Directions Program recruitment process

There are a number of steps in the Directions Program recruitment process.

On this page

Step 1: Online application

You are required to upload three documents for your application:

  • Up-to-date resume.
  • One page cover letter detailing why you are interested in a career with the AFP.
  • Documentation to confirm your Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island heritage.

Attach your updated resume

Your resume is a snapshot of your experience, qualifications, skills and qualities. Your resume needs to be clear, concise and organised, including the following details:

  • Each organisation and position you have worked in, including dates. Make sure you include casual work and unpaid experiences.
  • A summary of the position(s) and any notable achievements in each position.
  • Qualifications or courses of study.
  • Any volunteer work that you have participated in.
  • Achievements, including school, community, sporting or related to employment.
  • Contact details of at least two people who the AFP can contact to discuss your work performance and/or general character.

Writing your cover letter

You are required to submit a one page (maximum) cover letter. Your cover letter should address a bit about yourself and why you are interested in a career with the AFP.

It is important that you tell us about yourself in your cover letter. We are not looking for an overview of your previous work experience or your personal achievements, we can find that information in your resume.

Attach your documentation to confirm your Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage

The filling of this vacancy is intended to constitute an affirmative measure under subsection 8(1) of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975. This vacancy is only available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Island people.

To be eligible to apply for the Directions Program, under the affirmative measure you must provide evidence of your Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

You must provide evidence that you:

  • Are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander decent; and
  • Identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; and
  • Are accepted by your community as being an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Evidence of heritage is a document provided by a registered Indigenous community organisation, issuing a letter of confirmation. The Indigenous community organisation will review the eligible requirements noted above. 

The purpose of collecting this information is to ensure that this program continues to meet its objective by providing employment pathways specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people.

For more information visit the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) website.  

Step 2: Competency assessment

If you progress to this stage, you will receive a link via email inviting you to complete a competency assessment. This assessment will be completed online through your own device (Computer, laptop or tablet) and will go for approximately 60 minutes.

The assessment is a virtual email inbox that will look very similar to your AFP inbox. You are required to read some information and complete certain tasks. We encourage you to make sure you are in a quiet space and will not be interrupted for the full 60 minutes. The results from this assessment will indicate to the panel if you have enough experience and capability to commence a career with the AFP at this time.

Step 3: Complete an Employee Suitability Questionnaire

If you are selected to move to the next stage of the process you will be asked to complete an Employee Suitability Questionnaire (ESQ). The ESQ is the tool in which your character is assessed against the AFP employment character standards. If you are not currently an AFP employee, you are required to upload and complete the ESQ and attach it to your application. You can access the ESQ on the FAQ: Employment Suitability Questionnaire page.

More information about the ESQ can be found in the AFP Character Standards.

Traffic history

Providing your traffic history is mandatory. All applicants who are not currently an AFP employee must upload an up to date traffic history (no more than 90 days old) for the last 10 years or from the date of your first license if less than 10 years and from all states and countries where you have held a licence.

More information on the documents required and how you can obtain your traffic history can be found on the traffic history page.  It is imperative that you inform yourself of these requirements and take steps now to obtain the required information to attach to your application.

When asked to complete the ESQ, you are only given seven days to return your documentation. We recommend starting to get all of your documents in order as soon as you have submitted your completed application, doing this early will avoid having to rush later on.

Step 4: Interview and written assessment

If you are successful in progressing past the first three steps – you will be invited to the final assessment being the panel interview and written assessment.

This step will include:

  • Panel interview conducted virtually, via video chat (Skype, Zoom or similar).
  • Online written assessment immediately following your panel interview.
  • Referee check – your nominated referees will be contacted to provide response to your suitability to work at the AFP.

You will be provided with full details prior to this assessment including how to prepare for each assessment so that you can perform at your best.

Following this stage you will conclude the process with one of the below outcomes:

  • Successful – you have been ranked as one of the top candidates and will be made an offer for the 2021 Directions Program
  • Merit Pool – the panel has determined that you meet the requirements of an AFP Band 2 employee, but will not be offered a role on the Directions Program at this stage. You will be placed in the merit pool which means you may be selected by other business areas seeking band 2 employees for a period of up to 12 months.
  • Unsuccessful – the panel has determined that based on your interview and written assessment, you are not yet ready to operate at the AFP band 2 level. We will provide you with some feedback to assist your future applications.

Step 5: Offer of employment

If your application is still being considered at the conclusion of the above, then there are a few more conditions that must be met before you will be eligible for employment with AFP (in accordance with Section 24 of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979). These are:

  • Obtaining satisfactory security and medical clearances.
  • Successful completion of mandatory drug testing (urinalysis test for illicit drugs).
  • Provision of fingerprints (collected when you present for mandatory drug testing).

Instrument of Engagement

Once you have successfully progressed through all recruitment gateways you will be provided with an Instrument of Engagement. This documentation will outline terms and conditions of employment with the AFP.

Commencement of employment

You will be kept informed as your application progresses. If you are made an offer of employment and you accept this offer then you can expect to commence in the position in February 2021.

Tips on completing this application

  • We encourage you to read the below resources relating to Band 2 pathways and work level standards.
  • We encourage that you have your cover letter and resume checked by someone with relevant experience.
  • Do not leave your application to the last minute! We recommend you prepare your application early to avoid unforeseen circumstances preventing you from submitting a successful application.

Thank you for your interest in a position with the AFP. If you have any questions about this process please email AFP-Entry-Level-Programs.

National Security Hotline

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The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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