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Firefighter Selection Process

In this section you can find out more about the process we undertake to select new firefighters.  The process is largely the same for both on-call and wholetime firefighters.

As an equal opportunities employer, we are committed to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities and will make reasonable adjustments throughout the selection process.

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If you have problems viewing the videos below, please call the recruitment hotline: 01872 323800 and we will happily send you a free DVD.

We use elements of the national firefighter selection (NFS) process.  The six main steps of the selection process are:

  1. Application
  2. Fitness test
  3. Ability tests
  4. Physical tests
  5. Interview
  6. Pre-employment checks
  7. Development

1) Application

On-call Firefighters can apply through the National on-call firefighter website. Application will identify suitability in line with personal qualities and attributes (PQA’s).

As part of the application process is an informal interview, in addition to your PQA outcomes which will determine your suitability for the next stages of the recruitment process.

We only recruit wholetime firefighters every few years and how to apply will be explained on the wholetime firefighter section as and when we are recruiting.


2) Fitness Test

Successful candidates will be required to attend a fitness test (bleep test).

3) Ability Tests

Successful applicants will be required to attend a series of ability (psychometric/'written') tests.  The tests are designed to assess how you work with numbers and understand information, as well as your situational awareness and problem solving skills.

Please follow the link to the ability tests page for more information.

4) Physical Tests

Candidates will then undertake a series of physical tests.  These tests are designed to assess fitness, physical skills and manual dexterity related to work in the Fire Service.

Please follow the link to the physical tests page for more information.

5) Interview

If successful, candidates will be invited to a formal interview. The interview will further assess if you have the personal qualities and attributes important for success as a firefighter as well as testing your knowledge and understanding of the role of a firefighter within CFRS.

We recommend familiarising yourself with the information about CFRS found on our homepage.

It will also allow the recruiting managers to inspect and clarify any points raised through the application and selection process.

Please follow the link to the Personal Qualities and Attributes Interview page for more information.

6) Pre-employment checks

Any offer of employment is subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks, which include:

  • Application and work history;
  • Criminal records check;
  • Eligibility to work in the UK;
  • Health Assessment
  • References.

Please follow the link to the pre-employment checks page for more information.

7) Development

If successful, you will embark on rigorous training and development programme, to develop the knowledge and skills to become an operational Firefighter; the development programme is spread out differently for on-call and wholetime firefighters.

You are then assessed to ensure that you meet the required competencies before being allowed to respond to emergencies.

However, your development is ongoing and you will be assessed througout your career to ensure that you retain the skills, competencies and fitness required to be an operational firefighter.