After 40 years of being the premier source of training standards in the California fire service, Cal-JAC created the Firefighter Candidate Testing Center (FCTC) in 2014 to better assist California fire agencies with their hiring processes. Since then, FCTC has become an industry standard in pre-employment testing and an essential part of recruiting the next generation of California firefighters.

The Cal-JAC knows just how physically and mentally demanding the profession can be. To equip the most qualified applicants, FCTC has testing facilities throughout the state, offering the over forty thousand candidates in their database access to the IAFF-IAFC Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) and the FCTC Written Test-- an entry-level, general knowledge test that evaluates candidates' ability to think critically and process information. FCTC also offers preparatory sessions for both the CPAT and the Written Test for maximum success.

Candidates who pass the CPAT and the FCTC Written Test are placed on the Statewide Eligibility List (SEL), which is used by over 150 fire departments in their hiring processes. The SEL is a powerful tool for fire departments to utilize alongside their own recruitment efforts to cast a wider net and capture a larger and more diverse pool of applicants who have met the minimum requirements desired for hire. With 43 columns of candidate-specific experience, certifications, and other qualifications, the SEL distills highly valuable data into a single report for the upmost efficiency and is provided to Cal-JAC-participating departments for use in their hiring processes at no cost.

Currently, FCTC has 170 participating departments. CLICK HERE to view the full list of FCTC participating fire agencies.

Cost-effective, customizable, inclusive, and experienced, FCTC is a powerful ally in building the next generation of professional firefighter apprentices in California. Contact FCTC at (877) 648-2728 or email fctc@cpf.org to find out how the FCTC program can benefit your department.

The FCTC Advantage

In 2022, FCTC published the first issue of its biannual newsletter, The FCTC Advantage. The newsletter is designed to help FCTC stay better connected with participating and prospective fire agencies in California, local unions who support FCTC, and HR personnel involved in fire department hiring. It provides an opportunity for readers to get a glimpse of FCTC and the many programs in place to enhance recruitment, test preparation, and accessibility.

CLICK HERE to view the latest issues of The FCTC Advantage newsletter. Please also consider CLICKING HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.