Selection process

There are different stages in the selection process, and the whole process can take anything from 4 to 12 months. Here’s what to expect…

The stages

1 Application

If you're interested in applying to become a firefighter come along to one of our career events which are listed on our Community page.


2 Online tests

You'll be sent a link to two online tests, designed to assess your maths and English skills.


3 Assessment Centre

The Assessment Centre consists of a number of different types of assessment:

  • Interview
  • Roleplay
  • Written exercise
  • Verification test for maths and English

If you’re successful you’ll progress to the physical fitness tests.


4 Fitness tests

Candidates will be required to pass six physical job-related tests which include:

  • Ladder climb
  • Ladder lift
  • Casualty evacuation
  • Enclosed space
  • Equipment assembly
  • Equipment carry

Check out our Fitness tests page for more information about this stage.


5 Medical exam and eye test

If you successfully pass the physical tests you will be asked to attend a medical where you will be examined by our medical team. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire covering your medical history and will then be subject to a series of tests. Your medical records may also need to be obtained from your GP.

What are the eyesight requirements?

Wearing glasses or contact lenses isn't a problem, but you'll need to meet certain requirements, including ‘acceptable’ colour vision. Also, only certain types of laser eye surgery are permitted, and you'll need to wait one year after laser eye surgery before you will be considered.

Full details about the range of eye tests you'll need to pass will be provided during the selection process.

What if I am colour blind?

You will still be able to apply. If you get to the medical stage of the recruitment process, the seriousness of your colour deficiency will be assessed and a risk assessment will be made.

If you pass the medical requirements, we'll ask you for references.


6 References

You'll be asked to provide: 

  • 3 year history including proof of study, travel and unemployment
  • If you're self-employed approximately 5 references will be requested
  • No personal references are allowed (unless you have worked in a family business)

Once we receive your references and have checked them, you'll move on to pre-course learning.


7 Pre-course learning

You'll do six weeks of pre-course learning, with all materials needed supplied free of charge. The pre-course learning is done in your own time and is evaluated just before you start the full-time paid training.


8 Full training

Following the successful completion of the 6 weeks pre-course learning you will move onto an 11 week course of full training before you become a Firefighter.

During these 11 weeks you will earn the trainee firefighter salary of £26,211 pa including London Weighting.