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Who can apply?

You must:

  • be over 18 when the recruit course is due to start - there's no upper age limit
  • live in an eligible postcode
  • have a full UK driving licence for manual cars (category B), with your current address on. What we need and why (PDF 86kb)
  • not have any unspent criminal convictions (if you have a criminal record, you must let us know in your application)
  • have a GCSE A*-C (9-4) grade in both English and maths or an equivalent qualification.

Qualifications and documents

What qualification you need to be able to make an application for Firefighter post?

GCSE Grade A* to Grade C (or 9 to 4) qualifications in English Language and Mathematics (or a recognised equivalent i.e. Basic/Key Skills Level 2, Adult Numeracy Level 2, Adult Literacy Level 2).

We need your original GCSE (or equivalent) certificates in Maths and English. Please have these ready for the application stage of the selection process as you will be asked to upload a copy as part of the application. We won’t accept provisional results sheets, you must supply a certificate or statement of results (provided when a replacement certificate is requested). 

  • If you don’t have your originals, you can request a replacement certificate or a statement of results from the awarding body direct. This takes around 4 weeks and costs around £45.
  • If you don’t know who your awarding organisation was, ask your school.
  • If you gained your qualifications outside the UK, please request a statement of comparability from UK NARIC. This takes up to 20 days and costs around £60. ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is not accepted as an equivalent English qualification.
  • Alternatively, you can get a report from your school which must be stamped by the school / college / provider and be signed by the examination officer. This should include your full name, full qualification titles, grades awarded, awarding body name and / or qualification number and date of achievement. A general statement or letter from the school / provider is not acceptable.

What qualifications we need and why (PDF 77.1KB)


When will I have to produce my qualification certificates / statements?
You will need to produce proof of qualifications at the application stage by uploading a copy with the application. A further request may be required to view the original document at the fitness and interview stage. Don't apply now if this is not easily available.


Can I still apply if I don’t have the qualifications mentioned above?

If you don’t have these qualifications, you can consider a role as an On-call Firefighter. We don’t require these qualifications for on-call firefighters. However, you will need to live within a specific distance from your nearest on-call fire station.

More about On-call Firefighters


What documents would I need to provide at appointment stage?

Ensure your passport is in date and your driving licence shows your current Hertfordshire address and is in date. Should you reach appointment stage, these requirements will need to be in place.


There are no height requirements.

You need to maintain a level of fitness and will be tested during the selection process.

Fitness, disabilities and medical conditions


On-call firefighters

If you're already employed with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service as an On-call Firefighter and you're successful in the selection process for Wholetime, your on-call contract will be suspended during training.

On-call Firefighters are exempt from the assessment of potential selection stage and fast tracked through to the selection tests and interview. Speak to your On-call Station Commander if you have any queries or questions.

Armed forces - current and former

If you're currently serving outside our eligible postcodes, you can still apply - just contact us first at

We've signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant to treat those who serve, or have served, in the armed forces with fairness and respect.

To make sure everyone has an equal chance of applying, we don't make special provisions for current or former military personnel.

Your experience may help you with discipline and fitness, but there's much more to the role of a modern firefighter.

There's no process for direct transfer into the Fire and Rescue Service, just as there's no process for firefighters to transfer directly into the military.



If you are a reservist within any of the British Reserve Forces who is required to boost the capability of Regular Units during military operations, you will not be able to train with your unit during your 16 weeks of basic training.

You will be able to complete reservist training once you have completed your 16-week firefighter training but your release will need to be authorised subject to global crewing levels.

We would not be able to support any deployments within your first 2 years whilst you are a firefighter in development. You will be required to declare your non-deploy ability to the Ministry of Defence.

If you've applied, or worked, for another fire service

If you've completed a selection process with another fire service, you'll still need to complete our process, so all applicants are assessed the same way.

If you work for another fire service, take a look at our wholetime transfer opportunities.

Foreign nationals

We welcome applicants of any nationality. However:

Tattoos, piercings and facial hair

We accept candidates with tattoos, unless they could be construed as discriminatory, violent, intimidating or offensive to any religion or belief - regardless of where they appear on your body.

We accept candidates with body piercings, but they must be removed when on duty. For health and safety reasons, we won't accept candidates with cavities from body modifications (such as flesh tunnels or ear stretchers) unless they can be surgically corrected.

You must keep most of your face and neck free of hair or stubble because it affects the seal of our breathing apparatus. You can have facial hair that doesn't interfere with the seal, like a moustache or a small goatee.

We're an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all parts of the community.

We'll always recruit based on the merit of the application and performance in the selection process. However, we are particularly encouraging applications from female candidates and those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds who are currently under-represented within Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.


What skills do I need?

  • Problem solving and initiative to resolve issues quickly and calmly.
  • Communication - you'll be dealing with people who are injured, distressed and confused.
  • Confidence, resilience, integrity and the ability to adapt to different situations.

More about personal qualities and attributes


What happens after I apply?

Engagement session

If you meet our key requirements (Who can apply), we'll invite you to an engagement session at Joint Emergency Services Academy in Stevenage. You can:   

  • find out about the recruitment process, requirements and training
  • take part in a fitness session
  • ask our firefighters questions.

Assessment of potential

Proposed dates: March/ April 2022.

This is the first assessment stage. All assessments take place at the Joint Emergency Services Academy in Stevenage.

You'll get an overview of the recruitment process, requirements and training, followed by 3 pass-or-fail assessments:

  • Knowledge test about tall building (high rise).
  • Face to face questions for 5 minutes.
  • Physical ability and determination assessment - this will include carrying fire service equipment and reach test.
  • Tall Building (high rise) incidents (PDF 228KB)

Selection tests and interview

The selection tests will be booked for May / June 2022.

If you are successful at the selection tests you will be invited for an interview.

Please bring your driving licence and GCSE (or equivalent) maths and English certificates.

You will have 8 pass-or-fail assessments:

  • 7 tests of your fitness, dexterity and equipment handling.
  • If you pass the physical tests, you'll have a 30 minute interview. We'll send you details of how to prepare in advance.


The physical test and interview are on the same day. Wear gym clothing for the physical test and smart clothing for the interview. Shower facilities are available, subject to government guidelines around COVID-19.

Uniform fitting appointment

June / July 2022 to be confirmed.

You will have a 30 minute fitting appointment for your free uniform and equipment, which will take place either at our Technical Services Office in Hertford or at the Joint Emergency Services Academy in Stevenage.


Medicals will be offered to successful candidates in June / July – dates to be confirmed.

Find out more about your medical appointment, including what to bring and what we'll test.

If you are successful and are given a conditional offer, you will be required to undertake a full medical. If you have anything that needs to be declared in this medical (i.e. previous operations or medical conditions), we strongly advise that you obtain any supporting medical information from a medical professional to avoid any delays and potential offer withdrawal.

Induction day

A full day at the Joint Emergency Services Academy in Stevenage will take place 2-3 weeks before your training course starts. You will:

  • meet instructors and support staff
  • get an overview of the course and the commitment required
  • get your uniform, equipment and resources.

16 week basic training course

Proposed date: 30 August 2022 for Cohort 1 (Cohort 2 will commence early 2023).

Training programme (PDF 320kb)



After training, we will enroll you on the operational firefighter apprenticeship.

If you're already a competent civilian, aviation, military or On-call Firefighter, we will enroll you on a level 3 diploma in emergency fire services operations in the community (PDF, 500KB) within 2 years.

There's no cost for these qualifications.

How much would I earn per year?

  • £24,191 during your 16 week training course (£11.05 per hour)
  • £25,198 after your training course (£11.51 per hour)
  • £32,244 once you achieve a relevant qualification and are signed off as a fully competent Firefighter (£14.72 per hour).

Overtime is paid at 1.5 times the basic hourly rate. We pay fringe allowance in some areas of the county, after training.

How much do other firefighting roles pay? (DOC, 14KB)

What are the working hours and holidays?

Firefighters are contracted to work 42 hours a week, including unsociable hours and weekends. This is usually a shift rota of:

  • 4 days on, 4 days off
  • 2 day shifts 09:00 – 18:00 and 2 night shifts 18:00 – 09:00.

We might need you to work other shift patterns. We'll discuss this with candidates who are offered places on the training course.

You'll get 30 days annual leave plus eight public holidays per year.

What would I be doing?

  • Responding to emergency situations, including road accidents, chemical incidents, fires and rescues.
  • Educating people on how to prevent fires and how to protect themselves.
  • Home fire safety visits.
  • Being a positive role model and taking part in educational schemes like Princes Trust, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and LiFe courses.
  • Working with other emergency services to solve problems.

Where would I be based?

Once you complete your basic training, you may be posted to any fire station in Hertfordshire. This will depend on the service needs at the time.


Transfer opportunities for Wholetime Duty System

We invite applications from competent, substantive wholetime firefighters.

On-call or part-time firefighters cannot transfer to the Wholetime Duty System.


Eligibility criteria and restrictions

You must:

  • be employed in a substantive wholetime firefighter role by a Fire Authority, Local Authority or Armed Forces Fire Service
  • be fully competent in role with a full training record
  • have the right to work in the UK
  • not have any unspent criminal convictions (if you have a criminal record, you must let us know in your application).

If successful, you may located at any fire station in Hertfordshire. This will depend on the service needs at the time.

What happens after I apply?

Stage 1  – attend a selection day

  • We'll contact you about a month before the selection day to confirm attendance.
  • On the day, you will have to pass an assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviours (based on the National Operational FF Apprenticeship Standard End Point Assessment Plan).
  • If you pass this assessment the next stage is a formal interview.


Stage 2 formal interview

  • We'll send you details of how to prepare for the interview.
  • You must bring any documents we ask for.
  • If successful, you will be placed on a waiting list. The waiting time is dependent on the service need to run a conversion course. Providing your competency records are current, you will not need to repeat stage 1 or 2 of the selection process.


Stage 3 full medical

  • You must pass a full medical and personal fitness test to continue to stage 4.


Stage 4 - uniform fitting and conversion training course

The orientation programme below is indicative and a representation for information purpose only.

As a fully competent transferee, you will still be required to complete an induction and familiarisation programme which will ensure you are fully familiar with our policies, procedures and equipment before being based on station.

The length of the programme will depend on an assessment of your knowledge, skills and behaviours against the expected standard of an Operational Firefighter and any gaps identified.

The orientation programme will consist of input and assessment covering the following core skills:

Session 1

  • Firecraft input
  • Firecraft practical and written assessment

Session 2

  • Breathing apparatus input
  • Breathing apparatus assessment

Session 3

  • Fire behaviour
  • Tactical ventilation
  • FBT and tac vent written assessment
  • Guidelines

Session 4

  • Hazmat / LLGTS theory / IOR / Radiation, compressed and hazardous gases
  • Environmental protection / LLGTS / PRPS / Hazmat practical
  • Fire safety / protection

Session 5

  • RTC (including theory assessment)

Session 6

  • Prevent / Safeguarding / ED&I / H&S
  • Safe working at height
  • Fire investigation
  • Consolidation exercises and SC final assessment.




Any questions?

Email if you have any questions.

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