Graduate Development Program: Frequently asked questions

Q: Will I be a permanent employee?

Yes. When you begin working at the department, you become a permanent employee at the APS3.1 level subject to passing probation.

Q: What will my salary be?

Starting salary of $63,719 per annum.

Q: Will I have to work in Canberra?

Yes. All positions in the Graduate Development Program are in Canberra and if you accept, you must be willing to relocate.

Q: Do you provide any relocation support?

Yes. The department will pay to relocate you, your de facto/spouse/partner,dependants and pets. We will also pay to relocate your furniture and one motor vehicle. If required, we can pay for your furniture to be stored for up 21 days.

The department will also provide you with accommodation for 21 nights in a fully self-contained serviced apartment and an allowance to help with food purchases.

Q: Does the department provide reasonable adjustments for interviews and duties at work?

Yes. The department provides a range of supports to assist employees undertake their duties effectively. Please indicate your specific need when you accept your letter of offer to ensure we have supports in place ready for when you start.

Q: What other development opportunities does the program offer?

The program offers many opportunities for graduates, depending on social distancing requirements, these include:

  • Outbound Experience - a short-term placement in service centres and smart centres to observe the work Services Australia does that directly benefits Australians.
  • Secondments - short-term placement in a not-for-profit or partner organisation. These placements are limited with set timeframes.
  • Attending Senate Estimates hearings when the department is scheduled to appear – groups to attend hearings in February, May and October.
  • The opportunity to attend one Question Time session.
  • The opportunity to attend Australian Public Service Commission graduate event and activities where you can hear from senior members of the APS and participate in activities such as the 'Graduate Hack' event. These sessions also allow the opportunity to meet with other graduates from across the APS.

Q: When does the Graduate Development Program start?

The program commences in February of each year.

Q: What are the compulsory elements of the program?

To graduate from the program you must:

  • participate in orientation
  • complete two work placements (rotations)
  • receive a rating of 'performs well' in your formal performance discussion
  • complete probationary requirements
  • complete your Graduate Development Program logbook, including all mandatory training

Q: Will I have a central point of contact for help while on the Graduate Development Program?

Yes. Dedicated Entry Level Program Coordinators are the central point of contact for the duration of the program.

Q: What career and personal support will I receive during the program?

You will be allocated a Senior Executive Service mentor who can advise you on your career options. You will also have a 'buddy' who was a former participant in the graduate program. The department also provides other opportunities, to all employees, to help with personal and professional development.

Q: Do you promote a healthy work environment?

Yes. The department is a COVID safe working environment and occupies a six star rated building.   As part of your employment conditions, you will also have access to a range of leave options including flex time, annual and personal leave.

The department provides workplace structures, systems and procedures to help workers balance their work, family and other caring responsibilities effectively.

Q: Can I undertake further study while on the program?

The department may support you to undertake further relevant study at the end of the program. Until the program is complete, we encourage graduates to focus on the training available through the program.

Q: Can I resign from my current job when I receive my verbal offer?

We strongly suggest waiting until you have passed all of the pre-employment checks and receive a formal offer of engagement.

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