Last updated: 12 Aug 2013

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The Australian Public Service (APS) is committed to employing people with disability and creating inclusive work environments that reflect the diversity of the Australian community. In consultation with APS agencies, the Australian Public Service Commission developed the As One–APS Disability Employment Strategy to make this a reality. As One aims to strengthen the APS as a disability-confident employer, and improve the experience of people with disability in APS employment.

Australian Network on DisabilityAustralian Network on Disability

The Australian Network on Disability (AND), a not for profit organisation fully funded by members, is a trusted long term partner in building disability confidence within APS agencies. AND offers a range of products and services to create inclusive workplaces. Its services include disability awareness training, development of disability action plans, member/champions network meetings, and guidelines to assist managers supervise and support staff with disability. AND also runs internships for undergraduates with a disability, traineeships for people with Intellectual Disability and mentoring programmes. To find out more about AND products and services go to www.and.org.au

The As One–APS Disability Employment Strategy

As One, launched in May 2012, aims to improve the recruitment and retention of people with disability in the APS. To achieve this, all agencies, leaders and employees will need to work together to build a culture that is inclusive of people with disability.

Find out more about As One

Read the As One APS disability employment strategy


RecruitAbility logo

RecruitAbility is designed to facilitate the progression of applicants with disability to further assessment, such as interview, when they opt into the scheme and meet the minimum requirements for the job. The primary intent of the scheme is to better support the employment of people with disability and develop an APS workforce that it is more reflective of the community it serves.

The scheme can be applied to vacancies across all APS agencies.

Find out more about RecruitAbility

As One - Leading the Way video series

As part of the As One—Australian Public Service Disibility Employment Strategy, the Australian Public Service Commission has created an engaging and informative series of videos, 'Leading the Way', to build education and awareness around disability employment in the public service.

Each video in the series features a number of APS Senior Executives, Disability Champions and subject matter experts sharing their experiences, views and thoughts around the employment of people with disability and creating inclusive APS workplaces for everyone.

View the videos on the APSC website

Looking for career advice? Try My Career, My APS

My Career, My APS is an online tool for people from diverse backgrounds, particularly those with disability, who are looking to start or enhance a career in the Australian Public Service. It is accessible to everyone and no log-in or password is required.

Visit the My Career, My APS tool

Mental health guide

This guide, Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work, was developed as part of the As One–APS Disability Employment Strategy. The guide aims to empower managers and employees to work together to build inclusive workplace cultures and effective systems for promoting mental health in the Australian Public Service.

The guide is available here:

Australian Public Service Commission—Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work

Legislative framework for disability employment

Under the existing legal framework the APS is committed to maintaining a workplace that promotes inclusion and equity, including:
  • upholding the APS Employment Principles, which are set out in section 10A of the Public Service Act 1999 , and require that the APS is a career-based public service that:
    • makes fair employment decisions with a fair system of review (paragraph 10A(1)(a));
    • makes decisions relating to engagement and promotion that are based on merit (paragraph 10A(1)(c));
    • provides workplaces that are free from discrimination, patronage and favouritism (paragraph 10A(1)(f));
    • recognises the diversity of the Australian community and fosters diversity in the workplace (paragaph 10A(1)(g)); and
    • provides all eligible members of the community with a reasonable opportunity to apply to perform the relevant duties (paragraph 10(2)(a)).
  • establishing a workplace diversity program to assist in giving effect to the APS Employment Principles (section 18 of the Act).
  • meeting its obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Fair Work Act 2009, including pursuing policies that are designed to promote equality of opportunity in employment.

Affirmative recruitment measures are also available under the Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2013:

  • Clause 2.16 provides an 'affirmative measure' to assist people with intellectual disability to gain APS employment – see http://www.apsc.gov.au/disability/affirmativemeasures.
  • Clause 2.17 provides an 'affirmative measure' allowing the employment of a person with disability where a disability employment services provider has assessed that person as being unable to compete successfully on merit due to his or her disability. See http://www.apsc.gov.au/disability/plain-english-guide for more information.
  • Clause 2.17A establishes the RecruitAbility scheme described above.