How to apply

Please read the following guidelines before submitting your application. This will help ensure that your application contains all relevant information and that you fully understand the way the office considers applications.

Positions in the Commonwealth Ombudsman's office are Australian Public Service positions and employment is governed by the Public Service Act 1999. The Act requires that all employment decisions be based on merit. Selection processes for all vacancies, therefore, are based on the following principles:

  • They are merit based
  • They must be transparent to all observers (applicants, delegates, review agencies etc)
  • They must be cost effective.


To be eligible for engagement as an Australian Public Service employee you must be an Australian citizen.

The preferred applicant for an advertised vacancy will not be offered employment until a number of pre-employment checks are completed. They include proof of citizenship, a security clearance (where applicable) and for appointments, a medical clearance.

A person cannot be engaged as an Australian Public Service employee if they have received a redundancy benefit from an Australian Government agency or non-APS Australian Government employer and 12 months has not passed since the employment ended.

All engagements as an ongoing employee will be subject to a satisfactory completion of a probationary period.

Obtaining Information

You should review the selection documentation and decide whether your skills and abilities meet the requirements as described. If you require any further information, the contact officer listed in the advertisement will be able to provide you with more detailed information about the requirements of the advertised vacancy.

Talking to the contact officer may help you decide whether to apply for the position and which of your skills and experience to emphasise in your application. It is a good way of introducing yourself to your prospective employer and expressing an interest in the position. It will also help your written application and your performance in the selection process, if you find out as much as you can about the position you are applying for and the work of the area.

How do I submit my application?

Your application must be submitted via the link in the current vacancies page by the date shown in the vacancy notice.

The selection process


The selection panel will assess each applicant's claims against the selection criteria. The 'shortlisting' assessment is based on the application that you submit and how you meet the requirements of the role relative to other applicants.

Availability for interview

You should be available for an interview from the advertised closing date. A minimum of two days' notice for an interview will usually be given to shortlisted applicants.

After the interview

You may request verbal feedback from the chairperson of the selection committee regarding your interview performance.


Any enquiries regarding the vacancy or the work area should be directed to the nominated contact officer.

What should I include in my application?

When completing your response, include specific examples of how your skills, knowledge and experience match the role description and our ideal candidate information. The STAR model will assist you to structure your response.

Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume

In addition to providing a pitch or addressing the selection criteria, please include a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume outlining your qualifications and employment history. Do not include copies of qualifications, certificates for short courses or written references. These can be presented at a later date, if required.


When submitting your application, you should provide the name, location and daytime contact numbers of two referees who can provide comments on your work performance against the selection criteria.

It is preferable that you nominate your current or most recent supervisors. You should check that the people you choose are willing to be referees for you and provide them with copies of the selection documentation.

We will not contact your referees until after interviews have been conducted and this will be confirmed with you during the interview.


Before you submit your application, you should check to make sure:

  • You have completed all sections in the application form
  • The information in your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume is up to date and correct
  • Your application details your skills and merit for the position without exaggeration or understatement
  • The pitch or selection criteria are addressed in full
  • The application is well presented and clearly laid out
  • The application provides all of the information relevant to the vacancy being applied for
  • The application does not present any ambiguous information to the selection advisory committee
  • There are no spelling or grammar errors
  • Any gaps in your employment history are accounted for (e.g., breaks for study or travel)