How to apply

The following information provides some guidance to assist candidates applying for vacancies at the Department of Health and Ageing (department). Please read through the information below and the associated pages to give yourself the best opportunity to be competitive in the selection process. If you have any queries about the vacancy or recruitment process, contact the nominated officer.

Page last updated: 09 May 2013

1. Overview
2. Eligibility
3. Preparing your application
4. Lodging your application

1. Overview

Applicants who have disability

The department welcomes applications from skilled achievers with disability. As a leading APS employer of staff with disability and a member of the Australian Network on Disability, the department is committed to supporting and enabling high performance from its staff with disability.

Assistance for hearing and speech impaired

The department uses the National Relay Service (NRS). Applicants who are hearing or speech impaired can obtain further information by contacting the NRS and ask to be connected to (02) 6289 8888.

Applicants who have visual disability

The department has tested our online recruitment system with a range of accessibility software. If you have any issues with lodging your application you can contact the officer outlined in the advertisement for advice.

Applicants who are Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander

Would you like the chance to be a part of a leading organisation that recognises, appreciates and supports the important contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff bring to the workplace? Further information is supported in the following document:

2. Eligibility


To be eligible to apply for a vacancy it is a requirement that you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident eligible to apply for citizenship. In some cases the Secretary may waive this requirement. Where this is the case, it will be noted in the advertisement.

Health clearance

On commencement staff will complete a Health Declaration form. The purpose of the Health Declaration form is to assist the department in determining whether there are any existing health issues that would impact on your ability to perform the duties of the position. This allows the department to meet its duty of care under occupational health and safety legislation and identify any reasonable adjustments you may require in the workplace.

Character clearance

Character clearances enable the department to ensure that a prospective employee is a suitable person to be engaged as an APS employee, or for specific duties. All staff are required to complete the Australian Federal Police (AFP) check authorisation form at the time of commencement.

Security clearance

Some positions deal with sensitive or confidential information. In the event you are successful you will be required to agree to a security assessment and clearance to the level required. Positions requiring security assessment will be identified in advertising.Top of page

3. Preparing your application


Prior to commencing your application it is recommended that you:
  • read the Job Requirements outlined in the Job Description and Applicant Information Kit;
  • research the department, using the information available on the website; and
  • contact the nominated contact officer if you have queries about the vacancy.

Addressing the application questions

Your application will be assessed by the Selection Advisory Committee against the department’s Capability Map statements made against the application questions. You should consider the following when addressing the application questions:
  • review the department’s Capability Map for the classification of the vacancy;
  • structure your answers to demonstrate your relevant skills, capabilities and experience;
  • write in a clear and concise manner;
  • check your spelling and grammar; and
  • keep within the word limit as indicated in the online recruitment system.


We recommend you complete your responses in a Microsoft Word document, saving as you go. Once you have your responses finalised, copy and paste them into each response box.
  • You may need to first paste your responses into Microsoft's NotePad to remove any formatting that could affect the word count.
  • Use plain text without bold or underline.
  • If you wish to use dot or bullet points, indicate these with asterisks (*) or dashes (-).
  • Do not use double spacing between sentences or double returns between paragraphs as these are counted as words.


A common and effective approach to address the application questions is the STAR model; i.e.,
  • Situation—provide a brief outline of the situation or setting for your example
  • Task—explain the role you performed
  • Action—explain the actions you took and how you did it
  • Result—describe the outcomes from your actions

Preparing your resumé

In preparing your resumé it is recommended you include the following information:
  • personal details including your name and address;
  • outline your employment history starting with your current employer. Include the name of your employers, the dates of your employment and a brief outline of your key duties;
  • educational qualifications; and
  • membership of professional organisations.

Nominating referees

In preparing your application you will be asked to nominate two referees who can provide comments on your work performance. Your primary referee should be your current immediate supervisor.

The selection advisory committee may seek a written or oral referee report at any stage during the assessment process. Referees will be requested to comment on your work performance against the department’s Capability Map.

It is not necessary to provide written referee reports with your application unless the advertisement has requested them. If you have been requested to provide written referee reports, please provide one of the following versions of the department’s referee report template to your referees:
Once your referees provide you with their reports, you can then upload them to your application, in the online recruitment system.


Contact the nominated contact officer if you have any questions about the position, lodging your application or the progress of your application. The details of the contact officer will appear in the advertisement.

4. Lodging your application


The preferred method to lodge your application is using the department’s online recruitment system. If it is not possible to submit your application using the system, contact the nominated contact officer to make alternative arrangements.

Closing date

The closing date will be specified in the advertisement and displayed on the online recruitment system. Closing times are based on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). Generally, late applications are not accepted. If there are exceptional circumstances, contact the nominated contact officer to discuss your circumstances and to request an extension. It is not guaranteed an extension will be granted.

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