Graduate Program FAQs

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the placement program is to provide graduates working in the Australian Public Service exposure to how their home department or agency interacts with the parliamentary departments in their support of the Parliament.

Who is eligible to apply for the 2021 placement program?

Graduates participating in a 2020 or 2021 Australian Government (Commonwealth departments and agencies) graduate program and staff who have recently participated in such a program (within the past 4 years) are eligible to apply.

What classification levels are acceptable?

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

Which Parliamentary Departments will be offering placements in 2021?

The Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate and the Parliamentary Budget Office will be offering placements on the 2021 Program.

How many graduates are you taking?

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

When do applications open and close?

Applications for the 2021 Parliament of Australia Graduate Placement Program open on 1 October 2020 close on 31 October 2020. 

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

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 department or agency’s endorsement will not be further considered.

It is expected that you will have discussed your intention to apply for the placement program with your graduate coordinator and/or your supervisor 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.

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

There is no limit on the number of applications receivable 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. Graduates should aim to have their placement over as many Parliamentary sitting weeks as possible.

What is the duration of the program?

Placements with the Department of the House of Representatives are for three months.

Placements with the Department of the Senate are for six months.

Placements with the Parliamentary Budget Office are for six months.

Where will I be working?

All graduate placements are at Parliament House in Canberra.

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 (this will not be funded by parliamentary departments).

Where will I be placed if selected?

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

  • work with a Committee Secretariat providing research and administrative support to Parliamentary Committees
  • work with offices providing support to the House of Representatives or Senate
  • work promoting the community’s understanding of, and interaction with, the work of the Houses and the Commonwealth Parliament
  • work in the Parliamentary Budget Office preparing costings of policy proposals and undertaking budgetary and fiscal policy analysis and research.

Can I apply for more than one parliamentary department?

Applicants are able to apply to more than one parliamentary department, however applicants will only be considered for a placement within the department(s) they have applied for.

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 the graduate with 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 as a result of your participation in this program. At the completion of the placement salary (including associated costs) will be reimbursed by the participating parliamentary department upon receipt of a correctly rendered tax invoice from your home department or agency.

What will be my terms of employment?

Terms of employment during your placement will be those of your home agency or department. You will be expected to comply with the Parliamentary Service Values, Parliamentary Service Employment Principles and the Parliamentary Service Code of Conduct during your placement. If any dispute relating to your placement occurs while you are participating on the placement 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.

Do I need a security clearance?

Placements with the Parliamentary Budget Office require a security clearance. Applicants must already have (or have underway) a Baseline security clearance to apply for a Parliamentary Budget Office placement. Where an application for a security clearance has been submitted to the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA), the placement cannot commence until the clearance has been granted. Any request for a security clearance must be sponsored and funded by, the applicant’s home department or agency.

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.

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.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2021 Parliament of Australia Graduate Program open on 1 October 2020 and close on 31 October 2020.

 

Your application will need to include:

 

  • your résumé, including the names and contact details of two work-related referees
  • a copy of your academic transcript
  • a one page statement detailing:
    • work experiences, noteworthy activities, or projects contributed to during your graduate year in relation to the core skills
    • skills and knowledge gained that demonstrates your suitability for the program, and
    • how skills and knowledge gained through a placement will benefit your home agency when you return.

Further information on how to apply will become available when applications open on 1 October 2020.

Who can I contact for further information?

For further information please contact:

Samantha Robertson
Assistant Director, People Strategies
Department of the House of Representatives
Telephone:  (02) 6277 4565
Email: hrm.reps@aph.gov.au

Natalie Rose
Assistant Director, Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone: (02) 6277 3475
Email: hrm.sen@aph.gov.au

Karen Nothard
Corporate Support Officer, Corporate Strategy Branch
Parliamentary Budget Office
Telephone: (02) 6277 9515
Email: hr@pbo.gov.au

Need more information?

For further information about the Graduate Program, please contact:

Department of the House of Representatives
Samantha Robertson
Assistant Director, People Strategies
Department of the House of Representatives
Telephone:  (02) 6277 4565
Email: hrm.reps@aph.gov.au

Department of the Senate
Natalie Rose
Assistant Director, Human Resource Management
Department of the Senate
Telephone:  (02) 6277 3475
Email: hrm.sen@aph.gov.au

Parliamentary Budget Office
Karen Nothard
Corporate Support Officer, Corporate Strategy
Parliamentary Budget Office
Telephone: (02) 6277 9515
Email: hr@pbo.gov.au

Download the 2021 Graduate Program brochure (PDF 2MB)

Graduate Program Cover

Got a question about our Graduate Program? Check our FAQs and read the testimonials of some of our past Graduates.