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What are PQAs?

If you are unsure about any aspect of your promotion or selection, this is where you need to start. The PQAs are absolutely crucial to your FRS career success, and below we explain why.

PQA stands for Personal Qualities & Attributes. Many organisations refer to these as ‘competencies’. Both PQAs and competencies describe the underlying personal skills and qualities that form the basis of your behaviour – in and out of work.

The PQAs are the fundamental skills which Firefighters need to perform successfully in their roles.  For instance:

  • A Firefighter needs to be understood by others through their Effective Communication skills;
  • They need to evaluate risks and generate solutions, using their Problem Solving capabilities;
  • They can be trusted to care equally for the welfare and security of all members of the public because of their Commitment to Diversity and Integrity;
  • They support the positive reputation of the FRS through their genuine Commitment to Excellence

The Fire & Rescue Service has a list of PQAs which it is looking for. It shows certain skills and qualities that all Fire Fighters need to have.

Why are PQAs important?

Being able to show off your PQAs is essential if you want to join the Fire & Rescue Service or if you want to get promoted. Your performance against the PQAs is checked every step of the way.

This is why we provide resources to help you work on your PQAs and give you personalised feedback on your PQAs so you have time to work on your weak areas before they are assessed for real.

It is only after you have proved these core skills, that you will be deemed suitable to learn the technical and operational skills you need to do the job.

No matter what other Fire Fighter skills you have, your PQAs will be important. You might be sure that you have the right skills, but you need to be able to show that you have them.


So what are the different PQAs

The PQA You need to prove that:
Openness to Change You’re happy to accept changes to procedures or the organisation and that you’ll support these changes.
Effective Communication You can make yourself understood by all sorts of people in all sorts of situations.
Planning & Implementing You know how to put a plan into action and see it through to the end.
Problem Solving You can recognise the problems in a situation and work out how to deal with them.
Commitment to Diversity & Integrity You’re honest and respect others – whoever they are. Get help with this PQA
Working with Others You can support and encourage others.
Get help with this PQA
Commitment to Excellence You know how important high standards are, and how to reach them.
Commitment to Development You think learning is important and look for learning opportunities – for both yourself and your colleagues.
Confidence & Resilience Confidence & Resilience You can control your emotions and can show others that you’re there to get a job done.
Situational Awareness You recognise hazards and when a situation could become dangerous.
Political Awareness* You can recognise different agendas and make efforts to create partnerships and networks to further objectives.

* Middle and Strategic Managers only

For more details of the PQAs at your level, click the appropiate link below-

Firefighter PQAs
Supervisory PQAs
Middle Manager PQAs
Strategic Manager PQAs
PQA Framework

Remember- whether you are facing an Application Form, PQA based Interview, written exercise, roleplay or full Assessment & Development Centre (ADC) , your performance WILL be measured against the PQAs.

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