Selection Criteria

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 required to answer the following motivational questions in support of your application 300 words per question. You may use evidence from both your personal and professional experiences.

Personal Impact
Explain how you value inclusion and set a positive example of appropriate behaviour.

Outstanding leadership
Explain how you are committed to continuously learning to improve yourself and others.

Service Delivery
Explain how you plan and make a decision.

Organisational effectiveness
Explain how you positively engage with change and encourage others to do so.

The questions are based around the National Fire Chiefs Council Leadership framework. We advise that you take the time to look over the document below focusing on demonstrating your impact at leading yourself level.

Verbal and numerical ability test

These online tests measure your ability to read and interpret numerical and verbal information quickly and accurately. Providing proof of GCSE Maths and English will exempt you from this stage. 

Fitness and functional assessment day

These tests are designed to test fitness and the ability to understand and apply information. They are related to the actual tasks a firefighter will have to do once appointed.

The fitness and functional assessment day will consist of 2 stages, both of which you must pass. To participate in these assessments, you will be required to complete a form declaring any potential medical issues that might make it unsafe for you to participate.

The tests are timed and consist of the following:

Stage 1 - Chester Treadmill Walk Test

•        Time 0-2 minutes - treadmill gradient 0% - VO2 14

•        Time 2-4 minutes - treadmill gradient 3% - VO2 19 

•        Time 4-6 minutes - treadmill gradient 6% - VO2 25

•        Time 6-8/9 minutes - treadmill gradient 9% - VO2 31/35

•        Time 8-10 minutes - treadmill gradient 12% - VO2 36

•        Time 10-12 minutes - treadmill gradient 15% - VO2 42


Stage 2 - we have provided links below to videos from our colleagues at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue to give you an idea of what to expect in the tests.

•    Ladder Climb - This test involves climbing a 13.5 metre ladder and carrying out a selected task within a time limit. This test is designed to assess confidence and coordination whilst working at heights.  Candidates will be attached to   a safety  line.

•   Ladder Lift - This test involves lifting the weight of a ladder within a time limit to simulate housing a ladder back on an appliance.  This will test upper and lower body strength.

•   Enclosed Space - This involves negotiating through a measured crawl way wearing a Breathing Apparatus facemask within a set.  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 Carry - A variety of equipment will need to be carried to a fire scene within a specific time limit.  This tests muscular strength and stamina.

•   Ladder Extension - Using a simulated ladder device candidate 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, this means that you will be required to disclose any 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  or providing details of the assistance you will require. We, as a service, are committed to a fair and transparent recruitment process, which will incorporate our commitment to ensuring we give underrepresented groups the opportunity to apply in line with our positive action statement

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To be eligible to apply for a firefighter post, you must meet the following criteria:

• It is a legal requirement to be 18 or over when you start training.

• Be eligible to work in the UK (proof of which will be required)

• Live in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight at the time of application (proof of which will be required)

• Have a good standard of physical fitness

• Have GSCE Grade C or above, or equivalent in Maths and English (proof of which will be required) or successfully complete the online verbal and numerical ability test.