Inter-service Transfers

Inter Service Transfer candidate guide

If you work for a Fire Service within the UK, you may be eligible for an inter service transfer (IST) and you could join us here at GMFRS. If you're interested you can find out more about our Service and the process of an IST below. 

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is one of the largest Fire and Rescue Services outside London with more than 2,100 members of staff and 41 fire stations. 

Ours is a Service which aims to provide the best emergency response we can to our communities - from modern inner-city developments to traditional mill towns.  

Find out more about GMFRS

We pride ourselves on our integral Mission, Vision and Values. Chief Fire Officer, Dave Russel, discusses what the Mission, Vision and Values means for the service and everyone that works here. Have a listen below and think if you reflect our Service and could consider an IST:

Recruitment Process & Timelines

We advertise our IST vacancies on the Greater Jobs website. We tend to run up to two IST campaigns per year.

Greater Jobs website (external website, opens in new window)

We encourage anyone interested in joining us as a transferee to express their interest. This way we will be able to keep you updated on future vacancies directly.

Inter-Service Transfer expression of interest form (external website, opens in new window)

Flowchart of the different stages of our IST recruitment process

You can access the online application form on our recruitment website when it is live.

Here are some tips for filling out your application form:

Make sure you:

  • make note of your user-name and password to enable you to return to an incomplete application.
  • enter the information accurately, especially contact details.
  • be open and honest in the answers that you give.
  • take your time to fill in all the questions.
  • copy and paste your responses into our form.
  • print out your completed application form for your own future reference.
  • refer to our website before completing your application as this provides useful information to assist you in your application –
  • take a look at the NFCC Leadership Framework (external website, opens in new window) and our Values Framework they will help you to understand what qualities, competencies and behaviours we are looking from you

Avoid:

  • leaving your uncompleted application without saving it first.
  • spending hours thinking about your responses whilst connected to the internet. Why don't you print the pages and think about your responses off-line. You may need to refer back to this if you are invited to interview.
  • submitting your application unless you are completely satisfied with it and you have answered all the relevant questions.

You will receive an automatic email thanking you for your application once this has been submitted.

DBS disclosure

In your application form we will ask you:

 “Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected *”

It is extremely important here that you disclose any convictions that are not defined as protected under the “Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013 and 2020)”

For more information on what is classed as ‘protected’ please see the following advice guides:

NACRO: Practical Guidance on DBS Filtering (external website, opens in new window)

.GOV: DBS Filtering Guidance (external website, opens in new window)

Any disclosure will be treated in the strictest confidence and be reviewed on a case by case basis. If you fail to disclose at the point of application then this may be seen as dishonesty or breach of trust and could potentially affect your application.  

The assessment centre will consist of a range of exercises designed to assess your competence for the role against the relevant role maps and the NFCC Leadership Framework.

We can use a range of assessment methods in our selection process, and which methods we choose will vary. You will be informed on your invite to assessment about what kind of process you can expect – ordinarily we will use up to two assessment methods.

Please note: we will not assess you in all of the below methods – the below is designed to give you an idea of what you could expect.

Our methods include:

  1. Role play assessment:

Like most Emergency Services, Role Play exercises will be included in the recruitment process. The scenarios will relate to situations which may arise in the role, and will follow the following process on the day of assessment:

  • You receive a briefing document setting the scene and you will have time to prepare.
  • You will then start the Role Play with a team of professionals – assessors will be in the room observing your behaviours and performance.
  • At the end of the exercise you will be scored – this will count towards your overall score for the assessment process.
  1. Structured Interview (competency)

A Structured Interview is a method of assessment designed to measure your previous experience, future potential, key skills, values and behaviours that relate to the role of a Firefighter role at GMFRS.

  • In preparation before your interview, make sure you do your research into the best way to answer competency / structured based questions.
  1. Presentation

Presentations come in all sorts of formats, we will assess your communication skills, digital skills, organisational and planning skills, and professional style. The subject of the presentation is normally shared with you in advance of your presentation date.

  1. Group Exercise

A Group Exercise is designed to assess your behaviours and how you interact/ work with others. Group exercises are usually practical and involve elements of problem solving.

  1. Incident Command (CM and above)

For operational roles at CM and above we will assess your Competence in Incident Command. This can be done in a scenario based exercise or in our Xtreme Virtual Reality (XVR) simulator.

  1. Practical Assessment of Firefighter skills

Assessments will cover a range of core skills taken from the firefighter/crew manager role maps. Areas to be assessed include but may not be limited to the following areas:

  • RTC
  • Pump operation
  • Ladders (13.5 and 9m)
  • Knots and lines

If you are successful in our shortlisting and assessment process we will make you a conditional offer of employment to start with us.

Your offer will remain conditional based on us receiving all satisfactory pre-employment checks back.

Once we are satisfied you have met the criteria we will make you a formal unconditional offer of employment.

These checks include:

  • Medical (conducted by our occupational health provider)
  • DBS
  • References (Including training, attendance, capability and disciplinary records) from your current FRS
  • Right to work in the UK
Medical Checks

The medical checks that a Firefighter goes through are comprehensive. Please see the different checks that we do below:

  1. Vision
    1. Distance:
      1. Uncorrected no worse than 6/18 in stronger eye and 6/24 in weaker eye
      2. Corrected 6/9 in stronger eye and minimum of 6/12 in weaker eye
    2. Near: Uncorrected/Corrected no worse than N12 binocular at 30cms
    3. Normal depth perception, field vision and colour vision.
  2. Lung Function

No evidence of restrictive, obstructive or combined airways disease on spirometry testing.

  1. Blood Pressure

Within normal acceptable limits with or without prescribed medication.

  1. Body Mass Index (BMI)

Acceptable between 18.5 and 30

A medical history will be taken via a Health Questionnaire pre medical, and any pre-existing conditions will be assessed on an individual basis at medical screening with Occupational Health.

DBS Checks

This role is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions Order) 1975 and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as CRB) to check for any previous criminal convictions. All applicants are obliged to disclose any convictions cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not “protected” as defined by the Ministry of Justice in their application forms.

Please be assured that any information disclosed will be treated in the strictest of confidence and will be reviewed on an individual basis in relation to the job. This means that you will not necessarily be excluded from the application process if you have a criminal record; this will depend on the circumstances and background to any offence.

For more information on what is classed as ‘protected’ please see the following advice guides:

References (Including training, attendance, capability and disciplinary records) from your current FRS

We will do a series of checks with your current Fire and Rescue Service, which includes reviewing your training records, attendance, attendance, capability and disciplinary records from HR.

For Safe Recruitment purposes we ask for References to cover the past 5years of your work history.

Your records will be reviewed by our senior management team and offers will be subject to these checks being deemed as satisfactory.

Right to work in the UK

Ordinarily we will check your eligibility to work full time in the UK when you come in for your assessment. To check your right to work we will ask for a form of ID or a specific right to work document such as: UK Passport, Visa, Settlement Scheme Status, Permanent Residence Card, Biometric Residence Card, Birth or Adoption Certificate, Certificate of Application issued by the Home Office.

To see the latest government guidance for Right to Work checks please visit their website: 

Once we have all of your checks back and we confirm that they have met all conditions as set out in our original job offer, we will be able to issue you your unconditional offer of employment and contract.

Our IST transfer course is four weeks long and is designed to induct you into the practices of GMFRS. The course will include the following core skills:

  • Incident command assessment for CM/WM
  • Breathing Apparatus (B.A)
  • Road Traffic Collision (RTC)
  • Safe Working at Height (SWAH)
  • Fire Fighting Skills (pumps, ladders)
  • Water Rescue
  • New Firefighter technology Ultra high pressure cold cutting Lance (UHPCCL)
  • Trauma/casualty management
  • Method of Entry
  • Metrolink
  • GMCA admin (Station standards framework/MDT/Systems

Further information

You can download our IST guidance booklet here for more information.  

If you have any questions or unsure about anything, please email:

joinus@manchesterfire.gov.uk with the title ‘Inter Service Recruitment Query’ in the subject heading.