Firefighters and Formal Qualifications – The Myths

Do Firefighters need Formal Qualifications? You might be surprised at the answer!

We get asked a lot of questions about Firefighters and Formal Qualifications. And now we’re here to help de-bunk the myths!

To become a firefighter you don’t usually need any formal qualifications. But don’t be complacent about your academic abilities! You still need to show a general intellectual competence to get ahead, both in the initial selection phase and for any future career development.

Here are a few areas where this type of competency will be important:

  • Your first taste of written testing will be within the initial firefighter selection process.  In addition to the challenging application form you’ll need to brush up on the basics of reading, writing, comprehension and maths for the ability testing stage. You’ll be expected to show how well you a) understand information b) deal with numbers c) apply your judgement.
  • Might you want to develop your skills?   To tackle the demands of the next role up there is even more you’ll need to learn. Many Fire Services test your knowledge via Institute of Fire Engineer (IFE) exams.
  • Promotions are no longer given based on length of service but on how suitable you are for the post.  This is often judged by an extensive assessment process, including written papers which test how well you can commit your plans, solutions, decisions and logic to paper.
  • If you’re successful in your bid for promotion the hard work is about to begin!   Whether it’s writing letters, reading technical notes, preparing training, delivering presentations or implementing strategy, your ability to interpret, present and share information will be tested on a daily basis.
Contrary to popular belief, fire-fighter training is not all about the physical demands of the job. A lot of the job is very technical and you’ll be learning some specialist skills and knowledge.

Our Top Tips…

  • Find reading or writing especially difficult?  Don’t worry, this needn’t be a disadvantage and there is help at hand. You just need to speak to the HR department to have your needs assessed and the right help allocated.
  • Be prepared! As well as the physical demands of your training expect your brain to get a good workout! Do some practice tests, try to increase the time you spend reading a little every day,  and make a habit of doing simple mental arithmetic without a calculator.
We also have a range of eBook workbooks in our store that cover every aspect of the application and assessment process – both for new firefighters and those seeking a promotion!
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FRS Team

Our team of experts have the many years of Fire Service experience and are up to date with the latest selection news.

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