SFRS takes part in National Direct Entry scheme

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is one of 7 services in the UK to commit to the National Direct Entry Scheme (DES) which launches today (3 April)

The first cohort of direct entrants will work as a pilot to evidence the effectiveness of this first national accredited fire sector programme. Although DES is not new to the sector, this is the first centrally coordinated assured programme to bring direct entrants in with a view to develop into Station Manager and Area Manager level. However here in Shropshire we will only be accepting one applicant for a Station Manager development programme. The successful applicant will need to pass the same operational training in order to move through the programme and assure their ground level knowledge before going into any senior position.

The process is designed to be supplementary and complementary to other promotion routes and to be fully operational compliant and the candidate will demonstrate competence against the full range of their relevant role maps. The programme is inclusive and created to bring increased diversity to the sector in terms of experience, perspective and thinking.

It will provide the sector with the ability to benefit immediately from the skills and experience of proven leaders from other sectors as they build their operational competence. The Project has engaged with a broad range of stakeholders in developing the programme, including rep bodies, employers, and services.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Hardiman said: “We are taking part in the Direct Entry Scheme to diversify our Service. We will be looking for the successful person to have management and people skills along with the ability to be fully operational. Anyone will be able to apply, and we hope this will encourage people from all different work backgrounds to consider a career in the fire service when they may not have previously. The scheme should therefore attract a multitude of people with varying knowledge to offer and utilise.”

Direct Entry Project Executive Rob Barber said: “We hope that the scheme will draw new perspectives and experiences from the brightest and best who might not ordinarily have seen a career in the fire and rescue service as being open or attractive to them.

“Being a Fire Officer is a tough job at times, but it is a hugely rewarding one. I am excited to see who puts themselves forward for this fantastic opportunity.

“The response from services wishing to be “early adopters” has been encouraging and I am confident we will be able to offer a compelling proposition to candidates from across the whole of the UK.”

To apply visit Direct Entry Programme, Station Manager, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (

For further information about the project, contact the Leadership Programme project team, at: Questions relating to the recruitment process can be directed to Reed, at:


4th April, 2023