The recruitment process can take between 6 and 12 months, and involves various phases of testing.
Before you start
Thank you for your interest in the Victorian Fire Services. Applications for the July 2020 recruit courses are currently closed.
The fire services opened applications for 7 days from midday Monday 18 November and closed midday Monday 25 November 2019.
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.
Written selection test
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.
The Written Selection Test (WST) was developed and is administered by Pearson VUE. The cost to undertake the written selection test is $176.00 (including GST).
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.
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.
Physical aptitude test - practice session (Voluntary)
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.
Shuttle run (beep test)
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.
Personality profile (CPI)
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.
It is recommended that you provide your response in the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format.
Situation: Briefly describe the background, situation or issue.
Task: Explain what needed to be done to address the problem or complete the task and what was required of you.
Action: Explain the action undertaken and why you took that course of action. Include information on any difficulties or problems faced.
Result: What was the result of the actions? What was learnt as a result of the situation?
Suggestions for preparing for the selection interview include:
- Think critically about the role and what skills, abilities and qualities you would think would be necessary to perform the role.
- Draw on past experiences that demonstrate strengths applicable to the position
- Brainstorm a number of examples that you can draw on from both your personal and professional life that demonstrate your strengths, abilities and skills.
- Practice structuring responses to possible questions based on the above elements
- Perform mock interviews and role play scenarios with family and friends.
Order of Merit
The order of merit is created from candidate's Written Selection Test, Group Assessment and Selection Interview scores.
Pre-employment medical assessment
Prior to an offer of employment being made, candidates will be required to undertake a comprehensive pre-employment medical examination with the Brigade Medical Officer.
Candidates are required to meet standards of medical fitness for firefighters and complete a drug screen in accordance with the drug policy.
Conditions, including but not limited to asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, hearing or eyesight disorders (including colour blindness) may result in you being deemed unfit to undertake firefighting duties.
If you believe you have a particular condition that may prevent you from being granted medical clearance and you wish to clarify this prior to submitting your application, please contact:
St Kilda Road Medical Centre
Level 1, 391 St Kilda Road
email: [email protected]
During this stage, applicants that are recommended at the selection interview will undergo a number of pre-employment checks, including reference checks, driving history checks, police checks, and a pre-employment medical. Applicants will also be fitted for their uniforms at the conclusion of this stage.
Offer of employment
A candidate selected for employment will be made a formal offer of employment in writing, including details on when and where to commence training as a recruit firefighter.
Successful candidates will be expected to attend an induction evening prior to the commencement of the recruit course.
Once you receive an offer of employment you will be required to obtain a Heavy Rigid licence. Further details will be provided with your offer of employment.
Victorian Career Firefighters Course
Candidates who accept an offer of employment will be required to undertake a 20-week recruit training course at the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre (VEMTC) in Craigieburn.
The hours of work during training will be a rotating shift of four days on and four days off over an eight-day cycle, between the hours of 07:00 and 17:00, including weekends (unless otherwise advised).
CFA recruits will be offered accommodation whilst attending VEMTC training facility. MFB recruits may be offered accommodation subject to meeting eligibility criteria. The course is not a live-in program and recruits may be required to arrange their own accommodation where necessary.
The recruit course is an intensive training program that can be both physically and mentally demanding. Successful completion of all components of the course is mandatory in order to achieve the level of competence required to operate safely and effectively as an on shift firefighter.
The Victorian Recruit Firefighting course is comprised of endorsed industry standards and is based on units from PUA20601 Certificate II in Public Safety (Firefighting & Emergency Operations) and PUA30601 Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting & Emergency Operations) including enterprise specific training.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE WRITTEN SELECTION TEST
The Victorian Fire Services recently engaged a new provider of the Written Selection Test. Pearson VUE has now been contracted to deliver the Written Selection Test stage of the career firefighter selection process.
APPLICANTS WHO WERE SUCCESSFUL AT THE 2018 AND 2019 ACER WRITTEN SELECTION TEST (WST):
If successful in progressing through the selection process, for the July 2020 process, applicants will be required to undertake (at no cost) the Pearson VUE Written Selection Test in order to finalise their position on the Order of Merit prior to offers of employment being made.