Graduate Development Officer - Applicant information pack

Graduate Development Officer - Applicant information pack

Employment opportunity

Graduate Development Officer


Carissa Griffiths

Manager, HR Strategy and Support

(08) 6552 8732

© State of Western Australia 2012

There is no objection to this publication being copied in whole or part, provided there is due

acknowledgement of any material quoted or reproduced from the publication. Published by the Public

Sector Commission (Western Australia), July 2012.


The Western Australian Government is committed to quality service to its customers and makes every

attempt to ensure accuracy, currency and reliability of the data contained in these documents. However,

changes in circumstances after time of publication may impact the quality of this information.

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I am pleased to invite university graduates to apply for the

Public Sector Commission’s 2013 graduate program


The program provides graduates with opportunities to

learn from and interact with high-profile stakeholders

across the sector while fast-tracking their learning and

equipping them for public sector policy and management

positions. Having myself commenced in the public sector

through a graduate program, I can personally attest to

their benefit and the opportunities they can present.

Joining the Commission will provide you with unique

experiences not available at other public sector agencies.

Much of our role requires staff to work on projects that

have wide-reaching implications for the sector.

Within this application pack, you will find information about the Commission’s role and

structure, outlining how our Graduate Development Officers fit in and contribute to the

sector. This pack also highlights the entitlements and benefits available to public sector

employees, with detailed instructions on how to apply. To give you a clear picture of

what’s on offer, several of our current and former graduates—the latter having since

moved into more senior roles in the Commission—have shared their experiences.

I encourage all university graduates to apply for the 2013 graduate program and wish

you the best of luck in preparing your applications.

M C Wauchope




The Public Sector Commission’s graduate program will help fast-track your professional

development and help you gain valuable and varied work experience, develop personal

and professional networks, and learn more about the Commission’s functions and role in

the wider public sector.

The top three applicants will be appointed to a Graduate Development Officer position,

undertaking a 12-month placement with rotations in each of the Commission’s business

areas, learning the processes of government while working on projects and strategies

important to the sector.

The program commences in January with a comprehensive induction. Your supervisor, a

mentor and a team of professional, creative and dedicated people will help you to identify

and work towards achieving your career goals.

Graduates will be supported to work both independently and collaboratively on a wide

variety of projects, such as providing executive support to external agency reviews,

working on Freedom of Information requests, delivering presentations to staff in regional

areas and drafting briefing notes, media responses, legislation and Cabinet submissions.

The seminars, training and networking functions you attend as part of the program will

help you gain insight into how government operates, with the Commission committed to

developing graduates as future leaders in the sector.


The Public Sector Commission

Our role

The Commission provides leadership, builds capacity, evaluates

performance and recommend improvements, drives reform and

advances the diversity and accountability agendas of the public


In 2011–2012, the Commission:

• managed a legislative reform program with the Corruption and

Crime Commission Act and Lobbyists Bill before Parliament

• conducted the recruitment processes for a number of CEO


• provided guidance for agencies on managing structural change,

workforce and diversity planning and annual reporting to Parliament

• launched the pilot of its new Foundations of Government Human

Resources Program for HR practitioners

• undertook inquiries into the November 2011 Margaret River

bushfire and into the conduct and response of public officials and

government agencies in relation to allegations of sexual abuse at

St Andrew Hostel in Katanning.

Our vision

A high performing public sector serving the needs of Western

Australia now and for the future.

Our values

When doing business, we will be:

• responsive and professional in our service delivery

• passionate about what we do

• forward thinking in our approach

• collaborative in our relationships

• willing to build and share our expertise.

Thamis Kint

2011 Graduate

Development Officer

‘Rotating through the

different business units

gave me a great

opportunity to work on a

variety of projects.

I enjoyed working on

freedom of information

requests, assessing

applications within the

legislative framework.

The graduate program

gave me a solid

grounding for my

career, and I would

definitely recommend a

career in the WA public

sector to other

university graduates,

especially through the

Commission’s graduate


Thamis is now a

Level 5 Policy and

Project Officer within

the Commission


Corporate structure

The Commission consists of three divisions and two support areas. Each division is headed

by a Deputy Commissioner, with responsibility for research, analysis, policy development

and management of a broad range of issues.

Accountability, Policy and Performance Division

The Accountability, Policy and Performance Division is engaged in an ongoing process of

reform to public sector administration and management. The division also supports the

compliance and performance monitoring and the oversight functions performed by the

Commissioner under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSM Act).

Capability and Development Division

The Capability and Development Division assists public sector bodies and employees to

comply with the Western Australian Code of Ethics, the principles of official conduct

and public sector standards in human resource management. The division assists public

sector employers to identify and develop skilled and ethical leaders while delivering

accredited training programs designed to skill the sector’s human resource professionals.

The division also employs a range of workforce planning initiatives including integrating

diversity outcomes to enable the sector to tap into potentially underutilised sections of the

workforce. The division showcases public sector excellence and capacity through a range of

events including the coordination of the Premier’s Awards, the Excellence in the Public

Sector Conference and other workshops.

Agency Support Division

The complexities of a public sector are vast, and a key role of the Commission is to provide

direction and advice to agencies when it is needed. The Agency Support Division provides

assistance to agencies with issues surrounding the employment framework that exists within

the public sector including general human resource management policies, practices and

processes, the PSM Act, CEO and Senior Executive Service employment and appointment,

structural reviews and analysis, redeployment and severance, governance and remuneration

for members of boards and committees, and disciplinary investigations.

Office of the Commissioner

The Office of the Commissioner, which incorporates the Corporate Communications Unit,

provides direct support to the Commissioner and responds to media enquires and freedom of

information requests. The Corporate Communications Unit supports divisions with website

development and maintenance, as well as publication design, editing and production.

Strategic Corporate Support Unit

The Strategic Corporate Support Unit provides organisational development, human resource

management and financial management services for the Commission.


Working for the Public Sector


Your role

As a Graduate Development Officer you can expect to:

• research and analyse issues relevant to the public sector

• develop policy and provide advice on a variety of Commission


• manage projects, liaising with both internal and external

stakeholders, and participate in project groups

• develop, prepare and disseminate Commission publications and

marketing material

• prepare briefing notes for the Public Sector Commissioner and

other senior staff members

• prepare reports and draft correspondence

• respond to requests for information from other agencies and

members of the public.

Want to know more about Talitha’s experiences as a

Graduate Development Officer? Phone on (08) 6552 8631

Talitha Schofield

2012 Graduate

Development Officer

‘The graduate program

at the Commission is

certainly one of the best

programs available in

the public sector.

I am offered the

opportunity to attend a

wide variety of

seminars, training, and

networking events have

also been supported in

continuing to grow my


The program has

broadened my

understanding of what

opportunities there are

and the paths I can take

in my future career.’



The Commission operates under the Public Service and Government

Officers General Agreement 2011 and the Public Service Award 1992.

Graduates will commence on a salary of $60,330 as a Level 3

Graduate Development Officer. Public sector employees receive a

superannuation contribution of 9%.

Public sector employees are entitled to:

• four weeks paid annual leave plus two days paid leave in lieu of

repealed public service holidays (22 days in total)

• 15 days paid personal leave

• 13 weeks paid long service leave after seven years continuous


• Leave entitlements are usually transferable between public sector

agencies, giving you flexibility in progressing their careers.

Working hours

Full-time employees work 37.5 hours per week (7.5 hours per day)

and have access to flexible work hours in negotiation with their


Want to know more about Francine’s experiences as a

Graduate Development Officer? Phone on (08) 6552 8741

Francine Goss

2012 Graduate

Development Officer

‘The graduate program

involves you with real

projects significant to

the Commission and to

the sector.

You can really see how

your day to day work

makes a big difference.

I would highly

encourage all recent

graduates to apply.

This program has been

the best decision I have

made following

university, and I can

really see a motivating

and exciting career

shaping out for me in

the sector.’


Other benefits


Subject to a performance review, graduates will be offered permanent positions in the

Commission as Level 3 Project Officers at the conclusion of their 12-month placement.

Project Officers may continue to rotate through the Commission, be allocated to a

project, or may be placed in a position in the Commission that suits their skills and

interests. Project Officers are also encouraged to apply for opportunities to take on other

roles, either temporarily or permanently, to progress their careers.


Our graduates have the opportunity to network with fellow graduates in other

departments through the Graduate Future Leaders Program, which also provides a

holistic overview of government process and topical issues facing both the public sector

and the Western Australian community. Graduates also gain exposure to the inner

workings of Government with organised visits to Parliament and Government House.

Future graduates can identify their training needs and apply to attend relevant training

courses and developmental programs in negotiation with their managers.

Information sessions

The Commission has monthly information sessions, where high profile speakers present

on a topic relevant to the public sector. These sessions give our staff insight into the

workings of other agencies and how they are affected by the Commission’s activities.

Presenters in 2012 included:

• Ms Susan Hunt PSM, CEO, Zoological Parks Authority who presented on the unique

operations and innovative initiatives at the Perth Zoo

• Mr Mark Webb, CEO, Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority who presented on the

unique business of the agency and some of the interesting international commercial

ventures Kings Park has entered into.

• Mr Eric Lumsden, Director General Department of Planning who presented on the

Perth Waterfront Development.



Should you apply?

Applications are invited from university graduates who have completed a degree of three

years or more in 2010, 2011, or will be completing their degree in 2012.

Graduates from all disciplines are encouraged to apply, however, human resource

management, law, organisational psychology, public policy, humanities, industrial or

employment relations and business disciplines have been identified as the most


Work-related requirements (selection criteria)

To undertake these duties, you will:

• demonstrate research and analytical skills

• have an ability to prioritise your work and meet deadlines

• show initiative and problem-solving skills

• have sound communication skills (written, oral and interpersonal)

• have the ability to work as a member of a team.

To be successful, applicants must:

• have achieved consistently high academic results

• be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency status.

The Commission is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applicants from all

diversity groups to apply.

Note: For qualifications obtained outside of Australia, it is your responsibility to obtain an

assessment of your qualifications from the Overseas Qualification Unit in the Department

of Training and Workforce Development.

For information, visit or contact

the department (08) 9224 6500 or email:


Prepare your application

To be considered for this opportunity you will need to provide:

1. a completed application form, quoting position number


2. a cover letter (no more than one page) introducing yourself,

your field of study and why you are interested in working at the

Commission as a graduate

3. a comprehensive CV (resume)

4. a copy of your academic record (must include all results)

5. a short statement (no more than two pages) describing a team

project or assignment you have been involved in and your role

in that team. Tell us how you used your analytical skills,

prioritised your time, how you worked through problems that

arose and how you used your communication skills to achieve

results and complete the project. You should also consider and

explain how these skills may apply to the Graduate

Development Officer’s duties (see page 7 of this pack).

Laura Hunter

2011 Graduate

Development Officer

‘The Commission’s

graduate program has

been the ideal way to

begin my career in the

public sector.

The experience I have

gained has allowed me

to take on a range of

challenging projects and

gain an excellent insight

into a central

government agency.

I highly recommend the

program to anyone

interested in starting

their career with a

structured program that

offers ongoing

professional and

personal development.’

Laura is now a Level 5

Policy and Project

Officer within the



Submit your application

There are several ways to submit your application:


Via email:

Via post:

Please visit:

Email your application to, quoting

PSCGrad13 in the subject line

Send your hard copy application to:

Recruitment Officer

Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Locked Bag 3001



For more information please contact:

Carissa Griffiths

Manager, HR Strategy and Support

(08) 6552 8732

PSC’s current graduates are also happy to discuss their experience with applicants and

can be contacted directly:

• Francine Goss – (08) 6552 8741

• Talitha Schofield – (08) 6552 8631


The recruitment and selection process


After the closing date, a selection panel will consider each application and assess it

against the work-related requirements of the position.

The interview process

The interview process typically consists of two rounds of interviews. The top ten to 15

applicants will be offered a first round interview with the graduate program coordinator

and supervisors, and from there, the best applicants will be offered a final interview with

senior managers.


Following these interviews, the selection panel will discuss each applicant and

recommend to the Public Sector Commissioner the applicants who should be offered one

of the three places on the graduate program.


All applicants will be formally notified of the outcome at the completion of the process.

Successful candidates will be advised that they have been recommended for

appointment as a Graduate Development Officer.


All applicants can request feedback on their performance. Feedback is valuable for

future applications and your personal development. Please note that feedback is not

available until all candidates have been notified.


Successful candidates will commence with the Commission in January 2013

on a 12 month contract.

Good luck with your application!


Frequently asked questions

When are the interviews?

Interviews are planned for late August to early September. If you have not been

contacted for an interview by this time, it is unlikely you were selected to progress to the

next stage. You will be formally advised of the outcome at the end of the process.

If you have been offered an interview make sure you arrive ten minutes prior to your

scheduled interview time and wear appropriate business attire. Feel free to bring a copy

of your application and any preparatory notes with you if you feel it would assist you.

What will I be asked in the interview?

Most of the questions asked at the interviews will be based on the selection criteria (see

page 10 of pack). You should re-read your application carefully prior to attending an

interview. You should consider the work-related requirements and the general duties

that a Graduate Development Officer undertakes. Think of examples of how you meet

these requirements and skills. In addition, you should familiarise yourself with the role of

the Commission (including our annual report, which can be found with other Commission

information at You should also make yourself aware of

current issues affecting the Western Australian Government, public sector and


What if I am unsuccessful?

Candidates who were found to be suitable but who were not recommended for

appointment will be placed into a ‘pool’. Should further graduate vacancies become

available during the next 12 months, the Commission can revisit the pool to make

additional appointments.

Applicants who were found not suitable will be notified at the end of the process and are

especially encouraged to contact the Commission for feedback on their application.

What happens after my 12 month contract as a Graduate

Development Officer?

Subject to a performance review, you will be appointed to the permanent staff of the

Commission at the conclusion of this contract.


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