Our guide to the Derbyshire FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process will help you step by step through the process of becoming a Wholetime Firefighter for the Derbyshire service area!
The first thing to note is that Derbyshire FRS usually run awareness days (similar to ‘taster days’) through the year for interested candidates. These aren’t a prerequisite for applying, but we’d advise you attend one if you get the chance as they’re a great way to get a ‘hands on’ trial of the job!
Be aware however that attendance at an Awareness Day does not guarantee progression into the selection process!
To be considered in the Derbyshire FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process you need to have three GCSEs (minimum grade C or level 4) including English and Maths (or the same level of qualification from the country in which you sat your exams). An equivalent qualification in a related subject is also acceptable, subject to acceptance from the FRS.
You also must be a resident of Derbyshire – unless you are armed forces personnel (current or discharged within the past two years) or a current Derbyshire FRS employee.
In addition, you’ll need to have a full UK manual driving licence. You must have passed your test by the interview stage of the process.
Derbyshire also have an annual fitness test – so you’ll need to be committed to keeping your personal fitness levels up to scratch!
Step 1 – Application
You’ll be asked in your initial online application to enter your personal details and answer some basic screening questions, designed to make sure that you understand and meet the basic job requirements.
This step is usually open for between one and two weeks.
You’ll also be asked to disclose any unspent criminal convictions at this stage.
Step 2 – The Online Tests
As part of the application form you’ll be asked to complete a series of psychometric tests. The tests will include:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Numerical Reasoning
The questions will have multiple choice answers, and you’ll be given a specified amount of time to complete them.
It’s really important to prepare for these types of tests! They can seem daunting if you’ve never came across them before, but you can take a look at some sample questions here.
Finally you will be required to provide supporting evidence which will be used to shortlist your application, by answering questions designed to assess your suitability for the job.
Again it’s a good idea to prepare beforehand by looking at your past experience and employment and seeing how these compare to the requirements for the role.
Step 3 – The Assessment Centre
The assessment centre will take place at the training centre in Ripley and will last around four to five hours. There are four sections: a presentation, a one to one interview, fitness testing and a role related activity.
You’ll be given the date and time of the assessment and must attend at that time – the FRS won’t let you reschedule.
For your presentation you’ll be given a topic and 45 minutes to prepare a 10 minute speech.
Your interview will last around an hour. You’ll be asked several questions on aspects such as your skills, experience, behaviours, values and competencies.
In these types of interview you’ll also be asked questions relating to your behaviour on certain occasions or in specific circumstances, which you’ll then need to provide evidence for by using concrete examples from your past work and life experience.
This is your best chance to convince the panel that you are the candidate that they want to employ.Again, it’s really important that you prepare adequately for the day – forewarned is forearmed!
Spend a bit of time thinking about what you might be asked, and write down your responses so that they’re fresh in your mind before the interview.
The fitness test is a treadmill walk on an incline, designed to test your aerobic fitness and VO2 levels.
The Role Related Activity is a physical test in the form of an Equipment Carry, assessing fitness, stamina, upper and lower body strength and co-ordination.
Step 4 – Swim Test
Firefighters have to perform water rescues as part of their duties, and therefore have to be able to swim and be confident in water.
For the test you will be asked to swim unaided for 100 metres. This will involve two lengths of both front crawl and backstroke in under 3 minutes.
Again, this normally takes place on a specified date and you won’t be able to rearrange it.
Step 5 – Medical
If you’re successful to this point, there are some final checks that the FRS will need to run.
Firstly you’ll need to undergo a thorough medical examination. It will include the following:
- General clinical checks
- Blood Pressure
- Breathing and Respiratory Function
- Drug and Alcohol testing
- Hearing and Vision tests
- Height and weight checks
- Urine testing
The doctor may also want to ask questions about your medical history, particularly if you’ve declared an existing medical condition.
The last round of pre-employment checks will involve checking the information on your application form, contacting your references, and performing a standard criminal record check.
At least two satisfactory reference checks will be done. One must be from your current or most recent employer. Your references will need to cover the past three years of employment.