Applying for jobs
APS Employment Gazette
All Australian Public Service (APS) vacancies for ongoing jobs and for non-ongoing jobs for more than 12 months, and certain employment decisions, are notified in the weekly electronic publication, the APS Employment Gazette. Under the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act) and subordinate legislation, APS agencies are required to advertise job vacancies in the Gazette. This ensures that all eligible members in the community have the opportunity to apply for APS employment (see para 10(1)(m) of the Act). Some non-APS agencies also advertise jobs in the Gazette.
Other forms of advertising
APS agencies may also advertise positions in newspapers and on their own websites to attract and target a larger field of candidates with specific skills, attributes or formal qualifications. Corresponding advertising of a vacancy must occur not more that 4 weeks after the date of the Gazette notice (see Directions 4.2 and 4.6A of the Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999).
Applying for a job in the APS
Applying for a job in the APS may be different from applying for a job elsewhere. This is due to the requirement for agencies to conduct a merit-based competitive selection process in many instances.
Apart from some centralised recruitment campaigns conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission, each APS agency is responsible for conducting its own selection process and these processes may differ between agencies.
All APS employment decisions are made, at a minimum, on the basis an assessment of a person’s work-related qualities required for efficient and effective organisational performance (see Direction 2.3(1)(b) of the Commissioner’s Directions).
Decisions related to the engagement of a new employee or the promotion of an existing employee require a competitive assessment of the relative suitability of candidates (see subsection 10(2) of the Act).
Recruitment and selection methods may vary across APS agencies and in specific circumstances within agencies. However, all selection processes must comply with the APS Values, with particular reference to the merit Value contained at para 10(1)(b) of the Act.
To acquire information needed to make an informed judgement of applicants’ suitability, agency job application kits may require some or all of the following:
- a cover sheet
- a resume
- a statement addressing selection criteria
- a referee contact details form and/or referee report.
Agencies will have in place measures to conduct their specific recruitment selection processes for short-listed applicants (i.e. those whose applications warrant further consideration). These may comprise some or all of the following:
- interviews by a selection panel
- work sample tests
- psychometric testing
- group exercises.
Time frame of selection process
The time frame in which applications are processed will vary—the duration of a selection process may be longer than other recruitment processes outside the APS due to the requirement to establish the relevant merit of each candidate. The contact officer nominated in the advertisement for the vacancy will be the first point of contact for applicants enquiring about the expected time frame of the agency’s recruitment selection process.
Engagement of redundancy benefit recipients
Circular 2009/2 advises that, effective 1 March 2009, the provisions relating to the subsequent employment of a redundancy benefit recipient in the APS have been amended to:
- remove most non-APS Commonwealth employers from coverage by the arrangements; and
- link the period of exclusion to the level of the redundancy benefit received.
Please refer to the Circular for more information.
- Public Service Act 1999, para 10(1)(m)
- Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 1999, directions 2.3(1)(b), 4.2 and 4.6A
- Applying for a role in the Senior Executive Service
- APS jobs recruitment website
- Commission recruitment
- Cracking the code
- FAQ: Applying for graduate positions
- FAQ: Criminal record or bankrupt
- FAQ: non-ongoing to ongoing employee
- FAQ: Rights in selection exercises
- FAQ: The APS
- FAQ: The Gazette
- Information for international students studying in Australia