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Pre-employment checks

Any offer of employment as a firefighter is subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks. These are:

  1. Application and work history;
  2. Criminal records check;
  3. Eligibility to work in the UK;
  4. References;
  5. Health Assessment.
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1) Application and work history

We will check the information you provided alongside other information gained throughout the selection process.

2) Criminal records check

You will be required to undertake a basic Disclosure Scotland criminal records check, which will highlight any unspent convictions.  You will be required to take your ID documents to the PQA interview.

View the list of acceptable identity documents

3) Eligibility to work in the UK

You will need to provide identification evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK. The most commonly presented forms of ID are a passport or a long/full birth certificate and a document containing your National Insurance number.  A driving licence is not suitable for this check.  

View the documents that evidence eligibility to work in the UK.

4) References

We will request at least two professional and relevant references, to cover at least three years' experience/employment history; referees cannot be friends or relatives.

5) Health assessment

Your health assessment forms three parts: eye examination; completion of a medical questionnaire; and a medical examination.

Prior to your medical, we will ask you to undertake a firefighter-specific eye examination with a qualified optometrist; normally your local optician. You will also complete a medical questionnaire. The results of these will be discussed with you at your medical examination and you will undertake some other medical tests.

Eyesight requirements. On appointment as a Firefighter:

  • You must have vision in both eyes.
  • Have a minimum uncorrected distance visual acuity of 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye.
  • Have a corrected visual acuity of 6/9 binocularly with a minimum of 6/12 in the worse eye.
  • Normal visual field in both eyes.
  • No history of night blindness or any ocular disease.
  • Have an appropriate level of colour perception as identified by the Ishihara Test and/ or possibly alternative tests.
  • Not have undergone refractive surgery (ie laser surgery) in the previous 12 months.

Spectacles can be worn on the fire ground, although they must be prescription safety spectacles manufactured to specific quality standards. Additionally, prescription lenses can be inserted into breathing apparatus. Soft contact lenses may be worn for operational duties, with certain conditions, including the provision that safety spectacles are worn on the fire ground.

Medical Examination

Your medical examination will be with Cornwall Council's Occupational Health Team, based at New County Hall in Truro. You will be asked to complete and return a medical questionnaire before your examination and your answers will be discussed with an Occupational Health Nurse on the day.

  • Hearing test - you will sit in a sound proof booth wearing headphones and will be asked to press a button when you hear a range of sounds.
  • Lung function – you will be asked to blow hard and long down a hollow tube until all your lung capacity is fully exhaled – a reading is taken and assessed accordingly.
  • Physical stamina – you will be asked to squat on a machine designed to test your back and thigh strength and then pull a specified measurement.
  • General tests – you will finally see the doctor who will test your reflexes and discuss your medical questionnaire with you.
  • Fitness test - if your fitness test was undertaken more than three months before your medical, you will be asked to undertake a chester-step test, another fitness test able to predict your VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption).

We will consider reasonable adjustments for any person who has a disability as defined by the Equality Act (2010).

Go back to the Firefighter Selection Process main page.