Selection and Recruitment

The College has partnered with a&dc, a world renowned provider of assessment tools, to enable us to offer the online screening tool - SIFT™ (Screening Individuals for Fit and Talent) for Firefighter as a screen in our process.

SIFT™ is a series of tools designed to assess and sift down large numbers of individuals interested in applying to become a Firefighter. The result is a list of eligible applicants who are most likely to suit and perform well in the role of a modern day Firefighter.

SIFT™ consists of a simple five stage process which applicants complete online using a&dc’s Apollo™ online assessment platform. These five stages include:

  • Initial Candidate Registration
  • Realistic Job Preview
  • Eligibility Screen
  • Behavioural Styles Questionnaire (BSQ)
  • Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

The tools used in SIFT were designed and tested in partnership with Fire Service personnel such as Firefighters, Crew Managers, Watch Managers, and Station Managers.

SIFT™ is designed to:

  • Assess and screen potential applicants using specific FRS competencies and values
  • Process larger numbers of applicants than is possible using current methods
  • Give applicants a realistic job preview early in the process
  • Open up the opportunity for anyone to apply at any time and from anywhere there is internet access
  • Utilise integrated automated scoring and recording to reduce human intervention and errors
  • Assess applicants against the modern role of a firefighter where community care is a key aspect


Ability Testing

Additionally, we have also partnered with specialists in developing ability tests for recruitment to offer a suite of online tests in fire service context to further support our sifting service. This stage in the sifting process allows us to assess applicants’ cognitive ability at a level 2 standard.

The FRS Ability Test suite is a set of three computer adaptive aptitude assessments designed for selection and assessment. They are designed to be used for selection at any job level and are applicable for most job roles. Each test within the FRS Ability Test suite typically takes around 15 minutes to complete. The FRS Ability Test suite comprises three reasoning assessments, which can be used individually or in combination:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Mechanical Reasoning

Aptitude tests are among the most commonly used assessment tools. Some of the benefits of aptitude testing are as follows:

  • Validity
  • Ease of administration
  • Administration time
  • Customisation and relevance
  • Robust and build on research
  • Reliable
  • Secure
  • Enhanced applicant experience


National FRS Assessment Day:

The FSC has designed a one day selection event that can be hosted at the FSC or a suitably equipped local venue of choice. The assessment day is designed to reduce the pool of sifted applicants to a final shortlist which the fire service can then use to support further selection decisions. During the Assessment Day applicants are tested on their practical skills and if successful at this stage they are invited to an Assessment Centre in the afternoon. The practical assessments are based around the current National Firefighter selection tests.

Physical Assessment:

  • Equipment Carry Test
  • Casualty Evacuation Test
  • Breathing Apparatus Crawl Test
  • Ladder Climb Test
  • Equipment Assembly Test
  • Gym Based Firefighter Ability Tests

Assessment Centre: 

FSC have teamed up with experts in designing Assessment/Development Centres (who have supplied assessment materials to more than 20 FRSs) and created an Assessment Centre based around role related activities. There are two parts to the Assessment Centre:

The Community Exercise: 

The Community Exercise is an opportunity for participants to read through some information and decide what they think the most important elements are.  They will describe these to a supervisor, who will ask questions to find out more about the reasons for choosing these elements. 

The interview: 

The interview will include PQA (Personal Quality and Attributes) questions, and further questions which will assess the participant’s motivation for the role.


The Applicants

Our service will provide you with a shortlist of applicants who have:

  • Seen comprehensive information about the role of a firefighter
  • Registered their interest in applying
  • Completed a realistic job preview establishing their engagement and commitment
  • Passed an eligibility screen to ensure they qualify for employment against set role criteria
  • Completed a battery of assessments and tests to measure their capabilities and behaviour, and to ensure they meet the requirements of the role.

In short they are the best of those who applied!

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