Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply? 

When a Wholetime Firefighter Recruitment campaign opens, a link to the application Portal will become available. Applications are only accepted when a campaign goes live. 

We advertise on Social Media in the run up to a campaign, advertising on the different stages and deadlines. 

There will be a Candidate Information Pack available the week before a campaign opens which will give you all the information you will need about the recruitment process. This will be made available on our website. 

What is the application process? 

The process consists of the following: 

  • Online Registration 

  • Online Tests 

  • Job related (physical) tests 

  • Interview process 

  • Medical 

There is a strict timetable for applying and undertaking the different stages. A full Candidate Information Pack will be available the week before a campaign opens which will detail all of recruitment process dates. You should note that these dates are set and cannot be changed, and no alternative dates can be offered. 

What are the written tests? 

There are two different stages of written test: 

  • SIFT Assessments – these consist of a Behavioural Styles Questionnaire and a Situational Judgement Test.  

  • Ability Tests – these consist of assessments of numerical and verbal reasoning. 

More information on all the tests will be included in the Candidate Information Pack.  

Is there any specific eligibility criteria? 

You will be asked a number of eligibility questions as part of the application process, which are: 

  • Will you be 18 at the commencement of the recruits course  

  • Do you have the right to work in the UK? 

  • Do you have unspent criminal convictions? 

  • Do you have any court judgements outstanding against you? 

  • Do you live in one of the following counties: Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Cheshire, Wrexham, Powys 

Will having a criminal record prevent me from applying? 

Not necessarily. You only have to declare unspent convictions. 

Some guidance is available from the Nacro site which you can access by following this link: " rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">  

However, if you are unsure whether your conviction is spent or not please take separate legal advice. 

Do I have to be a certain height / weight to apply? 

No. This is a popular misconception as there used to be restrictions on height, weight and chest expansion, but this is now no longer the case.  

Candidates will be expected to pass strength and fitness tests as part of the recruitment process and these are at a level achievable for both men and women of all different sizes and builds. 

How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter? 

You do need a good level of fitness to pass the physical selection tests and fitness tests. For more information on fitness please visit  

What is the minimum / maximum age range to apply? 

Applicants will need to be 18 at the time of the recruits course . There is no maximum age limit. 

What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter? 

There are no qualifications required to apply for the role of a firefighter. However, candidates will be required to pass the verbal and numerical reasoning tests within the process. 

Is there a requirement for a driving licence? 

A full driving licence is desirable but not essential. 

Can I choose which Station to work at? 

Unfortunately no. Candidates are placed at Stations where there are vacancies. 

I have a beard for religion reasons, will I have to shave it off in order to be a firefighter? 

Unfortunately yes. The Service respects everyone’s religious beliefs but there are health and safety reasons as to why facial hair cannot be accepted. 

As a firefighter you will be required to wear a facemask when you are wearing breathing apparatus. To ensure that the facemask forms a seal around the face, it is necessary to keep the face shaven to prevent any dangerous airborne chemicals entering the facemask. 

Is it okay to have a tattoo or body piercing? 

To ensure health and safety, employees are required to remove all personal jeweller where these pose a risk to their health and safety, before the commencement of duty. The Service recognises the social and religious significance of wedding rings and other items of jewellery. These items are accepted as long as they do not present a health and safety risk to the individual or any other person. For example, wedding rings, when worn, should be covered with adhesive tape, gloves, or similar throughout their period of duty. 

Earrings and ear lobe extenders can only be worn during periods of non-operational activity. With regards to ear lobe extenders, individuals are only permitted to wear flesh-coloured blanks. 

Tattoos that are considered to be discriminatory, violent or intimidating may be considered as a bar to employment. 

I wear glasses / have had laser eye surgery, can I still apply? 

Yes. Part of the recruitment process will include a medical and this will include an eye test. Our Occupational Health Physician will determine whether your vision meets the standards to become a firefighter.  

I have a disability, can I apply? 

Yes, anyone who considers themselves to have a disability can apply to join the fire service.  

You will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process and to provide details of any adjustments that you may require to take part in the selection process and to fulfil the role of a firefighter. Each case will be considered on an individual basis and if reasonable adjustments can be made, your application will proceed. 

I’m dyslexic, will I be able to cope with the written tests? 

Dyslexia is classed as a disability and you will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process. 

If you suffer with dyslexia, you will need to provide proof such as a report, letter from your GP or a letter from school, and forward it to us before the written tests. You will then be allocated extra time to undertake the written tests. 

Do the written tests have to be done online? 

Yes, all the written assessments have to be completed online. We are unable to offer hard copies of the tests. 

Can I use my mobile phone / tablet to apply? 

The system is not suitable to be used on a mobile phone. It is recommended to use either a desktop computer or laptop. 

For other devices, you need to make sure you have the minimum internet browser requirements. These are: 

  • Internet Explorer 9 

  • Firefox 4 

  • Google Chrome 10.0 

  • Safari 5 (Mac and PC) 

Your browser should also have JavaScript and Cookies enabled. You can refer to the Help section of your browser for guidance about these settings. 

The site is designed to be viewed with a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 pixels. You can check this by viewing your monitor’s settings. 

Can I have a second job? 

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has a policy on secondary employment. Employees cannot engage in this without first obtaining written approval. 

What is the salary? 

All firefighters are employed on Trainee rate of pay. Upon completion of their initial training they move onto Development rate of pay until they complete their qualification, at which point they are moved onto Competent rate of pay. 

Firefighters are paid in line with NJC pay scales. 

If you are employed under a job share scheme, these salaries will be pro rata. 

What are the hours of work? 

You will work 42 hours per week. Day shifts start at 08:30 and end at 18:30. Night shifts start at 18:30 and end at 08:30. 

What is the shift system? 

The rota system for Wholetime firefighters is the Flexible Rostering system. Firefighters work 2 day shifts and 2 nights consecutively and have the ability to roster on and off for a maximum of 8 occasions, dependant on staffing levels.  

If you are employed under a job share scheme you will work 1 day and 1 night consecutively and have the ability to roster on and off for a maximum of 4 occasions, dependant on staffing levels. 

I see that you are considering job shares, what does that mean? 

If you are employed under the job share scheme, you will work 1 day and 1 night shift, as opposed to a full time member of staff who will work 2 days and 2 night shifts.  

Your salary will also be pro rata. 

Job share opportunities can only be offered if there are other applicants requesting a job share.  

What do the different coloured Watches mean? 

Operational staff at each station are split into shifts called ‘Watches’. There are 4 Watches with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Blue, Green, Red and White.  

The reason for the 4 Watches is so the Service can provide continual service 24 hours a day. 

Back to recruitment homepage