Is there a closing date for recruitment?
No, the application process is open all year round - there is no deadline for registering your interest.
We are currently recruiting for vacancies across Scotland. If there is not be a vacancy at the station that you are applying for, we may place your application on hold or may enrol you on our Pre-Recruitment Engagement Programme, to prepare you for the formal selection process as a vacancy becomes available.
What are the upper and lower age limits for a firefighter?
You have to be 18 years of age before or on the day you apply. There is no upper age limit.
What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter?
No qualifications are required. What is important, is that you are enthusiastic and can meet the following essential criteria;
- eligible to work in the UK.
- 18 years of age or over (at date of application).
- readily available to attend station within a specified time of an emergency call out.
- have a good level of physical fitness.
- meet the required standard of vision and colour perception.
How long does the recruitment process take?
It can take between 4-6 months. Once you register, you will be enrolled on the Pre-Recruitment Engagement Programme. Support is normally provided for a period of up to 12 weeks but again, can be less or more, depending on the level of support required. When ready you will progress to the formal assessment day and following successful completion of pre-employment checks will be booked to attend the next available course.
Do I need a driving licence before I join?
No, but you will need to hold a driving licence on conclusion of your development phase and may be asked to drive fire appliances.
How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter?
To become a firefighter and to carry out this role on a day to day basis, you require a good level of physical fitness. During the recruitment process you will undertake the multi stage shuttle run and must be able to achieve a VO2 max of 42 (level 8.8) to successfully complete the fitness assessment before appointment. The practical selection tests will also assess your level of fitness and upper body strength.
We can support you to develop your fitness. When you register your interest, we will enrol you on our Pre-Recruitment Engagement Programme. During this programme, you will be offered the opportunity to attend online fitness information sessions, where the Health & Wellbeing Team will provide information on the fitness requirements and advice on how to prepare to undertake the tests, with further 1:1 support provided as necessary
What skills do I need to be a firefighter?
Other than good fitness levels, the diverse role of a firefighter requires you to be able to:
- Positively engage with the public
- Be a strong communicator
- Have leadership and team work skills
- Problem solve
- Be resilient handling situations under pressure
I have a disability; can I still become a firefighter?
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are a Disability Confident Employer. We are committed to:
- Ensuring our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible,
- Communicating and promoting our vacancies,
- Anticipating and providing reasonable adjustments, as required.
At application stage, we will ask you to disclose your disability and outline any special requirements you would like to request during the process. Reasonable adjustments will be considered. Please note that, the Service is unable to fully assess your individual health condition until medical stage and therefore would not be able to confirm your suitability until this point.
What are the eyesight requirements to join the fire service?
Read more about the medical assessment and eyesight requirements for the role of a firefighter.
If you have any doubts that you can meet the eyesight requirements above, we strongly recommend that you seek advice from an optician to check your standard of vision against the eyesight requirements BEFORE applying to become a Firefighter. Please note that, the Service is unable to fully assess your eyesight until medical stage and therefore would not be able to confirm your suitability until this point.
Will being colour blind prevent me from becoming a firefighter?
Colour vision screening will be carried out using an Ishihara Test conducted by an optician. Those failing that test will be asked to undergo further testing using other methods. Minor colour vision defects are accepted provided you are regarded as “colour safe”. Please note that, the Service is unable to fully assess your eyesight until medical stage and therefore would not be able to confirm your suitability until this point.
What medical grounds could I fail on?
Individual applications are considered on a case by case basis in line with the Equality Act 2010 and specific requirements of the role. Decisions relating to whether or not your medical issue will prevent you from becoming a firefighter can only be made following a detailed and individual assessment with our health and wellbeing team at medical stage. Please note that, the Service is unable to fully assess your health until medical stage and therefore would not be able to confirm your suitability until this point.
Can I apply if I have a criminal record?
The core work activities undertaken by SFRS uniformed employees are considered as “regulated work” under the terms of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 and therefore applicants must not be barred from regulated work or under consideration for listing. As part of the selection process we will undertake a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check for this role.
Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from working for us. If you have a conviction or spent convictions, SFRS will consider its nature, its relevance to the role of firefighter, the sentence, patterns of offending and the length of time since the offence and may decide to withdraw your application on this basis. A final review and decision will not be undertaken until conditional offer stage, when the PVG disclosure return is available. Please be assured that any information disclosed will be treated in the strictest of confidence and will be reviewed on an individual basis in relation to the job.
Do I need permission from my employer to work as an on-call firefighter?
Many of our on-call firefighters fit in their firefighter duties around their primary jobs. Others make arrangements with their employer to leave work should they need to attend an emergency. If you are employed, we suggest having a conversation with your employer about being allowed to leave work and we can support you with this.
What career progression paths are there/can on-call firefighters get promoted?
Once your development is completed, you can start working towards being in charge at an incident (Incident Commander) or becoming one of the managers (Crew Manager or Watch Manager).