AFP logo at EBB Canberra

Graduate Program for university graduates

Start your career with us and put your university degree to work


A career with the AFP can take you around Australia and the world, doing work that’s critical to keep all Australians safe. It’s an agency like no other.

As a graduate, you’ll receive bespoke opportunities tailored to developing our future leaders.

Our Graduate Program gives your career a unique kickstart. Move from university straight into full-time employment, with a structured pathway to success in our specialist or support teams.

Over 12 months, you'll experience working in several AFP areas. These could include cybercrime, fraud, forensics or intelligence.

At the end of the program, you’ll launch straight into an exciting new role in a specialist or support team, with a guaranteed permanent position.

Who should apply

The expertise we need in our specialist and support teams changes from year to year.

We welcome applications from all eligible graduates.

Highly regarded fields of study include:

  • arts, humanities and justice (counterterrorism, criminal justice, criminology, international relations, intelligence, languages, policy, security analysis or national security)
  • business (accounting, auditing, commerce, finance, human resources, industrial relations, project or change management)
  • health science (exercise science, human movement, kinesiology, nursing, occupational therapy)
  • information technology (computer and data science, cybersecurity, electronics or mechatronics, programming, network engineering, system administration)
  • law
  • media and communication (communications, graphic design, media, visual arts)
  • science (forensic science)
  • social science (anthropology, psychology, social work).

Timing and location

Our Graduate Program runs from February to February each year. The selection process starts several months before the February start date.

Graduate positions are primarily based in Canberra. There are some state-based positions, but these depend on our requirements.

When you apply, you may have to move to Canberra. We'll help with the cost of your move from interstate.

Structure and support

Expect structure, experience and opportunity in our Graduate Program. From the very first week, you'll complete induction activities and network with other Graduate Program participants.

Over 12 months, the program allows you to work in multiple areas of the AFP, so you can see how different units operate. There are plenty of opportunities to push yourself and explore possibilities. Read some of our people's stories.

As a graduate, you'll have access to:

  • a structured program offering a variety of work experiences
  • personal and professional development
  • monthly meetings, run by graduates for graduates
  • mentoring
  • our Graduate Support team
  • financial help for relocation (if required)
  • the opportunity for progression when you complete the program.

Application process

We receive over 1,500 applications for the Graduate Program each year.

We know the application and assessment process is long. We've designed it to help us find people with the long-term potential to make a real impact in our agency.

Step 1 - Check your eligibility


You can apply for our Graduate Program if you're:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a recent university graduate (you've completed an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification within the last 5 years)
  • able to obtain a Negative Vetting 1 Security Clearance
  • able to meet our character standards
  • willing to undergo any police, character, health or other checks required
  • willing to move to Canberra.

If you don't have a university degree, other pathways with us include:

Step 2 - Apply online


Apply online through our Jobs portal.

As part of your application, you'll need to:

  • answer some questions to ensure you meet our eligibility criteria
  • upload your academic transcripts
  • upload your resume
  • upload your proof of citizenship.

If you're shortlisted, we'll update you via email and you'll be asked to complete the Employment Suitability Questionnaire. Make sure you use a current email address and check that our emails don't go to your junk mail.

Step 3 - Complete the Employment Suitability Questionnaire

Employment Suitability Questionnaire

The Employment Suitability Questionnaire helps us understand your character.

Along with your traffic history, we use it to assess whether you meet our character standards.

You'll be asked a series of questions, including whether you have:

  • any criminal history or prior convictions (at any age)
  • any associations with people or groups who are well-known to law enforcement
  • spent any significant periods of time overseas
  • travelled regularly to places of interest to the AFP.

You'll also have to provide us with a traffic history from any place you have held a valid driver's licence. This includes any licence you've held overseas. Your traffic history must cover your entire driving history. You must have obtained a copy of your traffic history no more than 3 months before the date you submit it to us.

Some of these processes take time, which is why we start recruiting for our Graduate Program months before the February start date.

Step 4 - Interview and other assessments

Interview and other assessments

You'll be asked to complete some additional assessments and an interview.

This process includes:

  • online psychometric and personality assessments
  • a video interview
  • a virtual assessment centre, where you'll complete a group activity, a behavioural interview and a written task.
Step 5 - Offer of employment

Offer of employment

If you're successful, you'll receive an offer of employment through our Jobs portal .

Our graduate cohort starts work in February each year.

The Graduate Program is highly competitive, and sometimes candidates aren't offered a position. But this isn't the end of your journey with us.

We place candidates who aren't offered a graduate position in a 'merit pool' for 12 months. This means we may offer you another Band 3 position if one is available.

You can browse other roles in current vacancies.

Step 6 - Security assessment

Undergo a security assessment

Before you start working with us, you'll need a security clearance. The AFP Personnel Security Vetting Team will look at your past, going back at least 10 years. They'll assess:

  • your employment, residential, financial and personal history
  • any history of disregarding the law
  • any significant periods you've spent living in foreign countries
  • regular travel abroad to regions of interest.

If you have a partner, the security assessment will include them and their background.

As part of this process, you'll also be asked to:

  • provide evidence you've had 2 primary doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson vaccine). An immunisation history statement or COVID-19 digital certificate is required.
  • undergo mandatory drug testing and provide your fingerprints.

Benefits and conditions

Graduate salaries start out at AFP Band 3.1 level ($69,224 annual salary plus 15.4% superannuation).

After you've completed the program, you'll progress to an AFP Band 3.3 level ($74,853 annual base salary plus 15.4% superannuation).

We offer many competitive benefits and conditions for our people. These include:

  • clear salary progression under the AFP Enterprise Agreements
  • 6 weeks of paid annual leave per year (plus additional Christmas stand-down), with options to purchase more leave, take leave at half pay, or cash out leave
  • 4 mandatory rest days per year
  • 18 days of paid personal leave per year
  • 16 weeks of paid maternity leave after 12 months of service for each pregnancy, and an extra 36 weeks of maternity leave without pay
  • 15.4 per cent superannuation, including during all periods of maternity leave
  • 40-hour working week with the option of flexible working arrangements
  • access to flex time.

Other benefits include paid domestic and family violence leave, paid long-service leave, and provisions for adoption leave and compassionate leave.

Learn more about our benefits and conditions

Get in touch

AFP Recruitment

You can contact us by phone from Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm Canberra time.