Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship

The Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills as you work and train towards achieving competency as an Operational Firefighter.

Wholetime Firefighter Apprentices new to this sector will typically spend 24-30 months, working towards this occupational standard.

All apprentices will receive a minimum of 20% off-the-job training provided during your working hours.  Off-the-job training is all the learning and training you will receive to achieve the standard and become a competent Firefighter.

The Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship is funded through the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) Apprenticeship Levy - meaning there is no cost to the apprentice for the training or exams.

Throughout the training, apprentices will complete a range of training activities, assessments, and tasks to demonstrate their competency and compile a portfolio of evidence, which must include a Level 2 qualification in both maths and English (equivalent to GCSE A*-C or grades 9-4).  Apprentices will be supported with tuition and exams to achieve these qualifications if required as part of the apprenticeship.

If you have already achieved GCSEs (or equivalent qualifications) in maths and English at A*- C or grades 9-4 or above, you will not need to complete functional skills during the apprenticeship.

To be eligible to apply for the apprenticeship you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have lived in the UK and/or EU for 3 years prior to apprenticeship start date
  • Not be undertaking another apprenticeship at the same time
  • The successful candidate(s) will be enrolled onto a Level 3 Operational Firefighter apprenticeship. The individual's eligibility will be checked at the enrolment stage.

Candidates must notify us of all pre-existing qualifications at the same or higher level in a related subject; e.g. NVQ Operational Firefighter, Fire and Leadership Studies.

Furthermore, if your previous work experience, whether paid or unpaid, has already covered the duties of an Operational Firefighter, this experience will need to be taken into account to plan training and determine eligibility.

At the end of the training, once the apprentice has gathered their evidence and passed internal assessments, the apprenticeship concludes with an end-point assessment, conducted by an external assessment organisation. 

The end-point assessment consists of three different assessment methods, which are graded as fail, pass, or distinction:

  • Multiple-choice test
  • Practical assessment with questioning
  • Professional discussion (underpinned by a portfolio)

All elements must be passed to successfully complete the apprenticeship.

For more information about the apprenticeship, please refer to the content of the apprenticeship standard on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website: IfATE – Operational Firefighter (website opens in new window)