There are a number of stages in our Wholetime firefighter recruitment process and these are:

Application Form

You will be asked to provide your personal details, for example: name, address, contact details and employment history.  If you do not meet the criteria below (current serving firefighters), you must have an address in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland.

Current Serving Firefighters

If you are a current serving Wholetime firefighter with a UK Fire and Rescue Service, or have an On-Call contract with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and wish to apply; you will be asked to confirm this and state whether you are a trainee, development or competent firefighter.

Declarations and Disclosures

You will also be asked at the application stage to complete a declaration of any criminal convictions that you have that are ‘unspent’ (under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974). All applicants will undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service basic criminal records check as part of our recruitment process. Our written policy regarding recruitment of ex-offenders is in the guidance notes for completing the application form. This is made available to you when you access the Wholetime firefighter application form.

More information about the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 can be found in the Ministry of Justice ‘New Guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974’ booklet on the gov.uk website. This guidance is written to help people giving advice and information to ex-offenders so they understand the difference between spent and unspent convictions, how long before different kinds of convictions are considered to be spent, which convictions must be declared when applying for jobs, which cautions or convictions must still be declared.

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service monitor the protected characteristics set out by the Equality Act 2010 with the exception of marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. This is so we can work towards ensuring our workforce represents the community it serves. Every job applicant is encouraged to complete the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form for submission with their completed application form. It is important to note that this information will not be made available to the shortlisting or interview panels. Appointments are not made based on the information applicants provide and all the information is held securely and will only be used in line with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulations.

Stage 1 Online Assessment

Following application, you will be invited to complete an online Behavioural Standards Question (BSQ) and Situational Judgement Test (SJT). As these are externally provided, specific instructions will be contained in the Candidate Information Pack and must be completed within a set timescale.

If successful at this stage, you will be invited to undertake a fitness test.

Note: The online assessments should be completed by yourself alone and unassisted on a computer, laptop or tablet. They are not compatible with a smartphone. You should ensure that you have a stable internet connection when accessing and completing all the online stages. Checks may be undertaken at a later stage in the selection process to verify that you have completed these tests without assistance.

Fitness Test

We use the multi-stage fitness test, also known as the PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) test, the 20 metre Shuttle Run Test (20 metre SRT) or the bleep test, to confirm aerobic capacity (VO2 max). In the test, you must run from one line to another, 20 metres apart against a timed bleep.

You must continue running back and forth, each time reaching the line before the next bleep. As the test progresses, the time between bleeps gets shorter.  Once you are no longer able to run, the test is over and the level and shuttle achieved is recorded.

Note: The required level needed to progress through this stage to a further online assessment is Level 8, Shuttle 8. (8.8)

Stage 2 Online Assessment

These are short tests measuring your Verbal, Numerical and Mechanical Reasoning.

Note: The online assessments should be completed by yourself alone and unassisted on a computer, laptop or tablet. They are not compatible with a smartphone. You should ensure that you have a stable internet connection when accessing and completing all the online stages. Checks may be undertaken at a later stage in the selection process to verify that you have completed these tests without assistance.

Point of Entry Selection Test Day

You will complete seven job-related tests designed to determine whether you have the required levels of aerobic fitness and strength to carry out the role of a Wholetime firefighter.

  • Ladder Lift

This is designed to assess your upper and lower body strength and coordination.  To successfully complete this test, you need to raise the bar of a ladder lift simulator with a total weight of 25kg to a height of 190cm.

  • Ladder Extension and Lowering Test

This test is designed to assess your ability to lower a ladder from a fully extended position.  Successful completion of this test will require a combination of good grip and upper body strength.  You will be required to demonstrate this by undertaking one of the following tests:

Pull on a rope attached to the ladder to lift a section of the ladder up to release a locking mechanism. This will allow the ladder to be lowered in a safe and controlled manner, hand over hand.

Using lateral pull down equipment you will be asked to grab a length of rope with both hands, then from a fully extended overhead position you must lower the rope to chest level and return to the starting position in a controlled manner.  The weight you will be required to lift will be 60kg and you will be required to do this once to successfully complete the test.

  • Ladder Climb

This test is designed to assess your confidence and ability to apply the correct technique.  You must climb a Fire Service ladder to a point two thirds of the full working height.  Once at the correct height you will be required to take a ‘leg lock’ (A technique for securing yourself to the ladder by putting a leg through the ladder and hooking your foot back onto a round or rung as you may call it), release your hands from the ladder, outstretch your arms and look down to identify a symbol placed the ground.

During the test, the ladder is secured and you will be wearing a full body harness and attached to a fall-arrest device.

  • Casualty Evacuation

This is designed to assess your upper and lower body strength and coordination.  You will need to drag a 55kg dummy backwards over a distance of 30m within a set time.

  • Enclosed Space

This is designed to assess your confidence, strength, agility and helps identify any claustrophobic tendencies.  Wearing a breathing apparatus face mask that has obscured vision, you will negotiate a crawl way.  This has a number of levels and contains obstacles that you will need to safely negotiate within a set time.

  • Equipment Assembly

This is test designed to assess your manual dexterity and ability to follow instructions by having you assemble and then disassemble a piece of operational service equipment within a set time.

  • Equipment Carry

In order to complete this test successfully you will need to combine endurance, upper and lower body strength and coordination.  You will be carrying equipment over the length of the course, moving around two cones which will cover a distance of 25m within a set time.  This is not a test of memory as a member of staff will remind you of the sequence of events, as there will be a combination of running and walking.

Safety

Your safety during the tests is vital.  Before the tests, there will be a briefing and explanation of what is required, and you will be supervised at all times by members of our Fire, Inclusion, Recruitment and Engagement (FIRE) Team, who are all operational firefighters.

They will provide clear instruction before you attempt the test which you should listen to carefully.

If you successfully pass the Point of Entry Selection Tests, you will move into the next stages of the process, each of which must be passed to progress:

Interview

Your interview will be number of questions that are linked to our Values and Behaviours competency framework. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this beforehand.

Medical

If you have been conditionally offered a role as a Wholetime firefighter, you will be asked to attend a medical (and drugs test) where you will be examined by our Occupational Health doctor and nurse.  You will be asked to complete a questionnaire covering your medical history and will then be subject to a series of tests.  Your medical records may need to be obtained from your own doctor.

References and Clearances

We will undertake the following checks prior to a firm offer of employment being made:

  • You will be required to provide formal documentation to evidence that you live in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland
  • We will seek a minimum of two employment references to verify and substantiate the evidence provided on your application form
  • You will be required to provide formal documentary evidence to verify your right to work in the UK and your identification
  • We will carry out a basic criminal records check
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