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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions regarding the graduate development program.

When does the program start?

The 2021 Graduate Program will start in February 2022.

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What is the graduate program like?

Diverse and impactful!

If you would like to find out more about what the program is like from one of our Graduates, you can read their Day in the Life of article.

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Do you have age limits for applicants?

No. All graduates are selected on their capabilities and demonstrated competence against the selection criteria. Our graduates come from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and stages of life—from new graduates to people with many years of study and work experience.

You must have completed your qualification within the past 5 years to be eligible.

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How many positions are available?

The number varies each year, however over the last few years we have recruited 30–40 graduates each year. Having a relatively small cohort, has enabled the cohort to become a really tight-knit group and the ELP team is able to provide really personable support throughout the year. It is not a tick and flick exercise here!

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I am having difficulties with my online application, what should I do?

For issues relating to your application direct to our department you can contact a member from our Recruitment Team on

For issues relating to your AGGP application you can email the Australian Government Graduate Program (AGGP) or our Entry Level Programs Team or you can contact us by telephone at (02) 6274 6800

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What if I need to request a reasonable adjustment?

Please contact our Entry Level Programs Team to discuss your requirements. You will be able to request a reasonable adjustment for each step of the recruitment process.

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Do I have to come to Canberra for the interview?

No. Following the submission of your online application, you may be invited to attend a video interview and assessment centre both being held virtually.

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What does a security clearance involve?

It is a condition of employment in the Australian Public Service under the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) that you obtain and maintain a security clearance. You will be required to gain a baseline clearance and will be asked to provide comprehensive information about yourself. The Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) will undertake a security vetting process including a background check for the last 5 years, referee checks, digital footprint checks, national police checks, and a financial history check to deem your suitability to hold a security clearance which at the baseline level will last 15 years.

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When will I find out if I am successful?

Applications when applying direct to the department close on 27 April 2021 and we anticipate that offers for the program will be made around September 2021.

The Australian Government Graduate Program timelines vary, so please keep an eye out on correspondence so that you ensure you are kept up to date with the process.

We will communicate with you via email so it's important that we have your current contact details. If you are unsuccessful, at any stage, we will let you know as soon as possible. Please remember to regularly check your emails including the spam/junk folder.

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Can I undertake further study while undertaking the program?

Our 11-month program provides both personal and professional development activities including an orientation week, formal and informal training sessions, mentoring and in-house training sessions.

Due to the in-depth program schedule, graduates are not able to complete further study during the program. However, after successful completion of the program you will be eligible to apply for Study Assistance or the Australian Parliament Graduate Program.

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Do I have to move to Canberra?

Yes. The Department offers generous relocation support and assistance if you are required to relocate.

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What's the starting salary?

The Graduate Development program commences as an APS3 employee (starting at $61,570 plus 15.4% superannuation).

Upon successful completion of rotations one and two, advancement to an APS4 (starting at $68,219 plus 15.4% superannuation).

Upon successful completion of the program, advancement to an ongoing APS5 (starting at $76,160 plus 15.4% superannuation).

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Do I need a specific degree?

No. Our Graduate Development Program sources talent across all academic disciplines.

However, you will need to have completed a Bachelor Degree equivalent, or higher by 31 December 2021 and your most recent degree can be no more than 5 years from the date of the application being submitted.

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I still have a question, how can I contact you?

If you have any queries, you can email ourEntry Level Programs Team or the AGGP.

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