Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

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

customs and border protection trainee - requirements and conditions

In this section:

Minimum age for engagement  18 years at the commencement of the course

Candidates must be Australian citizens.

Candidates should hold a current drivers licence or be willing to obtain one prior to engagement. This requirement is a pre-requisite of employment.

Successful candidates must obtain and maintain a baseline security clearances.

Successful candidates must meet certain medical standards.

Candidates must be prepared to do shiftwork. (See also Shift loading below)
Engagement  Ongoing employment. The job advertisement will specify details of the positions available.

Six months - theory and practical.

Classroom component - full-time during normal office hours.

Practical component - may be full or part-time, shift or non-shift. If the positions are part-time then hours are as notified.
Probation period  12 months 
Salary at commencement of training 

Full-time Salary at commencement of training (rates effective July 2013)

Minimum $42,865
Maximum $48,327

(Note: Pro rata rates apply for part-time staff)
Prospects on successful completion of training 

Progression to Customs and Border Protection Officer Level One on successful completion of training. The annual salary for a Customs and Border Protection Officer Level One commences at $53,127.

On completion of the probation period, officers will be eligible for Performance Assessment and Feedback (PAF) salary advancement within a salary range of $53,127 - $61,970 (Refer to Enterprise Agreement 2011 - 2014 for further information).

(Note: Pro-rata rates apply for part-time staff)
Shift loadings are paid in addition to the above salary range.

Shift loadings 

Shift penalty payments apply at the following rates:

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

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


Superannuation is provided to the employee in accordance with Customs and Border Protection policies.



Organisational Suitability Assessments/Security clearance

Customs and Border Protection Officers hold a position of trust and must deal properly with highly sensitive information. As a result, all positions in Customs and Border Protection are security assessed positions and candidates must firstly undergo employment suitability screening (Organisational Suitability Assessments (OSA)) before being assessed as eligible and suitable, from a security standpoint, to access security classified information.

OSA checks are processed with Customs and Border Protection. These checks determine whether or not there is anything in your background that might pose an unacceptable risk to the operational and security interests of Customs and Border Protection. If it is determined not to grant you a favourable OSA your application for employment with Customs and Border Protection will not progress further. OSA checks that are determined to be unfavourable are not subject to review or appeal.

The Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) processes security assessments. The security assessments includes background checks and you will be required to provide detailed personal information. This may include details of your employment and residence history, financial circumstances, any criminal charges and/or convictions (including traffic offences and spent convictions), any drug use and any overseas travel. You may also be required to provide this kind of information about your spouse, partner or de facto where applicable. You will also be asked to provide contact details for at least five referees. Your referees will be asked to answer probing questions about factors that will assist in the determination of your suitability to hold a security clearance.

This information is intended only as a guide. It is not a complete list of all the information required to obtain an appropriate security clearance.

For further information visit AGVSA

Medical examination

All applicants for Customs and Border Protection Trainee positions must undergo a medical examination, to ensure there are no medical issues which will impede your ability to complete the role. As Customs and Border Protection operations can be physically demanding, a medical examination must be conducted to certify that you have no medical condition which will prevent you from competently performing the various role responsibilities of a Customs and Border Protection Officer.


Shift work

As a Customs and Border Protection Trainee you will most likely be required to work shifts.

Customs and Border Protection operates in an environment where certain operations are required 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees are therefore required to do shiftwork in many work areas. Rosters are Airport arrivals and departures sign developed in consultation with employees and consider:

  • business needs of occupational health and safety;
  • maintenance of a healthy and productive working environment;
  • factors relating to staff amenity and lifestyle; and
  • efficient and effective alignment of employees to meet workload demands.

Shift work is more than just a pattern of work. It is a way of life that might have a fundamental impact on your work, sleep and also the management of your health, family and social life.

Refer to the Enterprise Agreement 2011 - 2014 for further information.



Successful applicants are subject to a 12-month probationary period. Your progress is carefully monitored during probation and Customs may terminate your employment at any time in the probation period. Termination of employment is usually only considered when progress is considered unsatisfactory, as indicated by your performance and attendance for example.  As noted previously, successful completion of all assessments is a mandatory part of your probation and training.

Advancement to Customs Officer Level One occurs only on successful completion of the six-month training period. The probation period continues for a further six months, formally ending 12 months from the date of engagement.


Outside employment

If you are currently employed in another capacity and you plan to continue this employment after commencement with Customs and Border Protection, you will be required to seek approval from Customs and Border Protection. If your alternative employment arrangements are not approved by Customs and Border Protection your continued employment within us will be dependent on the termination of that employment relationship. The most common reason for outside employment not to be approved are those jobs that pose a conflict of interest to Customs and Border Protection.