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. 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.


Applicants who are currently employed as an On-Call firefighter with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, and who wish to apply for the role as a wholetime firefighter may progress (if they are competent) under the migration part of the application. If you are an On-Call firefighter within Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, but not yet classed as competent, you will be required to undergo all of the prerequisites for the mainstream application process.

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 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.

Point of Entry Selection Test Day

Bleep Test

The multi-stage fitness test, also known as the PACER test or PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run), the 20 meter Shuttle Run Test (20 meter SRT) or the beep test, is a running test used to estimate an athlete’s aerobic capacity (VO2 max). In the test, athletes must run from one line to another before a timed beep. Athletes must continue running back and forth, each time reaching the line before the next beep. Once one can no longer run, the test is over and the number of laps is recorded. As the test continues, the time between beeps gets shorter.

The required level needed to progress will be Level 8, Shuttle 8. (8.8)

Dictation/Memory Recall Test

Written Test

You will sit a 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.

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 50m 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 25kg to a height of 190cm. 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 190cm 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 and the ability to follow instructions. You must assemble and then disassemble a piece of operational service equipment 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 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.
  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.


You will be assessed in an interview. The format of this is currently changing – updates will be posted here shortly.

You may also be asked questions based on the information you provided in your application. These will be based on the competency framework.


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.  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, or verify you have successfully undertaken and passed literacy and numeracy facilitated by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.