AF&RS remove driving licence requirement from recruitment eligibility criteria

Improving accessibility to Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is the focus of a decision to remove the requirement to hold a driving licence from the eligibility criteria, at the time of application and selection to become a wholetime firefighter.

Although those applying to the next AF&RS wholetime firefighter recruitment campaign will be expected to obtain a driving licence during their probation period, driving licences will no longer be required on application to the position.

It is hoped that this change to the recruitment process will support the Service with its ambition of being considered an 'employer of choice' and in ensuring AF&RS is accessible as possible, attracting the widest and most diverse pool of candidates.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Simon Shilton said: “For many years now, being in possession of a full current UK driving licence at recruitment application stage has always been a non-negotiable part of the eligibility criteria. 

“It’s always difficult when we open for wholetime recruitment and find that there are individuals who want to apply to join the Service, but are prevented from doing so because they do not have a driving licence at the time. 

“This means we are potentially missing out on good quality candidates and talented individuals, because of unfortunate timing. Although a driving licence remains desirable, it’s hoped this move will widen applications and reduce self-deselection.  

“Those applying will still be required to obtain a driving licence during their two year probation period, as this is part of a firefighter role map, and we are committed to giving them the time and support to achieve this.

“As a Service, it’s important we are as accessible to and representative of our communities as possible and this is one way we can continue to address this and hopefully encourage those who might not have before, to consider a career with us.”

Recruitment for wholetime firefighters is due to open in the next few months and the Service is currently conducting numerous outreach events to raise awareness of the role and the selection stages involved in the recruitment process.

This includes a selection of positive action events which are aimed specifically at our under-represented groups, which include females and these from Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. 

It’s never too early to think about a career with Avon Fire & Rescue Service.

To find out more visit and register your interest to receive updates from the Service about the Yes You Can – Career of Choice campaign.