Greater Manchester FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process

Do you want to apply for a Wholetime Firefighter position but don’t quite know where to start? Our step by step guide to the Greater Manchester FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process is here to help you through the process!

There have been a few changes to the Greater Manchester FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process this year due to the situation with Covid-19. Lets take a look…


Step 1 – Registering Interest

Greater Manchester FRS stipulate that you MUST complete a ‘Virtual Taster Day’ as part of your application.

These days let you find out a lot more about the recruitment process and the role itself. They’re a great way to find out if you’re as suited to the job as you think.

You’ll have to register your interest for the Virtual Taster Day online, and answer a few basic screening questions to prove that you’re eligible for the role and that you understand the basic requirements. If your details fit, you’ll be sent an invitation to attend the taster day.

Register as soon as possible as spaces are limited, and it’s a first come, first served basis!


Step 2 – The Virtual Taster Day

The Virtual Taster Day will be held through an online video meeting – something you may well be used to with working from home during the pandemic, or from catching up with friends and family during lockdown.

You’ll get to find out more about the Apprenticeship Standard for firefighters with GMFRS, and what to expect from the apprenticeship and training. The session will be ran by a member of the GMFRS recruitment team, who will be sharing vital information about the process!


Step 3 – The Application Form

If you’ve successfully completed the taster day you’ll be emailed a link to the application form directly from the recruitment team so make sure you keep an eye on your spam folder just in case it slips through!

The application form contains the following sections:

  • Personal details
  • Education and Training
  • Employment History
  • FRS Employment History (if you’ve been a Firefighter, or applied previously)
  • Support Requirements/Disability Declaration
  • References (One must be from your current employer, if you have one)
  • Declaration of any offences
  • FRS Core Values
  • Personal Statement – where you can share the qualities and attributes you have that would make you a great Firefighter!
It’s a good idea to jot down your answers ‘in rough’ before you begin the online application, so you can refer to them as you’re completing the application form. This way you can make sure you don’t miss anything out!

Step 4 – The Online and Fitness Tests

On successful completion and acceptance of your application form you’ll be invited to sit the Behavioural Styles and Situational Judgement Test. This is designed to find out more about what makes you tick – your skills, values, attitude and behaviour.

If your application is shortlisted following this, you’ll be invited to take part in the first testing stage, fitness and functional abilities.

This is the ‘real’ version of what you experienced on the Taster Day!

The 20 metre ‘bleep test’ will on this occasion be run under assessment conditions, with a  minimum pass mark of level 8.8.

Those successful in the bleep will sit both and Maths and English functional assessment. These assessments will be sat by everyone regardless of previous qualifications, and are designed to help the recruiters understand your current learning level.


Step 5 – Physical tests

If you’re successful in the fitness and functional tests there are also various physical tests you’ll have to pass – fitness is a crucial part of the Firefighter role!

These are made up of activities designed to assess your fitness, strength, stamina and coordination, as well as seeing how you cope with tricky situations you might encounter on the job such as heights and enclosed spaces.

You’ll receive an email with the time, date and location.

The physical tests include:

  • Enclosed Space Test
  • Ladder Climb
  • Casualty Evacuation
  • Ladder Lift
  • Ladder Extension
  • Equipment Carry
  • Equipment Assembly

You’ll be supplied with the appropriate protective clothing.


Step 6 – The Virtual Assessment Centre

If you make it through the physical assessment tests you’ll be invited back to a session in a ‘Virtual Assessment Centre’ for the final stage, a series of online group and individual interviews and assessments.

The individual interviews are completed in a ‘pod style’, in a similar fashion to previous years, only virtually this time! Each virtual ‘pod’ will have a minimum of two assessors, and you will answer a different question in each pod. You will have 10 minutes to answer, and will continue to move round each pod until you have completed all questions.

In these types of interview you’ll 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.

For the group tasks you can expect to be assessed by virtual role play, group discussion or presentation exercises. Don’t worry – if it’s something you have to prepare for (like a presentation) you’ll be told beforehand!

It sounds like a lot – but please don’t worry, you’ll receive full instructions in plenty of time before the assessments take place!

Remember, this online event 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.

Step 7 – The Classroom Based Assessment

You’ll resit the functional assessments in a classroom-based assessment with GMFRS invigilators present. The results you get be compared to the ones you got in the first set of functional tests you completed. You’ll have to  score within 10% of your initial functional skills test to move on to the next step – so don’t get complacent and do remember to prepare!

You generally won’t have long to wait before the FRS informs you if you’ve got the job! They will let you know either way, but even if you haven’t made it on this attempt you’ve done amazingly well to get so far.

If you’re successful at the interview day and have been offered the job, there are some final checks that the FRS will need to run.


Final Checks

You’ll be asked to attend a medical assessment with the Occupational Health department.

The medical is a general assessment to check that you’re fit for firefighter duties, and includes looking at your:

  • Hearing
  • Lung function
  • Eyes
  • Grip strength
  • Blood pressure

The final pre-employment checks in the Greater Manchester FRS Firefighter Recruitment Process will involve checking the information on your application form, contacting your references, and performing a standard criminal record check.

Following this, it will be time for your official 16-week Firefighter training course to begin!

Don’t have time to stay up to speed with all the latest recruitment opportunities? Sign up for our text alerts and we’ll make sure you never miss a thing!
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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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One Comment

  1. It’s all ways been my dream to be a firefighter because one of my family members are a firefighter
    And my cartoon favourite is fireman sam when I was young. Would like training and more experience in this team job roll.

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