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FSANZ candidate information pack

Thank you for your interest in seeking employment with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

About the candidate information pack

The candidate information pack is designed to provide advice and guidance to applicants considering applying for a position in FSANZ. Care has been taken to provide a balance of information for a cross-range of candidates, including those who may not be familiar with Australian Public Service (APS) recruitment processes. The pack contains the position selection documentation, guidance on how to apply for a position, and some useful links.


Food Standards Australia New Zealand develops and administers the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The Code regulates the use of ingredients, processing aids, colourings, additives, vitamins and minerals. The code also covers the composition of some foods e.g. dairy, meat and beverages as well as standards developed by new technologies such as genetically modified foods. We are also responsible for labelling for both packaged and unpackaged food, including specific mandatory warnings or advisory labels.
In Australia, FSANZ has broader coverage and prepares standards across the food supply chain. We develop standards for primary production and processing and for food hygiene. We also set residue limits for agricultural and veterinary products. In New Zealand, these activities are undertaken by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. FSANZ develops standards in consultation with other government agencies and stakeholders, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation sets policy guidelines for the development of food standards by FSANZ.
FSANZ also has many other functions in Australia including coordinating food surveillance and food recall systems, conducting research and supporting the Department of Agriculture in its duty to inspect imported foods.
Our ultimate goal is to ensure Australia and New Zealand have a safe food supply and well-informed consumers.

Employment conditions

FSANZ employs both ongoing (permanent) employees and non-ongoing (temporary) employees. Non-ongoing employees may be engaged for a specific task or a specified term.
FSANZ respects and values the diversity of its workforce. It actively supports the careers and cultural needs of all employees and particularly Maori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, and those employees with a disability.
FSANZ operates under the Public Service Act 1999 (the Act) and as such, there are some eligibility and legal requirements to be aware of when applying.


The Act requires all people joining the APS in an ongoing capacity to be Australian citizens; however a n agreement between the Australian and New Zealand Governments provides opportunities for New Zealand citizens to apply for positions within FSANZ. Other non-Australian citizens are welcome to apply for non-ongoing placements.
New Zealand citizens are employed as APS locally engaged employees under the same employment conditions as other FSANZ employees, but the requirement for Australian citizenship is waived if they are employed in FSANZ’s Wellington office. The automatic waiver of citizenship does not apply to FSANZ employees working in the Wellington Office who wish to take up an ongoing employment opportunity in the Canberra Office.  
The CEO may waive the citizenship requirement in exceptional circumstances.

Security and character checks

A number of pre-employment checks will need to be undertaken before the successful candidate can commence with FSANZ. You will be required to present original documents (or extracts where applicable) of:
  • full birth certificate
  • Australian or New Zealand citizenship certificate
  • marriage certificate (if it shows a name change)
  • a deed poll certificate if associated with a name change
  • some form of photographic identification (passport or driver’s licence)
  • evidence of tertiary educational qualifications (mandatory if the position has identified specific qualifications as a condition of employment).
Candidates may also be asked to undergo a character check and/or a formal security vetting process as a condition of employment, but these actions will depend on the position and the length or type of engagement.

Health Assessment

All ongoing APS employees are required to complete a health assessment as a condition of employment.

Code of Conduct

If an applicant has received a breach under the Code of Conduct, either in Australia or New Zealand, the applicant should identify this in the Personal Particulars Form.  

A previous Code of Conduct breach does not automatically exclude people from future APS employment opportunities and a number of factors will be taken into consideration to determine eligibility for employment.

Conflict of Interest

Any conflict of interest, real or apparent, should be disclosed if successful in winning the position.  


Probation means a period of time where a new employee’s performance is assessed before continuing employment is confirmed. Probation periods are generally applied to ongoing employees but can be applied to non-ongoing employees placed within FSANZ for a period longer than three months.

Redundancy benefit

There are restrictions on the employment of people who have accepted a redundancy benefit from an APS employer.  

Preparing your application

To successfully apply for a position, applicants will need to demonstrate they are able to satisfy the requirements of the position.

First steps

Before starting an application it is recommended that applicants:
  • read the job documentation to ensure they understand the duties, responsibilities and tasks required to be effective n the job
  • research the FSANZ website –
  • contact the Chair of the Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) for any queries about the position or employment with FSANZ.

Addressing the selection criteria

The duty statement provides a brief overview of the roles and responsibilities associated with the position, but applicants must directly address the formal selection criteria while having regard to the duty statement and position description. This is a mandatory part of the selection process. 
Succinct applications addressing the selection criteria should be supported by a current curriculum vitae or résumé.
Comprehensive instructions on how to apply for a job in the APS can be found on the Australian Public Service Commission website at:
To assist applicants demonstrate their suitability for the position against the selection criteria, the STAR methodology is an effective technique:  
  • S ituation:       Set the context. What was the situation? What was your role?
  • T ask             What needed to be done? What obstacles had to be overcome?
  • A ction            What steps did you take to achieve the goal or complete the task?
  • R esult             What was the outcome? What lessons did you learn?
Applications should not be overly long and applicants should aim to provide a concise outline of an example against each selection criteria. Applications should include a covering letter clearly indicating details of the vacancy, a statement of claims (application addressing the selection criteria), a completed Personal Particulars Form, and a current résumé.
Applicants should include their names as part of the file name when sending documents through electronically.

Closing date / late applications

The closing date for applications is usually two weeks from the date of advertising in the APS Gazette and this date will be indicated in the selection documentation. Applicants submitting applications in person or by post should ensure applications are received by cob on the closing date or by midnight (Canberra time) if lodging by email or online.  
Late applications will generally not be accepted, but you may seek to negotiate an extension of time in exceptional circumstances with the SAC Chair.

Lodgement of applications

Applications can be lodged:
  • online via the FSANZ website:
  • electronically to:
  • by regular post to:
    • Australia - Boeing House, 55 Blackall Street, Barton, ACT, 2600; or PO Box 7186, Canberra BC, ACT 2610
    • New Zealand - Level 6, 108 The Terrace, Wellington, or PO Box 10559, The Terrace, Wellington, 6143

Withdrawing an application

If you have submitted an application and no longer wish to be considered for the position, you must formally withdraw your application by email to:

The selection process

The SAC must follow FSANZ recruitment policy and guidelines regarding the selection process, as follows:
  • shortlist applications
  • interview shortlisted applicants (if required)
  • review and assess referee comments and/or reports
  • prepare a selection report for the delegate’s approval
  • offers of employment made.
In the initial stages the SAC is focused on shortlisting applicants and it can often take a few weeks to contact applicants for interview, and in the latter stages gathering referee comments can contribute to delays in finalising the process.


The SAC determines the suitability of applicants for further assessment by reviewing each applicant’s eligibility and claims against the selection criteria. Only the strongest applicants are shortlisted for interview and it should be noted that satisfying the selection criteria may not necessarily be sufficient to make the shortlist.  


Interviews are generally conducted after shortlisting but this is not mandatory. The SAC may decide to base a decision solely on the strength of applications and referee comments. Applicants should take this into consideration when preparing their application.  
If the SAC wishes to proceed with interviews, applicants will be given sufficient notice to attend the interview, either in person, or by telephone or videoconference. If you are located in the same city as the position, there is an expectation for the applicant to attend the interview in person.
Some SACs may include a written or practical exercise as part of the interview process but shortlisted applicants will be advised the interview format in advance.


Applications should include the names and contact details of at least two referees. The principal referee would normally be a current or immediate past supervisor. Nominating peers, subordinates and/or clients familiar with an applicant’s work performance should be discussed with the SAC Chair. If it is not appropriate for any reason that your current supervisor be nominated as a referee, this should also be discussed with the SAC Chair.
In addition to nominated referees, the SAC may also wish to contact any other person it considers is familiar with an applicant’s work to assist in their assessment, but as a courtesy, the SAC will raise this with the applicant beforehand.
If an adverse comment is made on the applicant by a referee, the applicant will be given an opportunity to respond.

Selection report

The SAC prepares a report on the selection process and makes a recommendation to the delegate. Once the delegate has approved the recommendation, the SAC will then act to complete the employment process.  

Offer of employment

If your application is successful and you are offered employment with FSANZ, an offer will be made to the successful candidate, but employment is dependent on the candidate meeting FSANZ and APS eligibility requirements.  


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