2017 Graduate Development Program Frequently Asked Questions
What dates do applications open/close?
Applications open on Monday, 29 February 2016 and close at 11:59pm AEST Monday, 4 April 2016. No late applications will be accepted.
What are the eligibility requirements for applying for the position?
To be eligible for the program, candidates must:
- be an Australian Citizen;
- be eligible to obtain a security clearance;
- have completed at least a three year undergraduate degree by January 2017;
- have achieved a credit average; and
- be prepared to relocate to Canberra.
What level do you start at?
Graduates will commence at the APS3 level and upon successful completion of the Graduate Development Program will progress to an APS5.
Note: Successful completion is classed as graduates meeting all the requirements of the Graduate Development Program.
What areas of study do we accept?
We look for graduates from any and all academic disciplines.
When are Assessment Centres?
Assessment Centres will be held throughout May 2016. They will be held in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
When will I know if I've been successful in progressing to the next step?
Applications close at 11:59pm AEST Monday, 4 April 2016. Shortlisting will commence on Tuesday, 5 April 2016 and we aim to notify candidates who are successful in progressing to Assessment Centres from late April 2016.
What is the structure of Assessment Centres?
Assessment Centres are broken up into three sections:
- Panel interview—you will be interviewed by two panel members (these are usually senior employees from the Department). You will receive the questions 10 minutes prior to the interview to give you time to think about how you will respond to the questions. You should structure your responses at interview using the STAR method (see the 'Applying for the APS' factsheet for more information on the STAR method.
- Written exercise—you will have 1 hour to complete a written exercise, using an iPad with a keyboard attached. The hour comprises of 15 minutes reading time for you to understand the activity and 45 minutes to complete the task.
- Group exercise—The group (there will be up to 8 candidates in each group), will have 45 minutes to complete the exercise, including 5 minutes for you to read through the activity as an individual, 35 minutes to discuss the scenario as a group, and 5 minutes for the group to present their findings to the panel.
When will offers be made?
The Department aims to have the assessment process completed by mid-June and we aim to make first round offers later in June.
Can I request feedback on my application?
You can request feedback on your application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests will be responded to by July 2016, at the conclusion of the assessment process.
Will I be notified if I am unsuccessful?
Candidates who are unsuccessful in making it through to assessment centres will be notified as soon as the shortlisting process has been completed (at this stage late April). Candidates who are unsuccessful at Assessment Centre stage will be notified at the conclusion of the assessment process.
All requests for feedback will be responded to in July 2016 when the assessment process has concluded.
What subjects need to be included in calculating my Grade Point Average (GPA) or my Weighted Average Mark (WAM)?
On page 1 of the GPA "How to" sheet there is a table that indicates the grade point for each mark. You do not need to include any subjects which you are currently undertaking or will undertake. For subjects where you have withdrawn you only need to include them if you have received an academic penalty for the subject, which means the score will be zero.
If I have more than one degree do I use my marks from all subjects to calculate my GPA or just my current degree?
If you have more than one degree i.e. an undergraduate and postgraduate degree, you will need to use all of your marks from all of your subjects to calculate your GPA not just your current area of study. However, if your undergraduate degree was completed more than 5 years ago, you do not need to include the marks in your GPA calculations.
How do I calculate my GPA and WAM?
Please refer to the "How to" sheets that are available through the hyperlink in the help icon next to each question on the online Application Form for details on how to calculate your GPA and WAM.
I only have a 4 point GPA can I use this to answer the question?
The application question refers to a 7 point GPA, if you have a 4 point you will need to use the "How to" sheet in order to convert your 4 point GPA into a 7.
My University does not give me raw marks (only grades, i.e. credit, distinction) so I cannot work out my WAM. What should I do?
If your university does not give you raw marks, you can calculate and provide your GPA. As WAM is a mandatory field you will need to put a zero in the WAM field. The shortlisters are aware that if a student has entered a GPA and a zero for their WAM that their University does not issue raw marks for subjects.
What are the requirements for the academic transcript?
You will need to provide a copy of your academic transcript as part of your application. This will need to have the Universities logo on it, your full name, the name of your degree and the subjects and marks you've completed so far. We understand that those of you who are still completing their degrees will not have an official transcript at the time of application. You will be requested to provide the official transcript at a later date should you be successful.
Please note, if you have completed your degree overseas we will require verification of recognition of this degree within Australia. This will be required at the Assessment Centre, should you be invited to this stage. For more information on how to obtain recognition, please follow this link.
What is Special Measures?
Special Measures is a legislative initiative to identify particular job opportunities as open only to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants. Special Measures is used to increase the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Public Service.
For more information on Special Measures, please see out factsheet.
Am I eligible to apply under Special Measures?
To be eligible to apply under Special Measures applicants must identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Applicants will be required to provide evidence of their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage, such as a 'letter of confirmation' from an incorporated Indigenous organisation (on their letter head).
What's the difference in assessment between the Graduate Program and Special Measures Graduate Program?
None, the assessment process will be exactly the same for both programs and applicants will be assessed using the same assessment criteria.
What is RecruitAbility?
RecruitAbility is a scheme which is designed to support the employment and career development of people with disability. It means that where an applicant identifies as a person with disability and chooses to opt into the scheme and meets the minimum requirements of the job, they can be progressed to a further stage in the recruitment process. For more information on RecruitAbility, please see our factsheet.
Am I eligible to apply under the RecruitAbility scheme?
To be eligible to apply under the RecruitAbility scheme applicants must identify as a person with disability and meet the minimum requirements of the role. For more information on RecruitAbility, please see the factsheet.
What does 'minimum requirements' mean?
Minimum requirements refers to applicants meeting all the eligibility requirements (see above) and meeting a minimum score in their application which will be determined by the applications received for the 2017 Graduate Development Program.