The Application Process

We accept applications through our online system. A typical selection process may consist of application, interview and referee check, and some processes may use online psychometric testing to assess relevant abilities and judgement relating to the role/s.

If you are unsure about any aspect of the advertised role in the department, we encourage you to speak to the nominated Contact Officer. If you have problems submitting your application, please contact our recruitment team.


We participate in the Australian Public Service (APS) RecruitAbility Scheme. The scheme supports the employment of people with disability in the APS by giving them a better opportunity to put forward their skills and experience during the selection process.

Applicants who declare that they have disability, opt into the scheme and demonstrate that they meet the minimum requirements for the position, are often progressed to further assessment stages.

It is important to note that department’s application process does not require a statement of claims against selection criteria. This means it is easier to apply for our roles.

View the RecruitAbility page for further information.


Applicants must be Australian citizens to be eligible for engagement. The successful applicant will need to hold or undergo a comprehensive security assessment, by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) prior to commencement. The inability to obtain or maintain a security will lead to termination of employment.

If you have accepted a voluntary redundancy from the APS, you may be subject to an exclusion period before you can be engaged as an ongoing employee. Your letter of voluntary redundancy will state the exclusion period.

If your application is successful, we may conduct additional pre-employment and eligibility checks prior to you commencing with us. If you fail to meet all pre-employment checks it may result in your employment offer being withdrawn.

Preparing your application

Your application should be brief and align to the requirements specified in the vacancy information published on our website. Generally, we do not use selection criteria for applications unless they are specific technical requirements. A selection decision may be based solely on your written application and referee reports, and it is the quality, rather than the quantity that is the most critical factor.

We recommend you use the STAR model in responding to the questions outlined in the vacancy information. The STAR model is one way of presenting information that will demonstrate your capabilities through the use of a clear example:

  • Situation - Set the context by describing the circumstance where you used the skills or qualities and gained the experience.
  • Task - What was your role?
  • Actions - What did you do and how did you do it?
  • Results - What did you achieve? What was the end result and how does it relate to the job you are applying for?

It is important to remain within the word limit or your application may not be considered. Applications that do not align with published requirements may not receive consideration.

When preparing your responses, you can cut and paste from a separate document, or type directly into the field in the online form. It is important to note that some formatting will not translate to the online form, so please review your responses carefully before submitting your application. Once your application is submitted, you will not be able to change it.

Submitting your application

You will be asked to fill-in your personal details – this information will automatically populate for future applications, and you can update this information at any time. Your email address will be your user ID and you will be asked to choose a password.

Your email address is our primary method of contact with you. Please ensure that your email address is correct, current and that you check it regularly. Only one email address can be nominated for each applicant.

You can login and change your incomplete application as many times as you like, up until the closing time. If your application is incomplete, you will receive an automatically generated reminder email prior to the job closing. Once your application is submitted you will not be able to edit it. You will not be able to submit an application past the closing date.

If you experience technical difficulties, please contact our Recruitment Team via email:

Applications must be submitted before the closing date and time. Selection committees are not obliged to accept late applications. Once your application is successfully submitted via the online system, you will receive a confirmation e-mail.

Updating your details

You can update your contact details at any time by logging into your profile in the online recruitment system.

Withdrawing an application

Changed your mind? You can withdraw your application at any time. Withdrawals should be made through the online recruitment system.

Assessing your application

We base all recruitment selection and employment decisions on merit to get the best available person for the job. Applications are assessed on the basis of suitability for the classification as well as the role.


Once applications close, the Selection Advisory Committee will assess all submitted applications, and shortlist applicants for progression to the next stage of the assessment process. This may include:

  • online psychometric testing
  • interview
  • work sample testing (written or practical)
  • contacting referees.

Selection Advisory Committees may use a combination of any of these methods or may make a decision based on application (and CV) only.


Where it has been decided to conduct interviews you should be available for an interview from the date applications close. If you are going to be absent for any length of time, you should contact the relevant Contact Officer.

We will make every attempt to facilitate interviews – face to face, video conference or phone, if you are not available for interview within the timeframes established by the Selection Advisory Committee, the selection process will proceed to an outcome.

Referee reports

Referee reports enable the Selection Advisory Committee to verify information provided by an applicant. We will contact a referee to confirm information obtained through selection assessment tools and processes.

It is the policy of the department to obtain at least one referee report for all applicants offered a position.

The Selection Advisory Committee may seek verbal referee comments at any stage of the selection process. Notes on these discussions and any written reports will be made available to applicants, if requested.

All applicants are required to provide the contact details for two (2) referees in your application. One of your referees must be your current or most recent manager who is able to provide comments on your work performance. If there are sensitivities around contacting your referees, you can ask to be advised before your referees are contacted.

Work sample tests

Work sample tests are used in some instances to test practical approaches to tasks, for example, an inbox task might be used in an executive assistant selection process, or brief writing exercise for a departmental liaison officer selection process.

Online psychometric testing

Online psychometric testing is used for some roles as a method of determining suitability for roles. Applicants will be notified and are invited to complete specific cognitive ability and situational judgement tests. The results are provided to hiring managers and applicants are advised of the outcome.


Successful applicants will generally be contacted via phone, otherwise we will advise you of the outcome of the process via email.

Applicants who are unsuccessful will be advised.

You may also check the Australian Public Service Gazette notices on the APSjobs website for the outcomes of completed selection processes. For feedback you may contact the Chair of your Selection Advisory Committee once the process is finalised.

For further information

If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact our Recruitment Team via

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