How To Become A Firefighter ACT

How to Become a Firefighter in Canberra

If you’re looking at how to become a firefighter in ACT, this comprehensive guide provides a complete overview of the entire recruitment process with expert tips and hints.

If you wish to learn more about the requirements of joining ACT Fire and Rescue, we have put together a page dedicated to this too!

1. Submit your Application

The first stage of the process is submitting an application. When applications are open, you will be able to apply on the Government website using this link (the link will be regularly updated).

Read the application thoroughly and answer the questions carefully. You’d be amazed by how many people mess this up – first impressions count.

Key Tip – If applications are closed make sure to check back regularly. Social media is an easy way to keep up with opening and closing dates, you can find us on Facebook here.

2. Aptitude Testing

The Aptitude test (provided by Hudson psychometric test)  is the second stage of the application. It’s designed to help identify the candidates who possess the character traits needed to succeed in the ACT Fire and Rescue Service.

The exam assesses areas such as literacy, numeracy, abstract reasoning, and spatial awareness. This year the test will be carried out online, with later verification required if you are successful.

Key Tip – Use real practice questions to prepare. This will help you get comfortable with question layouts and feel confident in the real exam.

I’ve recently completed a comprehensive guide to help you pass the ACT Aptitude test which you can read here. Here are some example questions from the aptitude test:


3. BEEP Test

Next, you will be invited to perform a cardiovascular challenge called the BEEP test (also known as the multi-stage fitness test). Emergency situations are mentally and physically demanding, making the BEEP test perfect practice.

The test is a shuttle run designed to measure your aerobic capacity. Participants will run back and forth between two points marked 20 meters apart. The objective is to reach each point, keeping in time with the beeps which get progressively faster.

You will be expected to achieve a score of 9.6 to pass.

Key Tip – When practicing for the BEEP test, train to score beyond 9.6. Try to make the pass mark a regular score for you, not a ceiling.

Here’s a BEEP test demonstration:

CFA Recruitment Beep Test Sample

4. Assessment Center & Physical Aptitude Test (PAT)

If you do achieve a 9.6 score in the BEEP test or fall within the resit range (more on this later) you will be invited to the fourth stage in the application process. This involves a teamwork activity, an initial interview and a physical aptitude test.

The group activity is a chance to showcase your teamwork and people skills.

Don’t be shy and if you come across a quiet team member help them make a contribution by asking their opinion during discussion. If you have a time-based task, a great idea is to offer to be the timekeeper. This shows you can take responsibility and use your initiative under pressure.

In your interview it’s important you make a good impression. Research the service and make sure you’ve prepared some questions. This will let the interviewer know you’ve done your homework and that you’re passionate about the role.

The PAT is a physically demanding test consisting of 10 different stages. You will be required to complete every stage in the test to pass. Make sure you bring athletic clothing and suitable footwear with you.

10 stages of the PAT:


Key Tip – You will only be invited to sit the Physical Aptitude Test if you are successful in both the teamwork activity and the interview. Don’t let the first two tasks become an afterthought, if you fail these you won’t even sit the PAT.

Guidance for each section of the test, plus information on training for the PAT can be found here.

5. Aptitude Test Verification

This stage is for the applicants who are successful in being invited to sit the PAT test. You will be expected to undergo a supervised version of the aptitude test in order to verify you are capable of passing the test.

Key Tip – Although going through a test again may seem daunting, just relax. You’ve already passed once and the only thing stopping you from passing this time will be nerves.

6. Final Interview

Once the Aptitude Test results have been successfully verified, candidates will face the final interview. This stage is designed to ensure that candidates possess all the mandatory requirements in order to join ACT Fire and Rescue.

Failure to provide the necessary evidence will result in candidates being unable to sit the final interview.

Key Tip – Don’t think because you’ve made it this far you’ll be able to wing it. As with the first interview, do your homework and prepare some good questions. You should prepare for the final interview with the same effort you used for the earlier tests.

Here are some great tips for getting through the interview:


7. Final Checks & Medical Examination

The applicants who have made it this far will need to complete the following checks:

  • Reference Verification
  • Psychological testing
  • Medical assessment

Key Tip – Get your references in order as quickly as possible. Letting them know they will be contacted for verification will help you ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and without delay.