Frequently Asked Questions
Positions for the Corporate and Policy and Intelligence Pathways will be located in Canberra with a possibility of interstate rotation placements during the program.
A limited number of regional rotations may be available in second and third rotations. These rotations are at selected Defence establishments across Australia. You will have the opportunity to nominate your choices for placements during second and third rotations.
Positions within Capability Pathway and Navy CEDP may be located in one of the regional establishments across Australia with rotations during the program comprising at least one rotation in Canberra. The Department of Defence offers generous relocation support and assistance if you are required to relocate.
Graduates are provided with diverse and meaningful workplace rotations which vary in length depending upon your development pathway. The focus is on skills development with variety as the key.
Rotations are available in a wide range of functions and work areas. Graduates recruited as specialists will undertake specialised training identified as necessary for their end of program placement, with at least one rotation during the program to take you out of your comfort zone.
Graduates requiring more general corporate exposure will have rotations tailored to provide insight to different areas of Defence relevant to their development pathway as to develop a holistic understanding and appreciation of the Department. Depending upon your development program you may also partake in off the job training, social events, study tours, excursions across the wider APS and Government or other activities relevant to your pathway to develop your professional knowledge and network.
General skills training offered across the Department for graduates may include:
Strategy & policy,
Communication and Influencing skills,
Winning a Defence job,
Leadership and supervisory skills,
Defence writing, and
Additional development program and rotation specific training is provided to specialist development pathways.
Following your development year, further personal and professional development opportunities are actively encouraged. Defence can offer a variety of assistance, ranging from study leave to financial assistance.
Applicants for the following pathways must have attained a minimum of Credit average for their relevant degree:
A full list of Eligibility Requirements is available.
Applicants initially have to submit an online written application addressing specified selection criterion and complete online aptitude testing. The applications and test results are then assessed against the selection criteria, ranked and shortlisted. Merit Pools are then created from which you may be invited to attend assessment centre for the development pathway for which your application has been selected. The Intelligence Stream requires additional screening sessions as part of their security assessment process. All screening and assessment centres are held across Australia during May, June and July. The assessment centre is the final stage of the recruitment process before job offers are made. Please visit How to Apply and Selection Process for more information.
The timing of your offer will depend upon Defence workforce requirements and will take into account which stream(s) and intake (s) you have identified on your application. All offers will have been made prior to October and unsuccessful candidates will be notified.
If successful, initially you will be notified via the telephone to ascertain your continued interest in a position, upon confirmation a formal written offer will be sent. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email.
All graduate programs offer at least one intake in February of each year. The Intelligence Streams and Capability Pathway also offer an additional mid-year intake in June and September respectively.
Yes and no, we are certainly looking for graduates from all disciplines and there are opportunities for specialists as well as generalists. Explore the website to find out what opportunities are available for your degree type and make sure you come talk to us at a Careers Fair near you.
Yes, all degree qualified applicants will be considered in conjunction with the contemporary relevance of your qualification. For instance, degree holders who graduated a few years ago but have continued to professionalise your qualification through further study, work experience and/or exposure to industry may be considered to have enhanced the original qualification and may be found suitable. .
To satisfy the eligibility requirements you must have completed an undergraduate or post graduate degree, recognised in Australia, before you commence any Defence graduate development program.
No. All graduates are selected on their capabilities and demonstrated competence against the selection criteria. Our graduates come from a wide range of backgrounds, experience and stages of life – from newly graduated to people with many years of study and work experience.
Yes, you can apply for up to two streams, if you meet the degree requirements for each stream.
This number varies each year, however over the last few years we have recruited more than 200 graduates across the Department each year.
Defence averages around 4000 applications each year. This is shortlisted to approximately 800 candidates who are invited to attend assessment centres across all streams around Australia.
To be eligible to work in the Defence Department you MUST BE an Australian Citizen (if you are a dual Australian citizen, you are eligible to apply for the Defence Graduate Program). Applicants applying for citizenship at the time of application must have gained citizenship three months prior to commencement of the program.
It is a condition of employment in the Department of Defence that you obtain and maintain a security clearance. The level and requirements of obtaining the clearance vary depending upon your intended work area. See our information on eligibility for more information.
For any level of security clearance, you will be asked to provide comprehensive information about yourself, your dependants and give the Department the right to check any information which you provide with relevant authorities such as the Australian Federal Police and financial institutions. Only the candidates who accept a position on a program undergo a security clearance.
A Commonwealth medical clearance is a standard condition of employment in the Australian Public Service. The medical clearance is designed to ensure that you are fit to work in the Department. Only the candidates successful in the final selection process undergo a medical check.
Defence APS staff are employed under the Defence Enterprise Collective Agreement. Graduates for all development pathways will commence on a salary of Defence APS 4: $67,100 pa plus 15.4% superannuation. Upon successful completion of the Defence Graduate Program, graduates will advance to a minimum of $73,256 plus 15.4% superannuation.
Yes, there are other ways to join the Department – visit Careers in Defence to find out more.
Further information about living and working in Canberra can be found by clicking here.
A work experience program is available. Details can be found by emailing: Defence.WorkExperienceProgram@defence.gov.au
Yes you are and we encourage all undergraduates to apply during their final year of study. You will be required to provide proof of your degree completion prior to commencement.