Indigenous Merit Register Factsheet

Indigenous Merit Register assessment steps

  • Step 1. Submit an application – Candidates will need to answer mandatory behavioural and technical questions. (shortlisting stage 1).
  • Step 2. Complete an online ability test – suitable candidates will be invited to complete an online ability test (shortlisting stage 2).
  • Step 3. Complete a second online ability test – suitable candidates will be invited to complete a second ability test
  • Step 4. Face-to-face interview – suitable candidates will be invited to participate in a face-to-face interview. The selection panel will be made up of two or three people from the Department who will ask you a series of behavioural and technical questions. The interview will run for approximately one hour. If candidates require an Indigenous interpreter to participate in the interview or workplace adjustment to participate in the interview, please contact  (shortlisting stage 3)
  • Step 5. Referee check – candidates found to be competitive following the interview will have their referees’ contacted. If placed on the Merit Register, candidates will be rated as either ‘highly suitable’ or ‘suitable’

Online ability tests

If you are found suitable to progress to ‘step 2’ of the recruitment process, the test you will undertake will measure your ability to understand, interpret and evaluate written information, interpret and evaluate numerical data and your ability to proof read text, check figures and verify codes. You are given 18 minutes to complete the test.

If you are found suitable to progress to ‘step 3’, you will undertake a second ability test that measures your preferred behavioural style to identify your key strengths and development areas. The test takes approximately 40 minutes to complete.

These assessments will be provided by Saville Assessments and the link to the assessments will be emailed to you. If you receive notification that you are due to complete an online assessment but do not receive the link, please check your junk mail folder. 

In order to prepare for these assessments please feel free to complete practice tests available.

If you have any questions about the online testing during the recruitment process please contact Capital Recruit on 02 6154 9309 or Saville Assessments on 02 8004 2941

Eligibility to apply for the Indigenous Merit Register

The recruitment process is only open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is consistent with Section 26 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016.

The filling of this employment opportunity is intended to constitute a special measure under subsection 8(1) of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

To be eligible to submit an application for the Merit Register, you will also be asked to provide evidence of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage. If you do not yet have this evidence please commence the process to obtain the document. Visit the AIATSIS website for information.

Applying for a job

You will submit an online application on the Department’s online recruitment system. You can access the recruitment system via the job advertisement.

Job offers

You are not guaranteed a job with us if you are successful in gaining a place on the Merit Register. As vacancies arise, hiring managers will review the Merit Register for candidates with the relevant skills and experience for the vacancies. If you are selected as the successful candidate - depending on your skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications you may have the opportunity to negotiate your salary within the parameters of the Department’s Enterprise Agreement.

Accepting an offer of employment once on Indigenous Merit Register

Once you have gained a place on the Indigenous Merit Register, you are not obligated to accept an offer of employment if it does not suit you.

Time limit of the Indigenous Merit Register

Candidates will remain on the Merit Register for 12 months from the date the initial employment opportunity was advertised on APSJobs.

Once the 12-month period has ended you will be automatically removed from the Merit Register. You have the option to re-apply for the Merit Register when the next refresh occurs which may be at any time. You may also request to be removed from the Merit Register at any time.

If you are made a permanent (ongoing) job offer you will be removed from the Merit Register. If you are made a job offer on a temporary (non-ongoing) basis you will remain on the Merit Register to be considered for an ongoing positon.

The Indigenous Merit Register is for potential roles across multiple classifications

You will be asked in the Merit Register application form which classification you would like to be assessed against. You have the option to select more than one classification level however you will be initially assessed against the highest classification you nominate.

If you are not found suitable at the highest classification level you select you will be automatically assessed against the next lower classification level down you have selected. If you only choose one classification level to be assessed against you cannot be considered for a position at another classification level.

The Australian Public Service (APS)

There are three levels of government in Australia—local, state/territory and Commonwealth, or Australian Government. Each level of government is supported by their own public service, with the Australian Government being supported by the APS.

There are more than 200 separate APS organisations, employing over 300,000 people. It includes large agencies that provide a broad range of services across the country through to small agencies working on specialised issues in one sector of society. It is responsible for developing and regulating laws, developing policies and programs to support many areas of the community, protecting Australia's borders and enhancing Australia's economy.

Some of the functions you may be familiar with include:

  • Australia's welfare system which is administered by the Department of Human Services;
  • the National Broadband Network which is oversighted through the Department of Communications;
  • our mail delivery system through Australia Post;
  • TV and broadcasting rules and regulations overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority; and
  • maintaining Australia's voting and electoral system through the Australian Electoral Commission.

There are also a lot of things done by the APS which you might be surprised about. Did you know these facts?

  • The Australian Federal Police and Defence Force personnel are part of the Australian Government.
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) invented WiFi, plastic bank notes and a wellbeing diet.

The Australian Sports Commission drives participation in sport and has been integral in the development of Australia's sporting stars.

A full listing of Australian Government agencies can be found at