Thank you for your interest in becoming a firefighter. We’re not recruiting right now, but read below for the process from our last recruitment drive. Parts of this process could change during the next recruitment drive, so please only use this as an example guide.

We’re continuing to recruit for on-call firefighters. More information about this can be found on our on-call website. Other vacancy information, including support staff vacancies, can be found on our recruitment pages.

Stage 1 - Initial application form

Although we’ve not confirmed when our next recruitment drive will be, don’t worry – we’ll give plenty of notice on our website and social media that we’re opening recruitment.

When applications open you’ll initially just need to fill out an expression of interest form.

Once we’ve confirmed that you’ve applied we’ll ask you for some more details including your career history.

Stage two- online testing

Every applicant will be sent an online SHL aptitude test to complete. SHL is a leading brand of psychometric tests and is usually comprised of multiple-choice questions.

The four tests we’ll ask you to complete will focus on:

  • Dependability & Safety
  • Situational Judgement Test (Firefighter Talent)
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Calculation (numerical)

More information on the tests can be found on https://join.essex-fire.gov.uk/wholetime/how-to-join/guidance-for-online-tests/

Stage 3 - PQA application

You’ll complete a detailed online application form, which will be assessed against National Personal Qualities and Attributes (PQA).

What are PQAs?

If you want to move to a new role or indeed join the fire and rescue service, it would be unreasonable to expect you to know everything about that new job or role in advance. Instead, your personal qualities and attributes can be measured to see if you have the potential to carry out the new role. These PQAs cover your ability to work with others, to act appropriately in conflict situations, to be part of a team and to communicate effectively.

Find out more information here: http://www.fireservice.co.uk/recruitment/pqas/

Stage 4 - Assessment Day

We will sift through the top scorers from the online tests to invite applicants to an Assessment day.

As the Assessment Day you’ll attempt the bleep test first. If you pass this you’ll then be invited to complete the full physical assessment.

Stage 5 - Interview

All those who complete the assessment day will be invited to an interview. Your interviews will likely focus on:

  • Effective communication
  • Openness to change
  • Working with others
  • Situational awareness
  • Commitment to diversity and integrity
  • Confidence and resilience

Stage 6 - Occupational health

You will be invited to attend a medical examination, where you will be examined by a fire and rescue service doctor. You will also be asked to complete a questionnaire covering your medical history.

At this point you’ll also take part in an online verification test which will be a smaller version of the online test in stage two.

Stage 7 - DBS and employment checks

You will need to complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check and then complete other pre-employment checks such as us acquiring your references and checking your ID and proof of address document.

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