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Basegrade Firefighter Recruitment FAQ


I would like more information on QFES firefighter recruitment. Can an application pack be posted to me?

This website is the main point of reference for interested candidates as information on the recruitment process is updated regularly.

If I have applied previously, do I have to apply again?

Yes. Previous applications are not considered in the current recruitment campaign. All assessments will need to be completed again regardless of which stage you progressed to previously.

Is there a limit to how many times I can apply?

You are only permitted to submit ONE application in each recruitment campaign. However if you have been unsuccessful previously you may apply again.

I do not have access to a computer or an email address. How do I apply?

Applications are only taken online and all correspondence between the QFES Recruitment Team and candidates is by email. Some of the assessment tasks are also completed online. Candidates will need to find access to a computer to complete this process. You will not be able to complete the online assessment on tablets, phones or mobile devices.

I am having trouble completing my application. What can I do?

Check you have answered all questions in the online application form. Some questions are designed to identify candidates who don’t meet entry requirements e.g. minimum Australian Provisional P2 driving licence and minimum educational qualifications. If you do not meet these, your application cannot be progressed.

Can any of the recruitment tests be undertaken interstate?

The online components can be completed anywhere. The supervised cognitive ability testing, Queensland Physical Abilities Test (QPAT1), interviews and psychological assessments are conducted in Brisbane and some regional areas.


Is there an age limit?

No, but you must have a current manual motor vehicle driver licence (or equivalent which can be transferred to an Australian licence) when applying. The minimum is a Provisional P2 (green licence).

Can I apply if I have a criminal record?

All applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, however some offences may mean applications are not progressed.

Do I have to be a permanent resident or citizen?

Yes. Applications are only accepted from Australian and New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia.

QFES does not sponsor applicants with other citizenships through the visa application process.

If you are a New Zealand citizen, you are eligible to work in Australia. You will however need to provide proof of eligibility to work in Australia, e.g. a copy of your valid New Zealand passport, have a current and valid driver licence that can be transferred to a Queensland driver licence (Provisional P2 or above).

Do I need to have a manual MR (Medium Rigid) licence?

No, but in addition to their driver licence, candidates must be prepared to obtain a MR manual licence prior to commencement on a recruit course.

I have a medical condition. Can I apply?

Candidates must satisfy all QFES medical requirements to progress. Some medical conditions have been identified as significant for firefighters, however all applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, and final determination on a candidates medical suitability is made by the QFES Medical Advisor. For further information refer to the QFES Medical Standards.
All applicants should ensure that information from treating doctors/specialists relating to any pre-existing medical conditions is available at the time of their medical assessment. This will allow timely assessment and avoid delays the processing of their applications.

Selection Process

What does the recruitment process involve?

  • Meeting minimum requirements for application
    • Successful completion of the Beep Test
    • Manual C Class driver licence held for at least 1 year or manual Medium Rigid driver licence
    • Minimum 2 years full time or equivalent general paid work experience
    • Successful completion of Year 12, or equivalent as recognised by QFES-Australian/New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Residence Status
  • Online application form
  • Online Cognitive Ability Test
  • Supervised testing (cognitive, mechanical, reasoning ability and literacy assessment)
  • Queensland Physical Abilities Test (QPAT1)
  • State panel interviews
  • Psychological assessment
  • Integrity checks and referee reports
  • Medical assessment
  • Criminal History Check

For more information on the process, come along to one of the information sessions.

Does training in the Queensland Auxiliary, Rural Fire Service or other emergency services such as SES help?

Previous experience and qualifications related to community work may enhance a candidate’s performance, but does not guarantee they will be more competitive or gain employment with QFES.

Where can I complete the beep test (shuttle run)?

You will need to take a Certificate of Indemnity and Fitness Form to your usual General Practitioner to certify that you are physically fit to undertake the physical fitness assessments. This is NOT a full medical, merely a certification that you are able to undertake the assessment.

There are two options for completing the beep test:
1) You can complete the required beep test during one of the QPAT1 demonstration days free of charge. QFES assessors will conduct the assessments on the same day and at the same location as the demonstrations. Should you choose to complete your beep test at a QPAT Demonstration you can do this at any session, even the ones before applications open, but you must have completed the assessment before applications close.
2) Alternatively, you can complete the beep test at a Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC). Each PCYC has different testing arrangements and may charge a fee for you to undertake this assessment. A list of PCYCs can be found here.

You must take your completed Certificate of Indemnity and Fitness Form with you as well as photographic ID with you e.g. licence or passport. The assessor will note your result on the form and also sign and stamp it to verify the test result.

You are required to successfully complete a Level 8.6, this means you must reach Level 8.7 to demonstrate successful completion of Level 8.6. This is a pass/fail assessment, there is no merit in this assessment. You are NOT required to complete this assessment further than successful completion of Level 8.6.

Any costs associated with this will not be reimbursed.

Do you have any material available to help prepare for the online assessments?

The online test considers cognitive ability. There is no need to study for the assessment. It is important to be well rested and in a quiet environment which is free of distractions.

Do you have demonstrations or guidelines to help prepare for the Queensland Physical Abilities Test (QPAT1)?

Yes. QPAT1 demonstration sessions will be running in the lead up to applications re- opening and during the application period. It is highly recommended that you attend a QPAT1Demonstration.

You will find information about the QPAT1 and how to prepare here and can watch demonstration videos here.

Do you have any guidelines to help prepare for the interview?

The panel interview process is a critical part of the selection process and is subject to rigorous assessment. The interview will seek further information regarding specific capabilities required for the position.
You will be expected to articulate your motivation for wanting to become a firefighter and what attributes and qualities you would bring to QFES. Be prepared to answer behavioural based and scenario questions.
It is expected that candidates will have a good understanding of the role of a firefighter. Itis highly recommended that you conduct research regarding the role of a firefighter such as visiting a station and speaking with firefighters.

Do I have to pay for any of the recruitment selection testing?

Candidates will need to pay for the following should they be progressed along the recruitment process:

  • Internet access to complete the testing
  • travel and other related costs (i.e. accommodation)
  • beep test, pre-employment medical, additional medical reports and specialist reports

If I progress, how will I know when assessments are being conducted?

QFES Recruitment will contact you by email to advise of your progress. However a timeline of the recruitment process will be available on the QFES website. Please be aware, whilst unlikely, these dates are subject to change and you may be required to attend testing outside this timeline.

Can I attempt an assessment more than once in a campaign?

No. If you are unable to attend or do not successfully complete an assessment, you will not be provided with an opportunity to re-attempt. There is no flexibility with regard to assessment dates and QFES Recruitment is unable consider any requests for such.

If I pass all assessments will I receive an offer of appointment?

Not necessarily. The process is highly competitive and offers are determined on the basis of merit. QFES attracts a large number of applicants for a very small number of jobs. On average, less than 2 per cent of applicants are successful in being offered a place on a recruit course. Recruit allocation numbers and offers of appointment are subject to the operational requirements of QFES.

Recruit Training

Do I get paid during my initial training to become a firefighter?

Yes. For further information refer to the QFES Pay Scale.

Where and when does the recruit training program take place?

The Recruit Course training takes place at the School of Fire and Emergency Services Training, Brisbane. The course runs for 16 weeks with hours varying according to the scheduled training, although the majority of training is conducted Monday to Friday.

What happens at the recruit training program?

The course comprises intensive practical and theoretical instruction. Assignments and tests are used to assess recruits’ competency. Recruits must attain the required standard for each competency.

Is there a probationary period?

Yes. A 12-month probationary period applies upon commencement on the Recruit Course.

Employment and Conditions

How long is the tenure period for a Firefighter?

The initial period of tenure for a QFES Firefighter is four years, except for Mt Isa which is five years. Tenure is to commence upon the first day of recruit training. Firefighters are required to serve a minimum of four years in their appointed Employment Location before becoming eligible for a transfer.

It is a condition of employment that firefighters may be required to work at other stations within their employment location within their region, with the exception of Mt Isa in Northern Region.

Can I transfer employment locations?

After the initial four year period, firefighters may be eligible to apply for a transfer to another location. However, transfers are not automatic and are dependent on vacancies and associated waiting lists. Applications for transfers must be made in line with the relevant QFES policies and procedures.

Do Firefighters only work shift work?

No. Most firefighters work a 10/14 roster system which is two day shifts followed by two night shifts and then four days off. However, there are some stations that only have day shifts and there are some roles within QFES that are regular business hours.

There are a number of opportunities and options within QFES to provide flexibility and a good work/life balance, however firefighters are always operational and can be called for duty to assist in emergency situations.

Do I receive extra penalties for working at night or on weekends?

No. A firefighter is paid a total or rolled up rate. This includes the ordinary time rate of pay for an operational firefighter as well as the ‘shift allowance’, ‘weekend shift’, ‘night shift’ and ‘38 hour allowance’. However, firefighters do receive public holiday and overtime penalties.

Can firefighters take their holidays during school holidays or anytime they want to?

No. Firefighters are rostered onto leave blocks with leave taken when their group’s leave period falls due. Recruit firefighters must also complete a defined period of service before they are able to access periods of annual leave.

Who can I contact for more information?

For enquiries please email