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Defence Member and Family Support

For ADF members and their families

1800 624 608

Selection process

The selection process has two parts: a ‘paper’ evaluation and an individual face-to-face interview.

Selection board evaluation

The evaluation is conducted by a selection board of ADF Service employment group specialists and career managers who will assess your skills, experience and qualifications against the work group you are applying to join. It will also assess whether you have an overall awareness of ADF service conditions as well as the suitability for the field of employment you are seeking.

The board will make its assessment based on the documentation that you have provided. The board members will make recommendations regarding your professional suitability, including proposed skill grade, rank and seniority determined against ADF standards. The board will also identify any bridging training requirements and outline an indicative posting plan.

Following the board’s assessment, applicants will be placed in order of merit for delegate consideration for appointment/enlistment.


If your application is successful, you will be required to attend a selection interview with a Service delegate at your local Australian Embassy or High Commission and to undertake a telephone interview with Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS).

These interviews are intended to assess your professional and personal qualities in addition to determining your suitability for employment and integration into the ADF.

Your selection interview is a key part of the application process and your partner (if applicable) is also encouraged to attend. The interview is your opportunity to demonstrate why an offer for an opportunity with the ADF should be made.

Important: It is in your interest to be prepared for this interview. You should do your own research and be well informed of the significant lifestyle and cultural changes you and your family may experience in the ADF and in Australia.

Recognition of overseas military qualifications

Although Defence may recognise the skills and experience that an applicant possesses, the offer is based on Service-specific workforce demands at the time that the offer is made.

There is an Australian Government Labour Agreement between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Defence. Under the terms stipulated in this Agreement, the ADF may only appoint/enlist applicants in the nominated occupations if they have a minimum of three years military experience and hold appropriate skills and qualifications for full and unrestricted employment within the ADF.

The Services are required under the Labour Agreement to certify that you have the appropriate qualifications, skills and experience for employment. 

The Services will conduct an assessment of qualifications and competencies that directly align to the employment work group and rank for which the you are being recruited. These qualifications may include those courses and proficiencies that have specific military benefit to the Service in which you will be employed.

There is no requirement for the Services to provide recognition of qualifications, skills, competencies or proficiencies that are not directly aligned to the employment workgroup or rank within that workgroup to which you have been recruited.

The determination of rank and pay will be based only on those qualifications that have been assessed as aligning directly to the employment that you will be undertaking. Any future recognition of qualifications and competencies outside those identified in the Conditions of Service will also have no effect on rank or pay determinations.

Full details of the skills recognition of foreign qualifications or competencies for the purposes of immigration as a skilled worker are located on the Defence Jobs website , under ‘Citizenship’.

Recognition of other qualifications

Recognition of overseas qualifications is not automatic and depends on the occupation or skill set. For some occupations, the criteria must be satisfied before you start working, and may be required by law. Satisfying the criteria is usually a separate process to applying for employment. For all occupations, it is the employer who decides who they will employ.

Occupations that require specialised knowledge and skills in Australia often have registration, practising, licensing, professional membership or other industry requirements that must be satisfied before you can commence working.

Applying for recognition of educational qualifications, proficiencies and competencies outside those identified in the Conditions of Service will be the responsibility. To gain recognition for skills and qualifications not directly related to immigration status, see the Department of Immigration and Border Protection  website under Skilled Occupations.

Australian recognition assistance

Australian Education International (AEI), through the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR), provides official information and advice on comparing overseas qualifications with Australian qualifications. This aims to help overseas qualified people work and study inAustralia .

Part of the Department of Education, AEI uniquely integrates the development of international government relations with support for the commercial activities of Australia's education community. To do this, AEI liaises with all sectors of the education and training industry and all levels of government. AEI also provides information on the specific assessing authorities that conduct the assessment of overseas qualifications across all disciplines.

For further information about AEI services, as well as links to other assessing agencies, refer to the AEI website .

AEI does not assess secondary school qualifications (these are normally assessed by state/territory education authorities) or trade qualifications (which can be assessed by Trades Recognition Australia ).

For further information on recognition of educational and vocational training qualification applicants and their families should go to the Australian Qualifications Framework website.

Whilst some educational requirements may not entirely align with the occupational requirements of the applicant, Defence has programs in place for serving members to undertake further training on a selection basis once in Australia, including the Defence Assisted Study Scheme.