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Do I need qualifications to apply?

ONI positions do not generally require specific qualifications, however depending on the level and type of work the position engages in, there may be certain knowledge and experience requirements that can only result from a relevant qualification.  If a position requires qualifications it will be clearly stated in the Candidate Information Kit.

If I am applying based on my tertiary degree, what type of degree does ONI require?

ONI employs both 'specialists' and 'generalists', and therefore employs people from a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to arts, science,  IT, finance/business, economics, international studies and language studies.

Do I need to speak other languages?

No, but it can be advantageous. If a position requires the ability to speak a certain language, we will specify this in the Candidate Information Kit. Language proficiency allowance and /or maintenance training is available to those who have language skills or who work in positions where language proficiency is expected.

There are many positions that do not require other languages including in Enterprise Management, the enabling and corporate areas and some analytical positions.

Does ONI have a graduate program?

ONI does not currently run a graduate program however recent graduates are encouraged to apply to vacancies when advertised. ONI has a generous study assistance program which means you may be able to continue your studies on a part-time basis while working with ONI.

What does the selection process involve?

ONI has a two-stage selection process. Stage one is job-specific; your skills, experience and abilities are measured against the job requirements and the key attributes listed in the Candidate Information Kit. Stage two comprises security vetting, where we assess your eligibility and suitability for a security clearance. Both stages must be successfully completed to work in ONI.

What is merit?

ONI recruits staff based on merit, which means that from a field of applicants, we need to select the best person for the job. To do this we compare and weigh-up the skills, experience and abilities of each candidate. We use different tools and techniques, such as written applications, interviews and/or work-sample tests to collect the evidence we need to make a merit-based decision.

Security clearances

ONI security clearance requirement

All ONI employees are required to hold an Australian Government security clearance (most ONI positions require a positive vetting security clearance).

The security clearance process must be successfully completed before an employment offer can be issued.

Overarching policy

ONI's security clearance process is conducted in accordance with Australian Government protective security policy. We are required to resolve any doubts about security clearance eligibility or suitability in favour of the national interest.

Eligibility for a security clearance

To be eligible to hold an Australian Government security clearance, you must

  • be an Australian citizen
    • evidence of Australian citizenship must be provided
  • have a checkable background
    • background checks should generally be able to be undertaken in Australia
    • periods of greater than 12 months (cumulative) spent outside of Australia must be verified by independent and reliable sources, and
    • you should be able to demonstrate strong, evident and established ties to Australia.

Suitability for a security clearance

A person is considered suitable to hold a security clearance at any level only after it is established to the appropriate degree of satisfaction that they demonstrate an appropriate level of integrity.

In a security context, integrity is defined as a range of character traits an individual must demonstrate in order for the Australian Government to have confidence in an individual’s ability to properly protect security classified resources. Candidates are required to demonstrate that they are honest, trustworthy, mature, tolerant, resilient, loyal (to Australia) and not unduly vulnerable to coercion or exploitation.

Checks, enquiries and actions

ONI conducts a range of background checks and enquiries, and candidates participate in psychological and security interviews, where required.

Checks, enquiries and actions may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Psychological assessment (see below)
  • Employment checks
  • Qualification / education checks
  • Financial checks
  • ASIO assessment
  • Referee checks
  • Police check
  • Security interview

Psychological assessments for PV security clearances are conducted by a registered psychologist in accordance with relevant legislation and registration board requirements. Candidates are required to complete psychometric tests and attend an in-depth, face-to face-interview.

Please note face-to-face interviews with candidates are an integral part of the security vetting process - if you reside interstate or overseas it is highly likely you will be required to travel to Canberra at your own expense.

Ongoing suitability

Security clearance holders are required to hold a security clearance for the duration of their employment with ONI. Security clearance suitability is continuously reviewed and clearances are periodically revalidated in accordance with ONI’s requirements and Australian Government policy. ONI clearance holders are also required to comply with ongoing security and reporting obligations.


ONI complies with the Australian Government’s privacy principles. Access to security vetting data is limited to those authorised personnel who have a direct need to know.