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 study 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 by the date shown in the vacancy notice.

Please submit your applications via email to the address listed in the gazette advertisement.

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 selection criteria  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?

Application cover sheet

The following application cover sheet must be included with all applications:

Statements of claims addressing the selection criteria

Addressing the selection criteria is the most important part of your application. It should be comprehensive and concise. Under each selection criterion you should outline your relevant skills and abilities and cite key examples of your work performance, qualifications, or other relevant experience. Focus on quality not quantity.  If you have lots of examples for any particular criterion, choose your most recent ones. If any criterion is not addressed, or insufficiently addressed, your application will receive no further consideration.

Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume

In addition to addressing the selection criteria, 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 send your application, you should check to make sure:

  • You have completed and attached the application cover sheet
  • 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 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)