About the National Graduate Program
Our National Graduate Program (NGP) is not your ordinary graduate program. When you apply for our NGP you are applying to be part of something big.
The NGP offers a multitude of opportunities that will allow you to use the skills and knowledge you gained through university and prior work experience.
As part of the NGP, you will have access to numerous professional development opportunities, mentoring arrangements and specialist events.
Watch our latest graduates experience orientation and hear about the unique and exciting opportunities the NGP offers.
The department strongly supports workplace diversity and values the contribution of people from diverse backgrounds. In particular, applications are encouraged from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including refugees and humanitarian entrant applicants.
If you obtained your degree at an overseas university, you will need to have it recognised by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR). Please visit the Australian Education International website or contact 1300 615 262 for more information.
If you have completed a single bachelor degree, you will commence the NGP on a salary of $56,069 (Graduate APS pay point 1).
If you have an ICT degree, multiple degrees, honours or postgraduate qualifications, you will commence on a salary of $62,493 (Graduate APS pay point 2).
On successful completion of the program, you will progress to APS5 classification with a salary of $69,699.
If you successfully complete the NGP and are engaged in ICT, legal or professional streams (as identified in the department's Enterprise Agreement) you will be eligible for advancement within the APS5 broadbands.
These figures are based on an anticipated salary increase effective from 1 July 2013. Please see the department’s Enterprise Agreement for more information.
The department offers two pathways to choose from when applying for the NGP. If you are not sure which is best suited to you, you can apply for both; however, different methodologies will be used for assessing individuals for each pathway. If successful, you will only be placed in one of the two pathways.
If you do not have a particular professional area you wish to work in or if your degree does not fit into a particular profession this option is for you. The NGP accepts all disciplines of study and we have an area of work for everybody.
Past Generalist graduates have been placed in a range of different work areas that have seen them:
- liaising with other government departments and building on their networking and communication skills
- contributing to policies that support the government’s agenda to improve services to all Australian’s through Service Delivery Reform
- coordinating and drafting Question Time Briefs, Senate Estimates and Ministerial briefs, speeches and presentations, contributing to Annual Reports and developing Risk Management and Business Continuity Plans
- providing support to the Minister, Secretary and the Executive.
Graduates in the Generalist pathway will possess the following requirements:
- the ability to undertake specialist or technical research and analysis and present information and findings
- strong written and verbal communication skills
- proven drive and integrity in relation to achieving work objectives and the ability to establish positive working relationships with team members and stakeholders through the use of effective networks and targeted communication
- the ability to problem solve, think laterally and use innovation to make sound judgements.
This option is for you if you would like your career to focus in one particular area. Areas on offer include allied health, communication, finance, human resources, information and communication technology and legal.
The Professional pathway allows you to apply your knowledge, skills and abilities within a professional or technical area and develop your career in a particular profession. This pathway will allow you to work in your area of interest and develop your skills for accreditation purposes if required.
If you wish to apply for the Professional pathway, you should have a comprehensive understanding of contemporary issues and practices related to your professional area of expertise or technical discipline as well as the above requirements from the Generalist pathway.
We recognise that you have a lot to offer and learn during the NGP.
If you enter the Generalist pathway, you will have two five month placements. This gives you the opportunity to apply your skills in diverse areas of the department and to learn how different business areas operate.
If you enter the Professional pathway, you will be placed into one role during the 10 month program. This will allow you to develop your skills in a specific work environment and to have the support of suitably qualified individuals, particularly if you are seeking additional accreditation relating to your qualification.
You may be released for short periods to help other areas of your branch or have a customised placement to gain experience in a different area. This is only done with the support of your supervisor and is subject to business requirements.
Orientation will introduce you to working within the Australian Public Service (APS) and the department, and outline what opportunities will be available to you throughout the NGP. You will also undertake cultural awareness training and multicultural training, and commence your Diploma of Government during this time. We will arrange for you to arrive in Canberra the night before orientation.
Support, SES Mentors and buddies
We have a dedicated NGP team to help you throughout the program. The team works closely with your Senior Executive Service (SES) Mentor, your supervisor and a previous graduate buddy. Together they ensure you transition successfully into in the NGP.
We all work towards making your time in the NGP a successful and rewarding experience.
Want to know more about what an SES Mentor provides you? Watch our video where we interviewed mentors and graduates about this unique opportunity that we provide.
Professional development events, accredited learning and further study
As part of the NGP you have the opportunity to participate in a variety of events and training options. These are designed to:
- develop your networking skills
- develop your career
- expose you to the operations of the department
- broaden your understanding of the APS and the Australian Parliamentary process.
When you start the NGP, a customised training plan will be developed between yourself, your supervisor and the NGP team.
You will also complete a Diploma of Government with both face to face and online training. The diploma allows you to select from a suite of modules that will focus your training on your individual interests.
The majority of training is conducted in Canberra during business hours with opportunities for some learning delivered by distance.
Whilst on the program, you are not encouraged to conduct any further study other than training sessions that are available to you through the NGP or your workplace. The department may support you to undertake further relevant study on successful completion of the NGP.
Completing the National Graduate Program
To successfully complete the NGP, you must complete all mandatory components of the program, pass your probationary period and your regular performance reviews. Once you graduate from the NGP you will be promoted to the APS 5 classification level.
What else is offered
Like many APS agencies, we promote a healthy work-life balance. As part of your employment conditions, you will have access to a variety of leave entitlements, including flex time, personal leave, special leave and sick leave.
See the department’s Enterprise Agreement for more information.
If you have any questions about the NGP, you have an entire team of people who can help you.