Frequently asked questions

Before Applying

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

No. The Graduate Program is not a training course to become a police officer. Details regarding sworn 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 sworn 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 this 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?

Yes, 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?

Although in excess of 2,000 applications are received, the AFP does not outsource any component of graduate recruitment. Applications are considered at multiple points in the process. In the first instance your selection criteria responses and Employee Suitability Questionnaire are considered in Human Resources.

The applications are then provided to the business areas. If you are invited to attend an Assessment Centre it is because the area is particularly interested in the skills that you have. We could facilitate faster recruitment if our Graduate Team made the selections, or if we outsourced the process, but this may not ensure that the skills needs of the future are adequately addressed.

After the Assessment Centre the business areas consider the information that they have gathered about each candidate, and determine who they would like to offer a position. This is a difficult decision to make, and not one that can be rushed.

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

Our Assessment Centres are held in August/September. 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 March 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 March next year.

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

Last year I was a reserve and 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?

Yes… and no. It largely depends on which stage of the process you reached. Providing feedback to such a large pool of candidates is exceptionally time-consuming and often results in candidates being frustrated with the delay. We know, because we have tried in the past.

If you did not meet the cognitive assessment benchmark, we cannot give feedback on your application.

If you did not progress past the first round of shortlisting, consider whether you:

  • meet the minimum education requirement
  • attached all of the correct documents and
  • wrote selection criteria responses that give an assessor sufficient detail to consider you as a serious candidate.

If you did not receive an invitation to an Assessment Centre, consider whether you:

  • selected a business area relevant to your qualification and
  • prepared strong selection criteria responses that indicate a genuine interest in, and relevant skills for, the business area (ask someone independent if you are unsure).

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 invite candidates to the Assessment Centre who they consider will best meet their workforce needs.

If you attended an Assessment Centre we are able to provide comprehensive feedback on your performance. Just email [email protected]. Please be aware that due to the number of candidates who request feedback this can take some time.

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