and to add, subtract, divide and manipulate numbers quickly and accurately.

Fitness and functional assessment day
This consists of two stages, the first of which you must pass to proceed to the second stage.       In order to be allowed to participate you will be required to complete a form declaring any potential medical issues that might make it unsafe for you to participate.

The first assessment stage is a shuttle run or “bleep” test to ensure you are fit enough for the role. You will be required to run between two lines set 20 metres apart, keeping in time to audio bleeps. At set intervals (levels) the time between the bleeps reduces giving you less time to cover the same distance. The level and number of shuttles before you can no longer keep up is recorded. The minimum level to pass the assessment is 8.8.

The second stage of the assessment consists of seven physical functional tests. The tests are listed below and you must pass all the assessments to be invited to the final stage of the selection process.

Casualty evacuation
This will involve a simulated rescue of a casualty from an open space. This test involves upper and lower body strength and stamina

Ladder lift
This test involves lifting the weight of a ladder within a time limit. This will test upper and lower body strength

Enclosed space
This involves negotiating through a measured crawlway wearing a breathing apparatus set including facemask. Half the route will be with clear vision, the other half with obscured vision. You will also be required to perform tasks during the test

Equipment assembly
This aims to test the ability of a candidate to comprehend and follow instructions. The candidate will be asked to assemble and disassemble a piece of equipment following a series of diagrams within a given time frame

Equipment carry
A variety of equipment will need to be carried to a fire scene within a specific time limit. This tests aerobic fitness, muscular strength and stamina

Ladder extension
Using a simulated ladder device candidates will need to demonstrate the ability to extend and lower a ladder safely and under control. This tests upper body strength, grip strength and coordination

Strengths based interview
The interview will be a strengths based interview that links to the strengths required in the firefighter role and seeks to explore whether they are something you would be good at and enjoy doing. There will be a predefined list of questions and scoring criteria to support this.

Pre-employment checks
Successful applicants will be required to attend a medical assessment. References and a Criminal Records checks will also be obtained prior to employment status being confirmed.

As the position of firefighter gives you privileged access to vulnerable groups, it is an Exempted Occupation under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. This means that you will be required to disclose spent and unspent convictions, including any driving offences. Through the criminal records checking process, we will apply for a criminal record disclosure. We will do this by asking you to complete a criminal record application.

Further support
If you require additional support, the Service will endeavour to provide this provided sufficient notice is given. Please send an email to providing details of the assistance you will require.