Become a Firefighter

Published date: January 23, 2020

About career firefighters
Common questions
The recruitment process can take between 6 and 12 months, and involves various phases of testing.

Thank you for your interest in the Victorian Fire Services. Applications for the July 2020 recruit .

Applications for the February 2021 and July 2021 recruit courses are likely to open towards mid-2020.

Please continue to visit this website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for any future updates.

Please ensure that you have read and understand all stages of the recruitment selection process and comply with the fire services eligibility requirements including Criminal History and Driver History policies before submitting an application.

Any applications that do not comply with all eligibility requirements will be disqualified.

Following successful completion of the Written Selection Test (WST), applicants will be contacted to provide the following:

An electronic copy of your current resume with your full work history
A scanned copy of current driver's licence

There are 13 stages of the recruitment process outlined below:

Online Application
Written Selection Test
Group Assessment
GP Medical Clearance
Voluntary Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) – Practice Session
Shuttle Run
Personality Profile
Selection Interview
Order of Merit
Physical Aptitude Test
Pre-Employment Medical Assessment
Selection Process
Offer of Employment
Applications will only be accepted via the Recruit Applications button which can be found on the top right hand side of this website.

Please ensure that you have read and understand all stages of the recruit selection process and comply with the minimum entry requirements including Criminal History and Driver History policies before submitting an application.

The written selection test is designed to assess your suitability to undertake the academic content of the recruit firefighter course, in addition to your ability to deal with the subsequent demands of the job.

The tests comprise a number of elements including verbal reasoning, numerical sequences, abstract reasoning and mechanical comprehension, which measure general abilities such as problem solving, critical thinking, deduction and logical reasoning.
Payment is not required when completing the online application, however, once applications have closed, you will be contacted via email to register for the written selection test and make payment to Pearson VUE.

Please note, the application fee is paid directly to the written selection test administrator. MFB/CFA does not receive any of this fee/payment.Current CFA volunteers and candidates, who hold a current Centrelink health care card, will not be required to pay for the written selection test. This exemption may be reviewed prior to the commencement of future campaigns.

The computer based written selection test is in multiple-choice format, and comprises the following core subjects:

Abstract reasoning – measures your ability to identify and complete sequences and patterns
Numerical Sequences – measures your ability to recognise relationships among numbers to determine the pattern and come up with the next logical number in the sequence.
Verbal reasoning – measures how well you understand and interpret written passages
Mechanical comprehension - measures your ability to understand basic functioning of mechanical devices
To be selected to progress to the next stage of the selection process, candidates must achieve a pass at the Written Selection Test and only the highest ranking 750 candidates will progress to the Group Assessment stage of the selection process.

The following information is provided to assist in preparing for the above subjects and should be used as a guide only.

Exam technique

As all of the subjects are timed, it is important to allocate sufficient time to each question to ensure that the maximum number of questions are answered.

The skills assessed by the written selection tests are learned over time through different types of experiences; the best preparation is to read widely and think critically. Please note, the use of a calculator is not permitted.

In addition, there are a number of websites and books relating to career selection tests, which provide practice items and hints on how to better prepare and improve your exam technique.

Practice material can help candidates become more familiar with the multiple-choice format of the questions on the written selection tests.

Practice material below:

The group assessment component of the firefighter recruitment process is designed to assess those competencies that are seen as important for recruit firefighters. The competencies that will be assessed are detailed below:

Verbal communication
Written communication
Problem Solving
The group assessment consists of a series of short activities that provide candidates with the chance to display the above competencies in a variety of situations. These activities include:

Personal introduction
Group discussion
Individual presentation
Problem solving activities
Written Incident Brief
Each candidate is assessed on the relevant competencies in each of the exercises and are assessed by the selection panel. Panel members are looking at your ability to talk and engage with your peers, how you interact with others, and your ability to interpret information received.

There is no requirement for prior knowledge regarding the activities undertaken, as full instructions will be provided on the day. However, applicants can prepare for these activities by practicing the following:

Communication skills (both written and oral)
Presentation skills
Team work skills
Writing skills
Prior to undertaking the physical fitness stages of the selection process, you are required to consult with your own medical practitioner in order to complete a medical clearance form.

This form confirms that you are physically fit and able to undertake the physical fitness elements (physical fitness shuttle run and physical aptitude test) of the selection process.

This medical clearance is not a pre-employment medical; candidates will be required to undertake a pre-employment medical prior to being offered employment.

Any candidate who deliberately supplies false, incomplete or misleading information in an attempt to gain employment will be automatically disqualified from further consideration for employment.

Candidates are offered the opportunity to attend a Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) practice session.

The PAT practice session is designed to raise awareness of the physical requirements and techniques necessary to successfully complete the PAT.

If you choose to attend, operational training personnel will guide you through the PAT course, demonstrating each activity and provide tips on technique to assist in completing the task. You will also have the opportunity to practice specific tasks as well as ask questions.

The PAT practice session is conducted at Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC) – Craigieburn and attendance is voluntary.

Firefighters are required to maintain a high level of cardiovascular fitness to ensure they have the physical and mental capacity to perform firefighting tasks for long periods. As part of the application process, candidates are required to undertake a physical fitness (shuttle run) test designed to measure their level of cardiovascular fitness.

The shuttle run test involves running continuously between two points that are 20 metres apart. These runs are synchronised with a recording, which beeps at set intervals. As the test proceeds, the interval between each successive beep decreases, requiring the candidate to increase their speed over the course of the test until level 9.6 is achieved. The test will take approximately nine minutes to complete and comprises of 78 single shuttles.

Guidelines for the physical fitness and firefighting aptitude tests have been created to assist candidates to physically prepare for the fitness tests, however, candidates can use their own fitness programs.

All candidates are required to undertake a psychological questionnaire, which takes just over one hour and consists of a series of true/false questions. This is scheduled on the same day as one of the other assessments.

As the results are processed by an external provider, you will be asked to provide your consent for your test information to be passed on to the Fire Services.

Any candidate who has previously been notified by the MFB that their application did not progress to interview as a result of their psychological profile will now be eligible to reapply for future recruit firefighter processes.

The selection interview seeks to gather further information regarding a candidate’s suitability for the role of a firefighter. Questions asked at interview are designed to assess your understanding of the role, the qualities and skills you possess.

As part of your research you are welcome to contact a fire station/s for information gathering purposes.

The interview will comprise of both general and behavioural-based questions. The behavioural questions allow you to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and attributes, through examples of past behaviour.

This technique is based on the assumption that past behaviour predicts future behaviour. For example, you may be asked to demonstrate how you have dealt with a challenging or complex situation, what the outcomes were and what you have learnt.



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