AFP protective service officer

Directions Program

Delivering employment opportunities in the AFP for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

About the Directions Program

The AFP Directions Program recognises the valuable contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to policing for a safer Australia. It also helps ensure the AFP’s workforce is representative of the communities we serve. 

The 12-month program is located in Canberra and runs annually from February to February. It provides permanent, full-time employment in specialist and support positions in the AFP and gives participants professional development opportunities to have a challenging and rewarding career. 

At the end of the program, you will begin a permanent position with your commencement business area. 

I think the AFP provides a range of opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

– Allira, Protective service officer

Who is the program for?

The AFP Directions Program is open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians who are 18 years or older at time of applying. No formal qualifications are required. 

 You should apply if you: 

  • Are interested in working for the AFP 
  • Have good communication skills 
  • Can work well as part of a team 
  • Have personal drive, integrity and a strong work ethic 
  • Are creative and can think in different ways 
  • Have experience using basic IT 
  • Are willing to relocate to Canberra

The Directions Program has kick-started my AFP career and now my opportunities are endless

– Nelsyn, Directions Program participant and proud Dunghutti woman

Directions Program details

The AFP Directions Program typically includes: 

  • A series of rotations working in different AFP teams 
  • Studying for a nationally recognised qualification 
  • Access to mentors, buddies, First Nations Unit and the Malunggang Indigenous Officers Network 
  • Access to senior AFP executives 
  • Financial support for relocation (if required).

All program participants begin at AFP Band 2 level. Salary rates (including annual increases on completion of the program) can be found here. 

You will also enjoy a generous leave entitlement and a healthy work-life balance among other benefits. 

You will need to answer some questions and upload two documents: 

  • An up-to-date résumé/CV covering… 
    • where you’ve worked and when you worked there (include casual, unpaid and volunteer positions) 
    • positions held and achievements 
    • qualifications or courses of study 
    • school, community, sporting or other achievements 
    • contact details for two people the AFP can contact to discuss your work performance and/or general character.
  • Evidence that you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian. Learn more here. 

The recruitment process includes the following stages:

Competency assessment

Shortlisted candidates will receive an email invitation to complete an online assessment to see if you have enough experience and capability to join the AFP at this time. The assessment takes about an hour. 

Professional Attitudes Continuum Questionnaire

Once again shortlisted candidates will receive an email invitation to complete an online personality questionnaire where there are no right or wrong answers.

The personality questionnaire is untimed, designed to understand how you, the applicant, will behave within a work environment.

Employment Suitability Questionnaire and traffic history

If you are selected to move to the next stage of the recruitment process, you will need to: 

  • Complete an Employment Suitability Questionnaire to assess your character against the standards required by the AFP 
  • Provide an up-to-date traffic history from any State/Territory/international traffic authority where you have held a driver’s licence. This must cover your entire driving history up to 10 years. 

Interview and  referee checks

Candidates who make it through to this stage are invited for a panel interview. The interviews will be held either in person or via video chat (Skype, Teams or similar) based on the applicants preference. You will be given tips on how to prepare for this beforehand so you can perform at your best. 

As part of the interview process, you will also be invited to complete the online referee details. You will be notified when this is required.

Successful candidates will be given an offer of employment via email through MyCareer. Before starting, you will need to obtain the required security clearance (provided by the AFP).

On starting, you will complete mandatory drug testing arranged by the AFP and provide your fingerprints. 

Deserving candidates who are not offered a position in the program are placed into a merit pool for 12 months. This means you may be offered another Band 2 position in the AFP. Every year, a number of people from the merit pool are offered other positions in the AFP. 

Meet some Directions Program participants

Tiarne and Dean share their experiences of the AFP Directions Program.
An individual points at green computer code on a black screen

If you are thinking of a career with the AFP and you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, I really encourage you to apply and be the change you wish to see in the world. It's an opportunity you don't want to turn down. Each day you learn something new and are exposed to many different areas in the AFP. It is the best decision I have made.

AFP Testimonial

Directions Program participant and proud Wiradjuri woman

AFP College

Ever since I was very young I've aspired to make a career in law enforcement as I've always been drawn to the idea of helping others. The Directions Program not only helped me make this aspiration a reality but also, very importantly, helped bring more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diversity to the organisation.

Directions Program participant and proud Wonnarua man

A man looks to a monitor displaying a green map of the world

Directions Program FAQs

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age on commencement and must meet the AFP’s minimum eligibility requirements.

If you have a history of breaking the law (even as a juvenile) or associating with people who are well-known to law enforcement, you may not be able to work for the AFP.

However, each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. Your individual circumstances will be assessed in accordance with the AFP Character Guidelines, and you will be advised of the outcome.

You will be provided with an update on your application and information about employment gateways. The AFP will generally communicate with you via email. It is important that you ensure the AFP has your current email details. You may need to check that any emails from the AFP are not assigned to 'junk' mail.

Organisational requirements change and this determines which specific skillsets we recruit. It is not a comment on your personal suitability for a role in the AFP, simply that other candidates have skills that are a closer match for our current needs. Having been previously invited to an online assessment demonstrates the high calibre of your application, and your skills may be ones that we seek in the future. Consequently, we encourage you to apply again next year.

I had trouble sourcing the required documentation for my application within the timeframe to apply. Can I be given more time to apply?

The requirement to complete the application including the Employee Suitability Questionnaire is clearly expressed on our website and in the application form. All candidates have the same opportunity to submit their information.

We encourage you to try again when applications next open.

I did not meet the requirements of the online assessment, but I have the perfect qualifications and experience. Can you reconsider?

The requirement to meet the benchmark score for the online assessment is applied across all candidates.

We recognise that one score does not define you and that there is far more to you than your result on one test. However, this is an objective recruitment tool used in the shortlisting process and this test has high predictive validity for employee success. As such, the outcome of the online assessment is final.

I was sick/distracted/busy when I undertook my testing. Can I have a second chance?

All candidates are given the same opportunity to complete their online testing. Consequently, we are unable to offer unsuccessful candidates a further opportunity. We do, however, encourage you to try again when applications open next year.

We are only able to provide very limited feedback to candidates, irrespective of which stage you reach in our process.

We recommend that you consider the following points and self-assess your application:

  • Do you meet the minimum education requirement?
  • Did you attach all the correct documents?
  • Did you prepare a strong application that indicated a genuine interest in, and relevant skills for, employment with the AFP?
AFP Protective service officer

Join the Directions Program

Applications for the 2022 AFP Directions Program are now open. The AFP Directions Program recognises the valuable contributions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make to policing for a safer Australia.

Apply Here

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