Graduate recruitment process

How do I apply?

Typically, applications open each February on the AFP vacancies page.

You must apply through the online portal as we do not accept applications through any other medium.

What are the components of the process?

The AFP refers to the components of a recruitment process as "gateways". There are a number of gateways in the graduate recruitment process.

These gateways are subject to change, and the information below may be superseded by information provided directly to you once your application is submitted.

You will be advised of the requirements for next gateway upon completion of the previous one. You must meet any due dates stipulated as late submissions will not be accepted in any gateway. It is your responsibility to ensure that emails are not caught in a spam filter or assigned to junk mail.


The application form requires your response to a number of demographic questions. You are also required to upload the following documents:

  • A two page pitch addressing the position requirements and selection criteria.
  • Academic transcript/s, for a university degree (not a diploma or certificate) either scanned or electronic version.
  • Proof of Australian citizenship and
  • Résumé / Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Employment Suitability Questionnaire – ensure every question is answered to the best of your knowledge.  Please ensure you follow the instructions carefully.
  • Traffic History for each state/country that you have held a license in. 

Your academic transcript must include both your grades and a marking scale, code, or key so that we can interpret the document.

Failure to provide any of these documents will result in an unsuccessful outcome for your application.

The AFP uses your application response, résumé and transcripts to determine whether to invite you to an Assessment Centre. We recommend that you look at our Application Tips page and the Band 3 Work Level Standards before writing your application.

When completing your application, you are asked to describe how you meet the requirements of the job and provide examples to support your application. It is worth spending the time to write an application that gives you the best opportunity to stand out amongst many other candidates.

It is not compulsory to indicate a specific AFP business area that directly aligns with your qualification. However, if you decide to identify a business area aligned to your skillset, you should also indicate if you wish to be considered for a position outside that business area.

Online assessments

All candidates who have submitted both the application including the Employee Suitability Questionnaire maybe invited to complete an online cognitive assessment.

The cognitive assessment tests your abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning skills. We use this test because it has high predictive validity for employee success in the workplace.

Every year there are some urban myths that circulate about the cognitive assessment. Some people think that the AFP recruits only the candidates with the top 5%-10% of scores. Others suggest that we cut the strongest and weakest performers from the process. Neither of these scenarios is true. In fact, every candidate who meets or exceeds our minimum score is progressed. The result required for progression is a reasonable benchmark and it is consistent with the minimum requirements of other government agencies.

You may also be required to complete other online assessments throughout the process.


Several types of shortlisting are employed. Your application will be assessed to ensure that you meet the minimum standard and have provided all information required.

A review of your application, CV and academic transcript will determine whether to invite you to an Assessment Centre.

This process can take a long time, as the AFP receives a high volume of applications to assess.

Graduate Assessment Centre

Candidates selected to attend an Assessment Centre will be sent an invitation and a security pack for completion. You must be able to attend the Assessment Centre in person. There are a number of activities to be completed on the day, and as such no telephone or video interviews can be conducted.

You will need to bring a passport photo, your academic transcript/s, photographic identification and a completed security pack. Please ensure that you check the documents required for your security pack and bring these too.

During the day you will participate in several assessments such as an interview, a supervised cognitive assessment, a writing test and a group discussion.

Merit pool

All candidates who are found suitable for a role as an AFP Band 3 are placed into a merit pool. This pool will be used to select the Graduate Program cohort.

The merit pool is valid for 12 months. Consequently, every year a number of candidates who were found suitable but not selected as graduates are offered other positions in the AFP.

Offers of employment

Preferred candidates are selected from the merit pool. If you accept a verbal offer then our Recruitment Team sends you a Letter of Offer though My Career. 

In accordance with Section 24 of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 there are several conditions that must be met in order to ensure suitability for employment with the AFP:

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

Graduating in 2019?

If you are Graduating in 2019, then before you can commence we will need a certified copy of your transcript and your degree certificate (testamur).

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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