How to apply to the National Graduate Program

There are 5 steps you need to complete to apply to our National Graduate Program.

Steps to apply

You can apply for all streams directly through Services Australia.

For the data, digital, finance and accounting, human resources and legal streams you can also apply through the Australian Government Graduate Program.

Step 1: Online application
Step 2: Online Vervoe skills assessment
Step 3: Virtual assessment centre and referee checks
Step 4: Merit pool and matching you to a role
Step 5: Verbal employment offer and pre-engagement checks

Step 1: Online application

To complete and submit an online application, you need to do all of the following:

  • confirm your eligibility
  • include your work experience history
  • include your qualification details
  • give us referee details.

Step 2: Online Vervoe skills assessment

If you progress to this stage, you’ll then take part in an online Vervoe skills assessment.

This assessment asks a variety of questions in different formats to see how candidates perform on-the-job tasks. It gives insights into how you will respond to real workplace situations, issues and problems.

You can complete this task with an internet connected device, preferably with a large screen such as a laptop or tablet. We’ll send you instructions on what you need to do.

If you don’t progress to step 3, you won’t get feedback at this stage.

Step 3: Virtual assessment centre and referee check

If you’re successful at step 2, we’ll ask you to participate in a virtual assessment centre where you’ll complete all of the following:

  • a behavioural interview
  • a group activity.

The virtual assessment centre runs for about half a day. You may need to take some time off work or away from your studies. You can attend either a morning or an afternoon session.

If we invite you to a virtual assessment centre and you don’t participate, we’ll withdraw your application.

We’ll also complete your referee check at this stage. We’ll ask your referee to comment on your skills, abilities and past work performance.

Feedback will be available to all candidates at the end of the assessment process.

Step 4: Merit pool and matching you to a role

All candidates found suitable for a role in the National Graduate Program are placed into a merit pool.

The merit pool is valid for 18 months. For more information about merit pools, read about the APS merit principle on the Australian Public Service Commission website.

Step 5: Verbal employment offer and pre-engagement checks

Our verbal offers at this stage are conditional. They’re dependent on you successfully completing an eligibility, suitability and medical declaration.

Eligibility and suitability check

This check searches your details against a national database for any prior infringements, criminal charges or convictions.

If you have criminal charges or infringements, we manage it on a case by case basis.

Medical check

If you require a medical check following your medical declaration, we’ll organise it for you. This is a general health check. It helps us know if we need to make workplace adjustments for you. It also lets us know that you can perform the requirements of the role.

We’ll schedule your medical check and find your closest available location.

Your personal medical provider can’t complete this medical check for you.

Graduates with disability

We have an application process for Australians who identify as having disability.

As part of the application process, you’ll need to give us evidence of disability. This can be a letter from any of the following:

  • a registered medical practitioner
  • a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider
  • a tertiary institution disability service unit.

Or you can give us a statutory declaration.

Read about disability definitions on the Australian Public Service Commission website.

APS RecruitAbility scheme

If you meet the disability definition you can also apply under the APS RecruitAbility scheme. The scheme helps people with disability put forward their skills and experience during the selection process.

You need to opt in to the scheme when you apply to the 2025 National Graduate Program. You also need to:

  • declare you have disability
  • meet the minimum requirements of the program.

We’ll support you to apply in a way that suits you. We can make adjustments for you throughout our recruitment process, if needed. Contact us to discuss options.

The Australian Government Graduate Program

We are a participating agency in the Australian Government Graduate Program data, digital, finance and accounting, human resources and legal streams. Applying to one of these streams means you only have to go through the application and selection process once to be considered for a range of Australian Government agencies.

Wherever you start your career as a graduate in the Australian Government, you’ll do meaningful work from day one, be asked to contribute, be recognised for your perspective and see the impact you can make in the Australian community we serve.

For some of our streams you will need to apply direct to Services Australia, for others you can apply via the Australian Government Graduate Program:

StreamApplication process
CommunicationServices Australia
DataServices Australia or AGGP
DigitalServices Australia or AGGP
Finance and AccountingServices Australia or AGGP
GeneralistServices Australia
Human ResourcesServices Australia or AGGP
LegalServices Australia or AGGP
Social WorkServices Australia
Service DesignServices Australia
Service DeliveryServices Australia

Find out more about the Australian Government Graduate Program on the APS Jobs website.

Indigenous Graduate Pathway

Services Australia is a participant in the Indigenous Graduate Pathway. As an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, you will be able to complete one application and be considered for multiple agencies and departments within the Australian Public Service (APS).

Whether you start your career with us, or somewhere else in the APS, you will do meaningful work from day one.

Find out more about the Indigenous Graduate Pathway on the APS Jobs Graduate Portal.

Graduates applying through this pathway can also apply to our generalist stream or specialist stream through our own recruitment process.

Letter of offer

If you pass the pre-engagement checks, we'll email you a letter of offer. Make sure you complete all paperwork by the due date set out in the email.

The letter will outline details about your salary and conditions of employment. We’ll also send you information about the program and relocating.

Start working with us

We look forward to welcoming you in early February 2025.

When you start, you’ll get an orientation where we’ll outline the opportunities you have in the program. You’ll also get to meet your supervisor and the team you’ll be working with.

Contact us

Our recruitment partner is Chandler McLeod. If you have any questions about the program, you can contact them by:

You can also connect with us on ourServices Australia Facebook page or the Services Australia LinkedIn page.

Page last updated: 22 March 2024.
QC 24661