Frequently Asked Questions

Working in the Senate Development Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long has the Working in the Senate (WISE) Development Program been running?

The WISE Development Program (the program) commenced in 2002 and, to date, 28 APS employees from a variety of Australian Public Service departments and agencies have participated in the program.

2. Do I need to be an employee of an Australian Government department or agency to be eligible?

Yes. The purpose of the program is to provide Executive Level 1, or exceptional APS 6 Level employees working in other Australian Public Service departments and agencies, with exposure to how their home departments or agencies interact with the Senate. Being attached to a Senate committee secretariat, including a Senate estimates committee, will enable participants to observe both the parliamentary and the political process at close quarters.

3. What classification level do you need to be to participant?

You must be an Australian Public Service (APS) Executive Level 1 (or exceptional APS level 6) to participate in the program. The nature and complexity of the work requires participants to be at this level.

4. 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. Applications which do not have the home departments' or agencies' endorsements will not be further considered.

5. When do applications open and close?

The Working in the Senate Development Program will not be running in 2013. Please continue to check the website to confirm arrangements for 2014.

6. When does the program commence?

The dates of each placement are negotiated with the successful participant's home department or agency. Placements generally commence in January and conclude in December.

7. What happens if an election is called during a placement?

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

8. What will my salary be?

Your salary continues to be administered by your home department or agency so it will not change.

9. 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 , including maintaining the confidentiality of Senate committee business in line with the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987. If any dispute relating to your employment while you are participating in the program arises, you will be taken to be an officer of the Department of the Senate and the department's dispute resolution processes will be applied as far as possible.

10. What is the duration of the program?

Placements are for approximately 12 months.

11. What training is available to program participants?

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

12. Who can I contact for further information?

Hermione Finemore
Assistant Director, Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone: (02) 6277 3475

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