There are six 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. In addition, you will be required to evidence your skills and experience in relation to various PQAs (personal qualities and attributes). Your application form will be shortlisted based on the responses you give in this section and you will be limited to 250 words for each of your answers.

Education and Qualifications

You will also need to complete your educational qualifications including details of your level two qualifications in English Language and Maths. A level two qualification is an essential requirement for the role of a wholetime firefighter and is equivalent to a GCSE or GCE O level grades A-C (grades 4-9 in the new GCSE grading structure), CSE grade one or OCR level two. If you are unsure, or if you do not have a level two qualification in English Language and Maths, then you should email: info@leicestercollege.ac.uk and include the following in the email subject header: MECC Maths and English LFRS where you can undergo an assessment of skill level and receive training where required.

The Government will fund English and Maths skills up to level two for any European (a person with three years’ minimum citizenship) and who is aged 19 or over to help achieve a career goal. The Government will also fund any of the other courses if you are also unemployed and “looking for work”- provided you can prove this, they will help you gain work.

Each course will be approximately 45 guided learning hours, however this is dependent on the individual learner. Once you have reached level two in English Language and Maths, you will be provided with a City and Guilds certificate as evidence of your eligibility to apply for the role of wholetime firefighter at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. It’s important to note that courses at Leicester College are four weeks in duration, with an exam in the fifth week.

You would be required to attend one day per week from 09:30-16:30 for four weeks and undertake the exam on the fifth week. Online resources are also available to support your learning. The new four weekly rolling courses commenced on 3 September 2018, however these are now fully booked. The next available courses commence in January 2019 which will not allow enough time to complete and pass the course and obtain your certificate in time for this recruitment campaign.

You must be able to provide your original certificate to evidence that you have a level two qualification in English Language and Maths at the interview stage of the selection process. Failure to do so will mean that we are unable to progress your application any further. We therefore advise that if you do not possess the level two qualifications, that you commence your training course with Leicester College as soon as possible to ensure that you obtain your certificate in enough time to present it at the interview stage of the selection process.

Applicants who are currently employed as an On-Call Firefighter with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, and who wish to apply for a role as a Wholetime Firefighter, will also be required to provide evidence of their level two qualification in English Language and Maths (original certificates). Even if you previously sat and passed the literacy and numeracy tests as part of the selection process for the role of On-Call Firefighter, you must still provide evidence of your level two qualification in English Language and Maths.

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.

Written Test

You will sit a memory recall test and this is designed to assess your ability to:

  • Work under pressure
  • Understand and recall relevant information
  • Communicate information in writing

Job-Related Tests

The seven job-related tests have been designed to determine whether you have the required levels of aerobic fitness and strength to carry out the role of a Wholetime firefighter. Applicants who are currently employed as an On-Call Firefighter with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, and have already successfully completed the job-related tests and the memory recall test within the three years prior to 10 October 2018, will not be required to retake these assessments. This is because you will be deemed competent in these two areas. However, you must confirm that you meet this criteria on your application form for the role of Wholetime Firefighter. Please be advised that in the event that it becomes necessary to shortlist for these tests, your memory recall score may be used for this purpose. If you wish to re-sit your memory recall test, you may do so but your new score will be the score that is used, not the best score. Please contact the HR team urgently to discuss this, should you wish to re-sit your memory recall test.

Ladder Climb

This test is designed to assess confidence and your ability to apply the correct technique. You must climb a 13.5m (45 ft.) 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’, release your hands from the ladder, outstretch your arms and look down to identify a symbol placed the ground. A ‘leg lock’ is achieved by putting at leg through the ladder and then hooking the foot back on a ‘round’ (fire service terminology for a rung) to stabilise yourself. During the test you will be wearing a full body harness, attached to a fall-arrest device and be monitored by two safety officers.

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 30m course around three cones within a set time, guided by a safety officer.

Ladder Lift

This is designed to assess your upper and lower body strength and coordination. You need to raise the bar of a ladder lift simulator weighing 30kg (4½ stone) to a height of 182cm (6 foot) helped if necessary by the safety officer. To successfully complete this test, you will need to combine your upper and lower body strength and demonstrate coordination to lift weight added to the bar of the ladder lift simulator (weighing 15kg) to a height of 182cm and lower it safely under control. You will be monitored throughout the test by a safety officer.

Enclosed Space

This is designed to assess your confidence, strength, agility and will help identify any claustrophobic tendencies. Wearing a breathing apparatus face mask that has obscured vision, you will negotiate a crawl ways. These crawl ways have a number of levels and contain obstacles that you will need to safely negotiate.  This is a time limited test. Two safety officers will monitor you throughout the test.

Equipment Assembly

This is test designed to assess your manual dexterity, memory and the ability to follow instructions. You must assemble and then disassemble a piece of hydraulic equipment in manner described within a set time.  A safety officer will demonstrate the correct procedure.

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 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 safety officer will remind you of the sequence of events as there will be a combination of running and walking.

Ladder Extension

This test is designed to assess your ability to lower a 13.5m 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:

  1. Pull on a rope attached to the 13.5m ladder to lift a section of the ladder up, to release a locking mechanism that will allow the ladder to be lowered in a safe and controlled manner hand over hand.
  2. Using lat 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.

Interview

You will be assessed on the following five PQA (personal qualities and attributes) areas:

  • Confidence and resilience
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Situational awareness
  • Commitment to diversity and integrity
  • Effective communication

You may also be asked questions based on the information you provided in your application. Please read our guidance notes to help you prepare for your interview. Please note, we will check your original educational certificates for your level two qualifications in English Language and Maths at the interview stage of the process. Failure to provide your original certificates at this stage will result in you not being able to progress.

Medical

If you have been conditionally offered a role as a wholetime firefighter you will be asked to attend a medical 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 including an assessment of your aerobic capacity known as a VO2 max measurement. Your medical records may need to be obtained from your GP.

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
  • We will check your original educational certificates for your level two qualifications in English Language and Maths at the interview stage of the process
  • You must pass your medical satisfactorily
  • We will check you possess a full, valid UK, EEA or EU driving licence with no more than three penalty points

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