Frequently Asked Questions

If you're thinking about becoming a Firefighter you'll probably have a lot of questions. We've answered some of the most common ones below.


What are the upper and lower age limits for joining as a firefighter?
How tall do you need to be to become a firefighter?
How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter?
What fitness tests will be applied?
What are the entry tests to join the fire service?
Where can I get information on the shuttle run bleep test from?
I have a disability: can I still become a firefighter?
What are the eyesight requirements to join the fire service?
I have recently had laser eye treatment. Can I still apply?
Will being colour blind prevent me from becoming a firefighter?
What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter?
What medical grounds could I fail on?
I have a criminal record. Can I still apply and join as a firefighter?
How long does the recruitment process take?
Can I join the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, even though I am an Overseas National?
What is the training commitment if I am successful?

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What are the upper and lower age limits for joining as a firefighter?
  • You have to be 18 years of age before or on the day you apply.  There is no upper age limit.

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How tall do you need to be to become a firefighter? 
  • There is no minimum height requirement.

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How fit do you have to be to become a firefighter?
  • You do have to be physically fit to be able to pass the practical selection tests and the fitness test.

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What fitness tests will be applied? 
  • Applicants will undertake the multi stage shuttle run and must be able to achieve a VO2 max of 42 during the fitness assessment. 
  • We have also included details of the practical selection tests on our website. 

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What are the entry tests to join the fire service?
  • Two online psychometric tests (SJT and Calculation) 
  • Practical Selection Tests (confined space test, equipment assembly, ladder climb, casualty evacuation, equipment carry, ladder extension)
  • Interview (personal qualities and attributes (PQA) based)
  • Fitness Test
  • Medical and Eyesight
  • Pre-employment checks (including a disclosure check)

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Where can I get information on the shuttle run bleep test from?
  • If you are a member of a local gym then they may be able to assist you with this, otherwise a google search will provide relevant information.

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I have a disability; can I still become a firefighter?
  • Each application will be taken on its own merits and reasonable adjustments to both the role and the selection process will be considered.

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What are the eyesight requirements to join the fire service?
  • Uncorrected vision of 6/18, 6/24 or better.
  • Corrected acuity should be a minimum of 6/9 binocularly with the worse eye at least 6/12.
  • The ability to read N6 at 30cm (under 25 years) or N12 at 30cm (25 years and over) unaided binocularly.
  • Normal visual fields to confrontation in both eyes.
  • Minor colour vision defects may be acceptable subject to the results of specialist testing.
  • Candidates who have had surgical correction (e.g. laser correction) can be admitted after a period of 12 months providing they meet the above standards and have no evidence of other complications that would impair safe or effective working.
  • Other eye disorders will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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I have recently had laser eye treatment. Can I still apply? 
  • Candidates who have had surgical correction (e.g. laser correction) can be admitted after a period of 12 months providing they meet the above standards and have no evidence of other complications that would impair safe or effective working.

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Will being colour blind prevent me from becoming a firefighter?
  • Acceptable colour vision defined as no more than two errors on Ishihara plate test. Applicants who fail the Ishihara test should be advised to contact Caledonian University (0141 331 3000 – ask for ophthalmology) for further advice should they still wish to proceed with their application. More detailed testing can be offered by Caledonian University. Minor colour defects are acceptable.

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What qualifications do I need to become a firefighter?
  • No qualifications are required, however, applicants who can evidence that they hold a National 4 Mathematics or equivalent will not require to undertake the Calculation Test.

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What medical grounds could I fail on?

Individual applications are considered on a case by case basis in line with the specific requirements of the role.  The Equality Act 2010 requires that reasonable adjustments are considered when a candidate identifies that they have a disability.  The Service Medical Adviser will discuss any medical conditions with the applicants prior to making a final decision. 

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I have a criminal record. Can I still apply and join as a firefighter? 

In accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exclusions and Exceptions) (Scotland) Order 2003 (as amended) if an applicant has a conviction or spent convictions and if the nature of the offence is relevant to the job that he/she has applied for, we will seek to review the individual circumstances of the case and may decide to withdraw candidates on this basis.  Find out more at Disclosure Scotland code of Practice.


If you are unsure if any convictions you have had are not yet spent, you can check on http://www.nacro.org.uk/data/files/nacro-2007021302-65.pdf

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How long does the recruitment process take? 
  • Each recruitment process will vary. A timetable will be provided for individual recruitment campaign.

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Can I join the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, even though I am an overseas national?
  • You must be eligible to work within the UK in order to apply.

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What is the training commitment if I am successful?
  • Our trainee wholetime firefighters attend a 14 week training course at a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service College site.  There is a residential requirement of 7 weeks during this course.

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