HPDS selection process

Information about the High Potential Development Scheme selection process:

What’s the Process for Applying?

Information about the process for applying for the High Potential Development Scheme.

Step 1 - The Application Form

The first step of this process is to complete the application form. 

High Potential Development Scheme Application Form (new window, DOC 1968KB)

The HPDS Application Form is a competency based form made up of three parts:

  • Part 1 - About You

  • Part 2 - Assessment of Personal Qualities and Attributes

In this section, we ask you to tell us about your skills and experience in relation to various competencies that are required as a Firefighter or a Supervisory Manager within the Service.  Here you will need to provide an example of an activity you have done within the last 2 years that best illustrates your experience in this area.  Don’t worry about you not having work based examples - you may draw on your experiences from university, school, at home, or in your leisure time as well as work-based experiences. There are 5 questions to complete.

  • Part 3 - Declarations and Forms

Make sure you submit your application form by Monday 15th April.

Step 2 - Online Tests

Should your application be successful, the next step may be online tests, which you can do from the comfort of your own home.  There will be two untimed online assessments:

  • Behavioural Styles Questionnaire (BSQ)

  • Situational Judgement Test (SJT)

Followed by three timed online ability tests:

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Mechanical Reasoning

  • Numerical Reasoning

If you are successful at this stage, you will be invited to the HPDS Assessment Centre.

Step 3 - HPDS Assessment Centre

Well done on getting this far.  The next step is an invitation to our two day assessment centre on 3rd and 4th June 2019.

As a member of our High Potential Development Scheme you will be expected to move quickly into managerial roles within the Service.  It is therefore essential that you possess the necessary leadership qualities to succeed at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service along with the possessing the essential skills and attributes of a Firefighter.  These two days will include an interview, firefighter recruitment tests and exercises to assess your leadership potential.

What are the Firefighter tests?

The role of a Firefighter within Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is a physically demanding one and so it is important for us to assess your ability to handle situations and challenges you will face.   We will do this through a series of physical, practical and written tests that potential Firefighter recruits undertake.  Don’t worry though - you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of the fire service to do well here.  These will however give you a real insight into what is expected of a Firefighter.

Here you will be asked to complete a number of the national Firefighter recruitment tests including:

  • Ladder Climb - This aims to test your confidence and heights.

  • Casualty Evacuation - This aims to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.

  • Ladder Lift - This aims to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.

  • Enclosed Space - Working in enclosed spaces is sometimes required when working as a Firefighter.  The test is designed to test your confidence, agility and stamina working in these conditions.

  • Equipment Assembly - This test is designed to assess your manual dexterity and coordination.

  • Equipment Carry - This aims to test your upper and lower body strength as well as your co-ordination.

These sessions are run by our Operational Training Group and so you will be in safe hands as you progress through the exercises.  These practical tests will last approximately 3 hours.

More information about all these tests is available on our website, including training sheets and other advice and guidance.

Videos - National Firefighter Selection Tests

On being invited to the two day HPDS assessment centre, you will be sent an information pack containing more information about the assessment centre and what to expect.  The pack will also detail how to log on to complete an online psychometric test which must be submitted prior to attending the centre.

Step 4 - The Medical and Checks

We need you to take a full medical assessment prior to joining us.  We will need you to meet the nationally agreed health and fitness standards for the physically demanding and potentially hazardous role of a Firefighter and to ensure the safety of yourself and others. The requirements for vision can be found here - Eye sight

The assessment will be conducted by our Occupational Health Unit.  This will take place at our Winsford Headquarters.

The tests that will be completed on the day will include:

  • A check of your blood pressure and pulse;

  • Checks of your height, weight and body mass index;

  • A hearing test;

  • A grip strength test;

  • A vision test;

  • A test of your lung function;

  • A drugs and alcohol test.

We will also need to carry out an enhanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Further details of the medical including what to wear and exactly what will be tested can be found on our website.

Step 5 - Internship at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Depending on whether you are a first or second year student when you commence the scheme, you will complete two or three internships during your summer holidays.

During each of your summer holidays, you will complete a 10 week Internship at our Headquarters in Winsford, where you will be paid a salary of £10.46 per hour (rate as at 01.07.18). You will also attend a weekly drill night at a local fire station. 

During your Internships and potentially on additional weekends throughout the year you will attend courses to gain competence in Breathing Apparatus (BA), Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV), Road Traffic Collision (RTC), and various safety courses including Water Safety, Hazardous Materials, BTAAC and Height Safety.  

At the end of each Internship you will have an interview with and make a presentation to the Director of Transformation and the Assistant Chief Fire Officer on a related Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service topic. Continuation on the scheme will be dependent on you passing the interviews and achieving a minimum of a 2:1 at the end of each year of your degree.  Clearly we will want you to stay with us for some time so the offer of a place on the Scheme will be subject to you agreeing to a number of commitments. Please contact us if you would like further details.

On successfully passing the final interview and on confirmation of achieving a minimum of 2.1 honours degree, you will start work as a Fire Fighter at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Yes you’ve made it!!!! Welcome to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service