FAQ

What is the minimum and maximum age to apply?

The minimum age is 18 but there is no maximum age limit.

What are the height and weight restrictions?

There are no height or weight restrictions; however, a healthy weight is important because being underweight or overweight can have an adverse effect on firefighting performance, safety and on general health.

What qualifications are needed to apply?

For general Firefighter recruitment there are no specific qualifications required to apply, however, to be successful in the selection process you will need to pass aptitude tests, so having literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills equivalent to Level 2 Essential Skills or above will be required. 

Occasionally the Service will recruit for Firefighter roles that do require qualifications, examples can include higher apprenticeships or future leader programmes, in these cases the qualifications required will be noted on the recruitment advertising.

What experience is needed to apply?

No previous experience is needed as full training is provided.

How long does the recruitment and selection process take?

This can vary depending on the timing of vacancies and new recruit course dates.

For those who apply during the 8th and 10th April 2019, the expected start date is the 29th July 2019.

How long does the training take?

This can vary depending on individual ability and the timing of courses, however, the average length of time to become fully qualified as a competent Firefighter is 18 months.

What is the starting pay?

A fulltime trainee Firefighter will earn an annual salary of £22,908, a qualified and competent Firefighter will earn an annual salary of £30,533.

What are the hours?

Fulltime Firefighters work an average 42 hours per week and depending on their role and station posting they will work one of the following shift patterns:

Shift Duty System – 2 days (9am-6pm), 2 nights (6pm – 9am) followed by 4 periods of 24 hours off

Day Crewing System – 4 days on (12pm -10pm and on-call cover for the remaining hours within the 4 days) followed by 4 days off

Rural Duty System – 4 days on (6am -6pm and the potential for on-call cover for the remaining hours within the 4 days if requested and appropriate) followed by 4 days off

Do I have to live in North Wales?

No, however, if you are required to work at one of our day crewed stations, there will be a requirement to provide a base location within a suitable response area.

Do I have to be a British Citizen to apply?

You can be of any nationality to apply, provided that you have the permanent right to remain without restriction in the UK.  You will be required to supply evidence of your right to work in the UK during the recruitment process.

Are the recruitment standards different for men compared to women?

No. The assessments and standards that need to be met are the same for everyone.

Can I apply if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a Firefighter. You are required to declare any convictions for offences that are not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This includes any offences dealt with by a court of law, HM Services disciplinary procedures and any driving offences. To find out if a conviction is unspent visit www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk

Before an offer of employment is made a disclosure document from the Criminal Records Bureau will be obtained. If, at any stage, a conviction is highlighted that you have not declared, your application will be withdrawn from the recruitment process.

How fit will I have to be?

You will need to be reasonably fit and maintain your fitness levels throughout your career as a Firefighter. You will be required to undertake a fitness evaluation to determine your aerobic capacity is at least a VO2 max level of 42. You are also required to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.  Please see fitness section for more information

I have a disability; can I still apply?

Yes; medical suitability is determined by an individual assessment which will involve due consideration of any opinions or medical reports you may wish to submit.

We are fully committed to meeting our duties to matters of equality as set out in current legislation, specifically The Equality Act 2010. 

Fire and Rescue Services cannot make any adjustments to the essential role requirements, as identified in the Person Specification section of the Job Description or to nationally set Fitness Standards.  These requirements and standards have been set to ensure that individuals are safe at work, for their own protection and that of others.   

If you have a disability and feel that you are able to meet the essential role requirements as detailed in the Job Description and Person Specification, but the selection / assessment process prevents you from fully demonstrating your abilities, reasonable adjustments to the process will be considered.  To ensure that the required support is readily available, you are required to bring your specific needs to the attention of the appropriate testing centre in advance.

A medical condition or functional limitation which, despite any reasonable adjustments, gives rise to significantly increased occupational risk of the following is unacceptable:

  • Sudden collapse or sudden incapacitation
  • Impaired judgement or altered awareness
  • Substantial physical or psychological injury/ill health
  • Any other effect which would pose a substantial health and safety risk to yourself or others

Can I apply if I wear glasses?

You will be required to have an Eyesight Standards form completed by a qualified optometrist.  The main eyesight requirements are:

  • A minimum visual acuity of, right eye 6.9, left eye 6.9
  • Good colour vision (you will be required to complete colour vision assessments if you have a colour vision impairment)
  • If Laser eye surgery has been performed, applications will not be considered for a minimum of 12 months after the date of the procedure

I am dyslexic; can I receive support?

Dyslexia is classed as a disability and you will be asked if you have a disability as part of the recruitment process. When you get to the timed written tests you will be asked if you suffer with dyslexia and you should answer "yes". You will then be asked to contact us directly so as we can discuss any reasonable adjustments, such as additional time to undertake the assessments. You will be required to provide evidence of your dyslexia.

I have a beard for religious reasons; will I have to shave it off to be a Firefighter?

Facial hair (beards and sideburns) affect the seal on the Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) including Breathing Apparatus (BA) and face masks, all operational staff must be clean shaven as a face seal cannot be guaranteed otherwise.

I’ve got several tattoos; will this be an issue?

Tattoos are acceptable providing they could not be deemed as offensive. Tattoos are unacceptable if they are rude, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic or violent.

I’ve got several piercings; will this be an issue?

For health and safety reasons, all piercings must be removed before commencing operational duty.

My faith requires me to allocate certain times of the day for prayer; will this be accommodated?

Due to the nature of the role, there may be times when this is not possible. However, we actively support employees who wish to pray at work to balance their individual beliefs with operational needs. Fasting Firefighters always ensure that both their colleagues and they remain safe by actively managing their energy and hydration levels where necessary.

Can I choose which Station to work at?

No.  Firefighters are placed at Stations where there are vacancies. Firefighters may also be required to transfer and work at other stations if needed.

Do I have to speak Welsh?

You don't have to be fluent but you have to be willing to commit to our Welsh language scheme which requires all new recruits to achieve a minimum of level 2 Welsh language speaking skills within a 12 month probation period (if not already demonstrated on application) – full support and training will be provided as appropriate. Welsh level 2 requires that you can; understand the gist of conversations in work, respond to simple job-related requests and requests for factual information, ask simple questions and understand simple responses, express opinions in a limited way as long as the topic is familiar, understand instructions when simple language is used.

Do you accept transfers from other fire and rescue services?

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service maintains a transfer list for current Full-time Firefighters who wish to transfer to North wales from other Fire and Rescue Services.  However, the Service WILL NOT be referring to the transfer list for the recruitment campaign which opens at noon on the 8th until noon on the 10th April and you will be required to register online.

If you want to be added to our transfer list for future reference please email hrdesk@nwales-fireservice.org.uk with the following information:

  • Full name (including title)
  • Full address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Transferring from
  • Current role
  • Preferred location

 

 

FAQs Regarding Online Assessments

Will I be able to know what my pass mark was?

The Service is not in a position to disclose individual pass marks for this recruitment campaign, however, the online application feedback document (which is emailed separately) does advise of the percentile you achieved.   This will be one of the following groups; well below average, below average, average, above average, well above average. 

 

What is a percentile?

The most common method of reporting results is by percentile rank. In basic terms, a percentile is one of 100 equal parts that a group of people can be divided into in order to rank them, e.g. She scored in the 95th percentile in math. [=she got a higher score in math than 95 percent of her classmates].

 

My results were graded as ‘above average’ so why was I not progressed to the next stage?

We received a high proportion of applicants that achieved ‘well above average’ results and as the Service is required to use it’s resources efficiently, only the highest scoring candidates were progressed to the next stages of the process.

 

The application feedback refers to a Norm 1 group, what is a Norm 1 group?

Norm 1 is the name the Assessment and Development Consultants gave to the sample group of Firefighters and Crew Managers who were involved in the development stages of the online sifting tool.   A cross section of Firefighters and Crew Managers from across Wales were asked to complete assessments in order for an ‘average score’ to be determined and benchmarked against during the recruitment process.

 

When will the next WDS/Full-time Firefighter Recruitment be?

There are no current plans for a WDS/Full-time Firefighter Recruitment campaign in the near future, however, the Service will be recruiting for Apprentice Firefighters during the summer months (there is no upper age limit on the apprenticeship scheme) and you are welcome to apply.

 

Will I be put on a holding list and if so, how long is this valid for?

Only applicants who were successful at all stages of the recruitment and selection process will have their details placed on a holding list.  Offers of employment will be made from the holding list as vacancies arise over the next 24 months.   

 

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