Visual standards for firefighters

Thinking about becoming a firefighter? You're awesome. But if you have any doubts about your eyesight, we recommend that you book a test with your optician. Use the following criteria as a checklist to make sure you're good to go!


  • Vision must be binocular
  • Have a minimum uncorrected distance visual acuity of 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye
  • Have a corrected visual acuity of 6/9 binocularly with a minimum of 6/12 in the worse eye
  • Have no more than +3.00 dioptres of hypermetropia in each eye
  • Be able to read N6 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open (applicants aged 25 years and under)
  • Be able to read N12 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open (applicants 26 years and over)
  • Have a normal visual field in each eye, as determined by confrontation techniques and formal testing methods
  • Have no history of night blindness or any ocular disease that is likely to progress and result in future failure of the visual standards for serving firefighters
  • Have an appropriate level of colour perception. Where the applicant fails the Ishihara test they will be required to undertake the Farnsworth D15 and possibly (dependent upon the result of the Farnsworth D15) the Nagel Anomaloscope. We recommend that you contact your optician for a Farnsworth test and ask that the results are emailed to for an Occupation Health Advisor’s opinion
  • Individuals who have had Radial Keratotomy cannot be considered for operational firefighting duties due to the relatively high incidence of refractive instability
  • Individuals who have undergone the following types of refractive surgery can be considered six months following surgery, provided the limit of surgical correction has not exceeded 8D:

- Photorefractive Keratectomy

- Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)

- Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK)