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Joining the Fire Service

Joining the Fire Service isn’t easy. The selection process is tough. Lots of people think they have what it takes to be a good Firefighter, but they aren’t able to show this so don’t get through.

Most Fire Services use the National Firefighter Selection Process. Here’s how the process works:


at this stage


Application Form


Joining the Fire Service


at this stage


Medical, Fitness & Aptitude Tests


Only exceptional
candidates will pass




This system has been around for a long time so some Fire Services are starting to do something new. The ‘Eligibility Screen’ which can now occur before the application form stage, consists of-
  • A Realistic job preview
  • Behavioural/ values assessment (X2)
  • Situational Judgement Test based on the PQAs
Please be aware: Some FRS are choosing to use different tests and activities to select their new Firefighters. Don’t worry, we can help you with these. Start of by reading the following:

Learn about the very different recruitment processes used recently at 3 large UK FRS

Find out about a few general changes to the recruitment/ selection process for Firefighters

Gain further insight into specific different tests

Getting Started

Having your application form accepted gives you the chance to go through to the next recruitment stage. For most people getting through that barrier is a big relief (people we have helped have applied from between 2 and up to 12 times to get through!!) The next stage is where you will have the opportunity to prove your suitability in a range of tests from spatial awareness to physical fitness, and that’s where applicants are keen to show their skills. If you successfully pass these stages you will return for the final hurdle which is the Interview.

The application form stage is incredibly competitive. Of the thousands of applicants to the UK FRS every year, only a handful of these get through.

You can read more about the application form and all the other parts of the selection process in much more detail here on this site on the next few pages.

Don’t worry if you keep getting stuck at the application form (or if you need help at any stage of the selection process), we can help!

Next Page: 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…