A ‘Career Progression Gateway’ (CPG) is an on-line assessment to evaluate performance. This system is straight-forward, candidate-friendly and intuitive, removing much of the stress associated with assessment events for all involved. The CPG ‘brings to life’ assessment activity through interactive and relevant tasks that both candidates and organisations will be able to relate to.

The CPGs are based on the NFCC Leadership Quality Framework, assessing each of the four leadership areas in depth.

Key Benefits

  • Reduces the cost and resources required to deliver the process

  • Improved fairness and consistency of scoring by using objective and highly-qualified assessors

  • User-friendly and easy for candidates to access and complete tasks

  • Convenient and quick to deliver, less time away from operations for candidates

  • No printing required

  • All activities will meet British Psychological Society best practice guidelines for assessment and development

  • The CPGs have been designed by a team of Occupational Psychologists with in-depth FRS knowledge
    and experience

The Case Study Exercise

This timed exercise provides the candidate with several pieces of information and clear guidelines on their tasks. Depending on the level, these may be a letter or article, a proposal and a recommendation (Crew and Watch Manager) or an analysis, a strategy and initiative (Station and Group Manager).

Candidates read the information provided and type their responses into free text boxes during the exercise which are recorded for assessors to review and score online, on completion.

Case Study - CPG
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The Roleplay Exercise

Candidates access and read exercise information by logging into their CPG personal gateway screen and selecting the roleplay assessment.

Candidates are given a set time to read the scenario information before an assessor telephones them and the roleplay commences.

The roleplay is timed from when the candidate answers the phone. During the call the assessor will present lines from their script and take notes of the interaction for use in later marking.

Roleplay exercise screen - CPG
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The Values Questionnaire (VQ)

After the Case Study exercise candidates can complete a short values assessment.

The VQ is based on brief scenarios which the candidate must evaluate using a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.

The results of this generate candidate specific questions which can be used by an interview panel to further explore the candidate’s alignment with organisational values.

The results of the VQ are not included as part of the final results reporting but are added into the feedback report and can also be used for developmental purposes.

Values Questionnaire - CPG
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Assessment and scoring are done remotely by experienced VCA occupational psychologist assessors who can assess, score and comment consistently and without bias. This removes the burden on internal staff who need to be trained and diverted from normal duties to complete time-consuming assessments. Our assessors will assess the candidate’s performance using a scoring framework and adding their own evaluations based on the evidence. Where appropriate they will provide developmental guidance to add value to the feedback report. On completion, the final feedback report on candidate performance can be accessed along with completed assessment screens (candidate responses and assessor evaluations) by Learning & Development/ HR personnel online.


All results reports are generated automatically, providing Fire Services with a spreadsheet of scores within a short-time frame once all assessments have been completed.


Detailed feedback reports are generated for each candidate, including a personalised psychological evaluation of strengths and development needs, plus suggestions for next steps in developing potential and skills



Selecting the best talent for promotion is the foundation for building your team of the right managers and future leaders. Developing the processes that allow you to properly assess and select them is critical to making the right decisions. Reduced staffing and budgets over the past decade have resulted in fire services having to find less intensive methods of assessing candidates for promotion. These are very different across the UK, varying in consistency, quality, fairness and usually providing less information about candidates to inform decisions that result in the best talent being appointed.

Our Career Progression Gateway is an exciting new way to deliver one of the most important staff assessment processes within the FRS in a robust, consistent and more efficient way. It is easy for HR staff to set up and deliver and for candidates to understand and complete. Results have proved it to be a great solution to the challenge of selecting the best talent in the most cost effective, convenient way. Read our Lancashire FRS case study to see what they say and how well it worked for them and then contact us to see how it can help you.