Graduate recruitment process

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2021 Graduate Program will open on 3 March 2020 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These gateways are subject to change, and the information below may be superseded by information provided directly to you once your application is submitted.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.

Step 1: Online application

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

  • Academic transcript/s, for a university degree (not a diploma or certificate) either scanned or electronic version (to be uploaded in the 'Applicant response' section of the form)
  • Proof of Australian citizenship, and
  • Résumé / Curriculum Vitae (CV).

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.

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.

Step 2: Shortlisting

Several types of shortlisting are employed and outlined below.

Your responses in the application will be assessed to ensure that you meet the minimum standard and have provided all information required.

The AFP will use a predictive hiring tool called Gradsift to remove human bias. A review of your application, CV and academic transcript will determine whether you are invited to participate in the Gradsift shortlisting.

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

Step 2a: Online assessments

All candidates who are shortlisted through the Gradsift stage may be invited to complete an online cognitive assessment and an online written test.

The cognitive assessment tests your abstract, numerical and verbal reasoning skills. The written test will assess your reading, writing and comprehension skills. We use these tests because they have 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 are 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.

Step 2b: Employee Suitability Questionnaire and traffic history

Employee Suitability Questionnaire

If you are invited to take part in the online assessments, you will also be asked to simultaneously complete an Employee Suitability Questionnaire (ESQ). The ESQ is the tool in which your character is assessed against the employment character standards that AFP require of any employee. If you are not currently an AFP employee then 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.

Note: You need to ensure every question is answered to the best of your knowledge. Please follow the instructions carefully.

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 licence, if less than 10 years, and from all states and countries where they 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 ensure that you can meet the seven day requirement to complete the ESQ. 

Step 3: 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.

At assessment centres, candidates will be subject to further assessment before a final decision is made as to who will be offered a position with AFP. This assessment may include a range of activities including:

  • panel interview
  • a work sample test
  • written task.

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

You will be provided with full details including when and where it will be held, what extra information you may need to bring, and how to prepare for each assessment so that you can perform at your best.

Step 4: Offers of employment

Merit pool

All candidates who are found suitable for a role at the AFP Band 3 classification are placed into a merit pool.

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


Successful candidates will recieve an offer via email through MyCareer.

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 the required security clearance.
  • Successful completion of mandatory drug testing (urinalysis test for illicit drugs) arranged by the AFP and
  • Provision of fingerprints (collected when you present for mandatory drug testing).

Graduating in 2020?

If you are Graduating in 2020, 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 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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