Frequently asked questions

Before Applying

Does the Graduate Program train me to be a Police Officer?

No. The Graduate Program is not a training course to become a police officer. Details regarding Police recruitment are available on the careers page.

Do I need to pass a fitness test? Do I need a manual driver’s licence, first aid certificate and swim certificate?

No. These are requirements for candidates seeking to become a Police member.

I have life experience but not a degree, can I apply? I have a diploma / certificate from TAFE, can I apply?

The Graduate Program is specifically for people with university qualifications. There are many other pathways into the AFP, so have a look at our careers page regularly.

Do you have an age limit? I have a disability, can I apply?

We welcome applications from all candidates who meet the eligibility requirements outlined on the Eligibility, Qualifications and Business Area page. We do not have an age limit, nor do we exclude people with a disability. The more diverse our workforce, the stronger it becomes.

I have an extensive legal history/poor driving record/family history of police involvement, can I apply?

Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. Your individual circumstances will be assessed in accordance with the AFP Character Guidelines (PDF, 55KB), and you will be advised of the outcome.

You should be aware that all members are held to the same standards of integrity and are required to be of good character. For more information please read the AFP Character Guidelines.

The AFP has an office in my home state, so can I work in Sydney / Brisbane / Melbourne?

All Graduate Program positions are based in Canberra, so if you live elsewhere you will need to relocate.  We will provide some assistance with the cost of your move.

For information on living in the Canberra region have a look at the ACT Government Canberra - Create Your Future website.

At the end of the Graduate Program you are eligible to apply for any advertised position, including those in our regional offices.

I have a security clearance from another government agency. Does this give me an advantage?

Holding a clearance from another agency does not give you a competitive advantage in the merit process. If you are recruited the AFP will conduct independent security checks, but if you provide details and documentation of your clearance this may be of some assistance.

Can I transfer at level from another government agency?

No, all AFP graduates commence at AFP Band 3.1.

I have applied

What do I do after submitting my application?

Firstly, make sure that emails from the AFP will not be assigned as junk mail by your email system.

Secondly, check your email account for the Employee Suitability Questionnaire. This information must be submitted by the deadline stipulated in the application as no late documents will be accepted.

Why does the AFP graduate recruitment process take so long?

In excess of 2,000 applications are received for the Graduate Program. We respect the time and effort that each candidate puts into their application. The process is designed to ensure that we have sufficient information about each candidate to recruit the people we believe will have the biggest impact on our organisation.

Can you tell me the date of the Assessment Centre for the business areas that I selected?

Our Assessment Centres are held in May/June. We cannot be more specific than this until two to three weeks in advance.

I applied but was unsuccessful!

I didn’t know the deadline for submitting the Employee Suitability Questionnaire! Can you give me an extension?

The requirement to complete the Employee Suitability Questionnaire is clearly expressed on our website and in the application form. All of our candidates have the same opportunity to submit their information. We receive over 2,000 applications for a small number of positions as a graduate. Consequently, we are unable to offer unsuccessful candidates a further opportunity. However, we encourage you to try again when applications open in February next year.

I did not meet the requirements of the cognitive assessment, but I have the perfect qualifications and experience. Can you reconsider?

The requirement to meet the benchmark score for the cognitive assessment is applied across all candidates.

We recognise that one score does not define you and that there is far more to you than your result on one test. However, we require a method to reduce the candidate pool to a manageable level and this test has high predictive validity for employee success. As such, the outcome of the cognitive assessment is final.

I was sick/distracted/busy when I wrote my application. Can I have a second chance?

All of our candidates have the same opportunity to submit their application. We receive over 2,000 applications for a small number of positions as a graduate. Consequently, we are unable to offer unsuccessful candidates a further opportunity. However, we encourage you to try again when applications open in February next year.

We also encourage you to start your application early, to avoid any last minute crises.

Last year I was in the merit pool! Why wasn’t I invited to the Assessment Centre this year?

Organisational requirements change and this determines which specific skillsets we recruit. It is not a comment on your personal suitability for a role in the AFP, simply that other candidates have skills that are a closer match for our current needs. Having been previously invited to an Assessment Centre demonstrates the high calibre of your application, and your skills may be ones that we seek in the future. Consequently, we encourage you to apply again next year.

Can I have feedback on my application?

We are only able to provide very limited feedback to candidates, irrespective of which stage you reach in our process.

We recommend that you consider the following points and self-assess your application:

  • Do you meet the minimum education requirement?
  • Did you attach all of the correct documents?
  • Did you select a business area relevant to your qualification?
  • Did you prepare a strong application that indicated a genuine interest in, and relevant skills for, the business area?

We suggest that you ask someone independent to read your responses to the selection criteria, especially if you haven’t written many government applications before.

The reality is that we receive many exceptional applications each year. We cannot recruit all of these candidates, so processes are stringent and our business area representatives make difficult decisions to recruit the candidates who they consider will best meet their workforce needs.

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