Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

ACBPS Trainee - what to expect

Recruitment Process

Trainee positions will be advertised based on Operational requirements. As opportunities are identified they will be advertised on our website and on APSjobs at a minimum. 

Due to the pre-employment requirements associated with Trainee recruitment you may find the process takes longer than you expect. Below is a link to an information guide outlining the timeframe expected with this recruitment process.

Please note this table is intended to be a guide only to help you establish a realistic expectation of the length of the recruitment process. Timeframes may change due to unforeseen circumstances.

View Customs and Border Protection Trainee Recruitment Proposed Timeline.

Is a career in ACBPS for you?

The nature of ACBPS work suits some people more than others.

The following scenarios are a snapshot of five experiences of ACBPS Trainees. They are insights into the different experiences and challenges you might face in your day-to-day activities as an ACBPS Officer.

Flight Schedule Board



Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions


When do applications open?


Recruitment will be conducted in various locations during the year as Operational demands are identified. You need to apply online for your application to be considered. We will be progressing people through the recruitment process at different times of the year based on the regional requirements. This will be highlighted on our website with a "Now Targeting" message alongside the location on the Positions Vacant page

Q Can I apply in one location and work in another?

No. Recruitment is conducted to meet operational demands in a specific location, it is therefore important that you are committed to working and living in the location you apply for.


How long will the recruitment process take?


A timeline for recruitment activity is available on the ‘what to expect page’. When recruitment activity occurs in a location it can take over six months from the time your application is considered to an order of merit being finalised and an offer of engagement made.


How long is the training?


The training program is approximately 26 weeks long. Approximately 16 – 18 weeks will be full-time theoretical classroom training. The balance will be a mixture of part-time and full-time practical on the job training (OJT).  Details of the full training program and roster for the OJT will be provided during the initial weeks of the theoretical classroom training.


Where will the classroom training be held?


Classroom training will be held at Customs House in the region you have been recruited into.  You will be required to provide your own transport to all training locations.


What hours will the classroom training be?


Full-time hours are 36.75 per week – standard hours are 0830 -1651 however, alternate start/finish times may apply if necessary for the course structure. The two week work area placements will also operate during these hours.


Classroom training will cover a total of 16 - 18 weeks spread over the 26 week training program.


What hours will the on-the-job training be?


Shift work hours during the OJT segments of your training will be advised to you during the initial weeks of training. They may include early starts and late finishes as well as weekend work. You will be required to provide your own transport to the Airport outside of hours where public transport is available.


If I do not pass one or more of the assessments during training can I re-sit/ask for a review?


Trainees complete a number of assessments throughout the program. This ranges from written and oral testing of theoretical understanding to formal workplace assessment. The formal written assessments are conducted during the blocks of formal training. For each written or practical assessment (i.e. examination) undertaken, trainees are given two opportunities to reach the required standard. Failure to meet the required standard at the second attempt for a particular assessment will generally result in termination of employment.


What is a Management Initiated Part Time (MIPT) position?


Flight schedules create peaks and troughs in the number of flights and passenger arrivals and departures. During the peak periods a much larger number of officers are required to process the passengers. MIPT officer positions were created to help meet the processing need in the peak periods. MIPT officers are attached to teams and generally work shorter shifts then full-time staff through the roster cycle. With this flexibility MIPT officers are rostered to provide additional attendances for peak flights and passenger numbers.


What hours can I expect to work per week?


MIPT officers are guaranteed a minimum average weekly number of hours – you may work more than that depending on the roster. MIPTs are generally recruited to work 20 hours per week.



*Please note: These hours are subject to change due to operational requirements. As positions become available hours will be confirmed.


How is my pay calculated for the different work stages – training full-time classroom, training on-the-job shift work and MIPT rostered shifts?


The Trainee salary band is outlined below.

During classroom components of your training you will be paid the applicable hourly rate multiplied by 36.75 hours per week gross.

While undergoing OJT shift work you will be paid salary for the average number of hours per week multiplied by the applicable hourly rate + penalties for actual shift hours worked – see next question for penalty rates.

Trainee annual salary (based on full time employment)

$42,865 - $48, 327 (as at May 2014)


+ 15.4% superannuation

Trainee hourly rates

$22.35 - $25.20 (as at May 2014)



After successful completion of the Trainee program you will graduate to a Customs and Border Protection Level 1 (CL1 / APS3) Officer.

CL1 annual base salary                     $53, 127 + 15.4% superannuation (based on full time employment)

CL1 hourly rate                                $27.71

You will be paid a salary for the average number of hours per week multiplied by the applicable hourly rate + penalties for actual shift hours worked – see next question for penalty rates.


When are shift penalties payable?


Monday to Friday (15%)     when any part of the shift falls between 1800 and 0630 hrs

                                            Monday to Friday
Monday to Friday (30%)     when entire shift falls between 1800 and 0800 Monday to Friday

Saturday (50%)                    for any shifts on a Saturday

Sunday (100%)                    for any shifts on a Sunday

Public holidays (150%)       for any shifts on a Public Holiday


How and when will I know if I have been successful?


Upon each short listed stage unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing. Due to the high number of applications received for the Trainee positions, individual feedback will not be available for unsuccessful applicants prior to the Assessment Centre.

Successful applicants will be notified by phone and or writing once all assessment has been evaluated and reference checks have been conducted. Offers will be based on the successful applicants obtaining an Organisational Suitability Assessment (OSA) conducted by ACBPS as well as a Baseline security clearance processed by AGSVA (Australian Government Security Vetting Agency) and a clear medical result.

Q Who do I contact for further information
A If you still have questions after reviewing the information available on our website please contact Corporate Connect