Graduate Program FAQs

How long has the graduate program been running?

The Parliament of Australia Graduate Program (the Program) was established by the Department of the House of Representatives in 2004. The Department of the Senate joined the Program in 2009 and the Parliamentary Budget Office in 2014. In 2015 the Department of Parliamentary Services will also be offering placements as part of the Program.

Which Parliamentary Departments will be offering placements in 2015?

All four parliamentary departments will be offering placements in the 2015 Program.

Do I need to be taking part in an Australian Government graduate program to be eligible?

Yes.  The purpose of the Program is to provide graduates working in other Australian Public Service departments and agencies with exposure to how their home department or agency interacts with the parliamentary departments in their support of the Parliament.

Which graduates are eligible to apply?

We will accept applications from graduates who are participating in 2014 or 2015 graduate programs. 2014 graduates can participate in the Program at the end of their graduate placement, 2015 graduates can participate during their graduate placement.

Do I need to get permission before applying from my department or agency?

Yes. You will need to get the endorsement of your department or agency before you submit an application. Applicants who do not have their home departments’ or agencies’ endorsements will not be further considered.

What type of endorsement is required?

It is expected that you will have discussed your intention to apply for the Program with your graduate coordinator and have sought approval from the relevant person in your department or agency. You will be asked to confirm that you have your department’s or agency’s endorsement when submitting your application. No written endorsement is required.

Are interstate graduates eligible?

Yes, interstate graduates are eligible to apply however they will need to make their own arrangements for travel to and accommodation in Canberra.

How many graduates are you taking?

It is expected that six graduates will be selected for the Department of the House of Representatives, two graduates for the Department of the Senate, three graduates for the Parliamentary Budget Office and up to four graduates for the Department of Parliamentary Services.

How many applications will you accept from each department or agency?

There is no limit on the number of applications from each department or agency, selection is merit-based.

When does the program commence?

The dates of each placement are negotiated with the successful graduate's home department or agency.  Placements can occur at any time throughout the year, however, operational requirements will be considered when agreeing to commencement dates.

What is the duration of the program?

Placements with the Department of the House of Representatives, the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Department of Parliamentary Services are for three months. Placements with the Department of the Senate are for six months.

Where will I be working?

All graduate placements are at Parliament House in Canberra.

What placements are available?

Where possible, graduate placements will be in areas which complement placements in a graduate's home department or agency.  Placements may involve:

What happens if an election is called during a placement?

If the placement has not yet commenced, the parliamentary departments may negotiate with your home department or agency a different placement commencement date.  If the placement has commenced, it may be necessary to provide a variety of other relevant tasks to complete.

What will my salary be?

Your salary continues to be administered by your home department or agency so it will not change.  At the completion of the placement salary, including associated costs, will be reimbursed by the participating parliamentary department upon receipt of a tax invoice from your home department or agency.

What classification levels are acceptable?

Graduates up to the APS6 classification (or equivalent) will be accepted.

What will be my terms of employment?

The terms of employment during your placement will be those of your home department or agency.  However, you will be expected to comply with the Parliamentary Service Values and Code of Conduct.  If any dispute relating to your employment occurs while you are participating in the program, you will be taken to be an officer of the relevant parliamentary department and that parliamentary department's dispute resolution processes will be applied as far as possible.

What training is available to graduates?

Graduates will have access to parliamentary specific training during their placement.

Where can I find out about past participants' experiences in the program?

Testimonials of past graduates can be found at the Testimonials page.

When do applications open and close?

Applications for the 2015 Parliament of Australia Graduate Program will open on 1 October 2014 and close on 31 October 2014.

Where can I obtain the selection criteria?

Selection documentation may be obtained from the Department of the House of Representatives website at www.aph.gov.au/house/employment, the Department of the Senate website at www.aph.gov.au/senate/dept/employ, the Parliamentary Budget Office website at www.aph.gov.au/pbo/employment, or the Department of Parliamentary Services website at www.aph.gov.au/dps/employment.

Do I need a security clearance?

Only placements with the Parliamentary Budget Office require a security clearance. Applicants must already have a Negative Vetting Level 1 security clearance, or have an application in progress, for their application to be considered for a Parliamentary Budget Office placement. Where an application for a security clearance has been submitted to the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency, the placement cannot commence until the clearance has been granted. Any request for a security clearance must be sponsored by, and the costs borne by, the applicant’s home department or agency.

Where will I be placed?

Applicants who are interested in a placement with the Department of the House of Representatives or the Department of the Senate will be asked to nominate which of these departments they are interested in being placed with. Applicants who are interested in a placement with the Parliamentary Budget Office or the Department of Parliamentary Services will be required to submit a separate application. Applicants will only be considered for the department or departments they have nominated.

How do I apply?

Applications for the Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate and the Parliamentary Budget Office must be submitted online at: http://recruitmentsenate.nga.net.au/cp. Applications for the Department of Parliamentary Services must be submitted via email to: dps.recruitment@aph.gov.au.

The Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate will jointly assess applicants. The Parliamentary Budget Office and the Department of Parliamentary Services will conduct separate assessment processes.

Who can I contact for further information?

For further information please contact:

Tracy Weston, Assistant Director, People Strategies Office
Department of the House of Representatives
Telephone: (02) 6277 4146
Email: tracy.weston.reps@aph.gov.au

Hermione Finemore, Assistant Director, Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone: (02) 6277 3475
Email: hermione.finemore@aph.gov.au

Andrew Spencer, Assistant Director, Corporate
Parliamentary Budget Office
Telephone: (02) 6277 9523
Email: andrew.spencer@pbo.gov.au

Luci Henson, Director, Human Resource Services
Department of Parliamentary Services
Telephone: (02) 6277 2706
Email: luci.henson@aph.gov.au

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

Need more information?

For further information about the Graduate program please contact:

Hermione Finemore,
Assistant Director,
Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone: (02) 6277 3475
Email: hermione.finemore@aph.gov.au