Paper Qualifications and Firefighting

You may have seen our recent post on the FRS Development Facebook page, sharing a post featuring¬† the CFO of Northumberland FRS who self-describes his exam results at school as ‘disappointing’ O Levels and ‘Very Poor’ A Levels!

It just goes to show that paper qualifications aren’t everything!

We get asked a lot how important paper qualifications are to the Firefighter job, or if people can apply who don’t have any. It’s a mixed answer, which we go into in more detail in our article. But essentially, the FRS you’re applying to will take into consideration a lot of other things.

Your Character and Attitude

What kind of things do the Fire Service look for in an applicant?

  • A positive attitude
  • Resilience and strength of mind
  • A strong work ethic
  • A positive attitude to diversity
  • Honest and integrity
  • A commitment to doing your best, at all times

Your Work and Life Experience

What are the most important skills for a Firefighter? Remember, you could evidence these with relevant examples from all kinds of past work and life experience!

  • Good Communication
  • Problem-solving skills
  • The ability to think on your feet, and use initiative!
  • Team-working skills
  • The ability to recognise hazards
  • Keeping calm under pressure

Some FRSs will let you sit equivalency tests to check you have the right level of numeracy and verbal communication skills. They recognise that qualifications (or a lack of them) aren’t necessarily a reflection of your true intelligence and capabilities, and that there are many reasons why individuals might not have stayed on at school or sat exams.

Be honest and upfront, and if you have any concerns contact the recruitment team.

You can also take the opportunity to complete an equivalent qualification if you need to. With the current situation many colleges are offering courses online!

But the main takeaway here is not to let a lack of qualifications hold you back. You’re in control of your life, and you can 100% make your firefighter career a reality if you’re willing to put in the work.

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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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