Frequently asked questions

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

No. While many graduates have an interest in becoming a police officer, this program aims to develop the AFP's future organisational capability in the unsworn classification stream.

For details regarding Police recruitment keep an eye on the AFP Careers page and the AFP Facebook page for future advertising campaigns.

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


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

No. 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?

We welcome applications from all candidates who meet the eligibility requirements outlined on the Eligibility, Qualifications and Background page. We do not have an age limit, but you must be at least eighteen years of age on commencement.

I have been in trouble with the police /taken recreational drugs and/or have a poor driving record. 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, 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 refer to the FAQ: Employment Suitability Questionnaire  page on the AFP Careers page.

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

Graduate Program positions are primarily based in Canberra. State based positions will be based on organisational requirements and when applying, you should consider that you may be required to relocate to Canberra. We will provide some assistance with the cost of your move if required.

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. AFP employees are employed under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 and there is no provision for transfers from other Government agencies. Depending on the circumstances, the AFP may be able to recognise service with State or Commonwealth employers towards and entitlement to long service leave and may accept the transfer of personal leave credits.

What do I do after submitting my application?

You will be provided with an update on your application from time to time. The AFP will generally communicate with you via email. It is important that you ensure the AFP has your current email details. You may need to check that any emails from the AFP are not assigned to 'junk' mail.

Why does the AFP graduate recruitment process take so long?

Commonly we receive in excess of 2,000 applications for the Graduate Program. We respect the time and effort that each candidate puts in to their application. The assessment process is designed to ensure that we consider all the information provided by each candidate so that we 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 usually held in May/June. We cannot be more specific than this until two to three weeks in advance.

I had trouble sourcing the required documentation for my application within the timeframe to apply. Can I be given more time to apply?

The requirement to complete the application including 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 encourage you to try again when applications open 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, this is an objective recruitment tool used in the shortlisting process 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 undertook my testing. Can I have a second chance?

All of our candidates are given the same opportunity to complete their cognitive testing. Consequently, we are unable to offer unsuccessful candidates a further opportunity. We do, however, encourage you to try again when applications open next year.

We also encourage you to start your application and or cognitive testing 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 prepare a strong application that indicated a genuine interest in, and relevant skills for, employment with the AFP?

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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