How to apply

This page provides information on how to apply for a current vacancy and outlines the application and selection process.

Before you start


The following eligibility criteria apply:

Australian citizenship

You must be an Australian citizen when you start employment with us, unless otherwise stated in the job description.

Redundancy benefits

If you have received a redundancy benefit or incentive to retire payment from an Australian Public Service (APS) Agency or the Australian Parliamentary Service, you cannot be engaged unless you have served the applicable redundancy benefit restriction period.

Character check

A character check may include:

  • National Criminal History Check (NCHC)
  • security clearance
  • Working with Children or Vulnerable People check
  • referee check, which may include checks on misconduct or code of conduct proceedings

Health clearance

You will need to undergo a medical examination if you are not a current ongoing APS employee. The examination is to confirm your fitness for duty and identify any reasonable adjustments in the workplace.


You will have to meet a probationary period of 6 months if you are not a current ongoing APS employee. During this time your conduct and work performance will be assessed and you will need to meet the required standard for employment.

Security clearance

You may need to hold or be able to obtain a security clearance if it is identified in the job description. Your security clearance will be conducted by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency on our behalf.

Our offers of employment are made subject to you meeting all of the required pre-employment checks. If we receive an unsatisfactory report on any of the checks, your offer of employment may be withdrawn.

Hints when lodging your application online

You need to be aware of the following when you lodge your application online:

  • make sure you have all the documentation ready to complete your online application, including:
    • personal details such as email, phone number and address
    • a final version of your CV or Resume, including 2 referees with 1 being a current manager
    • a copy of your statements against the selection criteria in a word document, if applicable, so you can paste it into the online application form. Word limits may apply for each criteria so make sure you check this information early
    • please allow sufficient time to complete your online application and ensure that it is complete before submitting as you will be unable to access it for further updates
    • an email confirmation will be sent to you to confirm what role you applied for

Accessibility support

If you cannot access the Internet or a computer to complete the application process, or you have particular accessibility requirements that need to be met in order to submit your application, please email or contact the Recruitment Services Team on 1800 906 144, select option 1 DHS staff then option 1 HR Services followed by option 3 Recruitment Services.


We participate in the Australian Public Service (APS) RecruitAbility Scheme. The scheme supports the employment of people with disability in the APS by giving them a better opportunity to put forward their skills and experience during the selection process.

Applicants who declare they have disability, opt into the scheme and demonstrate that they meet the minimum requirements for the position, are automatically progressed to further assessment stages.

Once we receive your application

Assessing your application

We use a streamlined selection process and applications are rigorously short listed. Selection committees may then choose between a number of different assessment methods. These include, but are not limited to:

  • contacting referees
  • making an assessment based on the application and referee report alone
  • conducting interviews
  • examining work samples and conducting performance tests which could be written or practical

We base all recruitment selection and employment decisions on merit to get the best available person for the job.

Your application

Applications form the basis to short listing applicants for further assessment. Ensure you:

  • check the closing date and time on the job description and submit your application by the due date
  • provide important information about you and your suitability for the role and address the knowledge, skills and attributes required for the job
  • include accurate and relevant information about your work history, experience, education, and skills
  • address the selection criteria and use specific work examples describing how you have contributed to a process or an outcome, include details of what you did and the result, and how this relates to the criteria and the duties of the advertised position

Referee check

Referee checks enable the selection committee to verify information provided by the applicant. We will use them to confirm impressions obtained from other forms of assessment, for example, at interview.

The selection committee can request a written report or seek verbal comments at any stage in the selection process. Notes on these discussions and any written reports will be made available to you on request.

You will be required to provide the contact details for 2 referees who are in a position to comment on your capabilities relating to the job. Ideally one of your referees should be your current or most recent manager. You should advise the selection committee if there are sensitivities around seeking a reference from your manager that may impact on your current employment.


We will consider you as being available for an interview from the date applications close. If you are going to be absent for any length of time, you should let the Contact Officer know before going on leave.

Short listing is rigorous and interviews are not automatically granted. The selection committee may decide that interviews are not necessary and fill the vacancy based on written application and referee report only. If you are attending an interview, the selection committee will assess your capabilities against the selection criteria.

Selection results

We will advise you of the outcome of the process by email. You may also check the Australian Public Service Gazette notices on the APSjobs website for the outcomes of completed selection processes. You can contact the chair of your selection committee for individual feedback after the process is finalised.

If you are successful, we will conduct pre-employment and eligibility checks before you start with us. We recommend you wait for a written offer of employment before ceasing your current employment. If you fail to meet all pre-employment checks it may result in our employment offer being withdrawn.

More information

You can speak to the Contact Officer listed in the job description if you would like more information or have a question regarding a job advertisement.

If you have any general recruitment questions please email or phone 1800 906 144, select option 1 DHS staff then option 1 HR Services followed by option 3 Recruitment Services.

Page last updated: 17 June 2016

This information was printed Wednesday 28 September 2016 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.