High Potential Development Scheme

** The application process for our High Potential Development Scheme has now closed **

Make a change to other people’s lives…starting with your own

We are seeking to recruit individuals who can demonstrate that they have the passion, potential and ambition to make an impact as a leader within our high performing service.  They will need to be committed to helping the Service achieve its mission for Cheshire to be a county where there are no deaths, injuries or damage from fires and other emergencies and also demonstrate a willingness to work in accordance with the Service’s core values.

What you can expect from us

You will succeed because of who you are, not what you are

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s core values revolve around doing the right thing, making a difference, acting with compassion and we also pride ourselves on our commitment to being a highly inclusive employer.  We welcome people from all walks of life and backgrounds and have worked very hard to ensure that all of our employees are able to maximise their performance and potential in a working environment that is welcoming, positive, respectful and friendly.  

Working for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will not only offer you a varied and rewarding career, you will also enjoy a range of benefits.  We want the best people and therefore offer a range of excellent benefits that include up to 35 days annual leave, flexible working opportunities, free parking, onsite gyms and maternity and adoption provision of up to a year off with full pay.   

Once you’ve completed your training, you could be earning more than £32,000 in just 18 months, with your salary rising to approximately £50,000pa at the end of the programme once you have become a fully competent Station Manager.   But your career doesn’t have to stop there and your ambitions could take you further in pursuit of Group and Area Managers positions in the future… and, who knows, you may even be a future Chief Fire Officer.   

The Journey

The High Potential Development Scheme (HPDS) has been designed to offer ambitious individuals the ability to enjoy comprehensive leadership development and the opportunity to secure vertical progression at a steady pace.  You will learn as you go with support from managers and an assigned mentor but at the same time you will feel confident in the knowledge that you are making valuable contributions to changing, saving and protecting the lives of the communities within Cheshire.

HPDS LadderYour journey will start by completing Operational Firefighter training, aligned to the Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship Standard.  As you progress through the ranks from Firefighter to Crew Manager to Watch Manager and finally to Station Manager, you will undertake a series of leadership roles exposing you to new and varied challenges.  Spending time at each level will help you build your confidence, will consolidate your learning and help you to gain a range of experiences that will help you be a high performing leader in the future.

As we are a modern day fire and rescue service your training will extend beyond the obvious and, in addition to your operational training, whilst on the scheme you will also be rotated into other roles to give you experience within the Operational Training and Protection departments.  These opportunities are fundamental to broadening your skills, knowledge and understanding of the wider Service.

An essential part of the scheme is making sure that we keep you safe and progression to the next role is contingent upon you being able to evidence that you are competent, ready for the next step and able to pass the promotion selection process.  Promotion is not guaranteed but the scheme has been designed carefully to provide the required skills, knowledge and leadership abilities to be successful.

What we ask from you

You will:

  • Have gained a 2:1 (Hons) degree (or above).  If your degree is not within the last 5 years, please also evidence your Continued Professional Development within your application.

  • Be physically fit to take on the practical role of a firefighter

  • Want to work with, and make a difference within our communities

  • Have high standards of professionalism

  • Act fairly, with integrity, respect and without prejudice.

  • Be kind and demonstrate the ability to act with compassion and humility

  • Be honest and open and be prepared to speak up and share thoughts and ideas

  • Have the ambition and desire to progress and rise to the leadership challenge


To find out more about the selection process download the HPDS Recruitment Booklet (new window, PDF 10649KB)

Complete the Application Form and send it to recruitment@cheshirefire.gov.uk

Useful information and resources

You can find out more about Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service through our social media channels.

Last updated: Wednesday 18 January 2023