Employment Opportunities with the ODPP
The ODPP offers employment opportunities in a range of challenging jobs. Jobs as lawyers, paralegals, clerical support and witness assistance officers are just a few examples.
The Office is dedicated to maintaining a prosecuting agency that is efficient and fair and acts in the public interest. We use modern management methods and technology and our staff receive excellent training in a wide range of curricula. The opportunities and achievements available in the Office match those of leading private sector law firms.
The ODPP is also the home of the Crown Prosecutors. Crown Prosecutors are counsel who, as statutory office holders under the Crown Prosecutors Act 1986, specialise in the conduct of criminal trials by jury or judge alone in the Supreme and District Courts and appeals therefrom. [Their particular functions are set out in the DPP Overview section of this website] The vast bulk of criminal jury trials in this State are prosecuted by Crown Prosecutors. They also regularly provide advice to the Director of Public Prosecutions on the continuation or termination of criminal proceedings. Occasionally they appear at coronial inquests, inquiries under s.474B of the Crimes Act 1900 and in unusually complex committal proceedings.Guidelines for the process for the appointment of Crown Prosecutors are available by clicking here.
How are ODPP employees selected?
ODPP employees are selected on merit. The aim of merit selection is to choose the best person for the job. This means that the successful applicant will be the person whose abilities, qualifications, experience, skills, standard of work performance and personal qualities best match the job requirements.
A selection panel manages the recruitment process. Selection panels generally comprise 3 or 4 members. The role of the panel is to determine the comparative merit of each applicant and to recommend the candidate with greatest merit. Where more than one vacancy is to be filled the selection panel may create an eligibility list, ranking other applicants suitable for appointment in order of merit.
Where do I find out about ODPP vacancies?
The best place to find out about ODPP jobs is in the NSW Government employment section of Saturday’s “Sydney Morning Herald” and “Daily Telegraph”. Certain positions will also be advertised in regional and other newspapers, and vacancies for lawyers and paralegal staff regularly appear on the NSW Law Society OnLine Jobs service. Click here to access details of current job vacancies.
you are interested in permanent or long-term temporary employment only, do not
submit a resume other than as part of an application for a specific job.
Short-term temporary vacancies may, however, be filled on a merit selection
basis from a register of people who have contacted the Office and indicated an
interest in employment with the ODPP. Vacancies filled in this way would typically be for
entry level lawyers or for administrative support positions. Employment under this system is short-term and temporary
staff wishing to remain with the Office on a permanent basis must compete for
vacancies advertised in the wider market.
The ODPP is a recognised employer for
the College of Law’s Practical Legal Training Program and the equivalent
programs offered at a number of universities. The ODPP provides students
and graduates in law with temporary employment opportunities to satisfy the
pre-admission practical training requirements. Job offers are generally
for periods of up to six months and depend upon vacancies and merit selection.
Unlike other vacancies, these opportunities are not advertised in the press. They are promoted through the College of Law, participating universities and Law Society OnLine Jobs only.
How do I apply?
You need to apply in writing. It is important to prepare a good application, as it will be used to decide whether you get an interview. Your application is also important later on in the assessment process.
A good application shows why you are the best person for the job and how your skills, knowledge and experience match the selection criteria. It also determines whether you will be called for interview. It is your opportunity to demonstrate that you possess the knowledge, skills and ability to do the job.
The following steps should be followed when preparing your application:
Read the advertisement
Read the job advertisement closely as it includes the selection criteria that will be used to select a person for the vacancy, and it usually includes a brief description of the job. It also gives you a contact name and a closing date for applications.
Obtain the information package
It is important that you obtain the information package by contacting the person nominated in the advertisement.
An ODPP information package typically includes an application form, a detailed description of the duties of the job, an organisation chart, an overview of the Office’s Corporate Plan and a summary of the conditions of service available to ODPP employees. Other documents relating to the particular vacancy or work location and/or instructions in relation to the selection panel’s requirements will also be included in the package.
Telephone the contact officer
You can get more information about the job by telephoning the person named in the advertisement for inquiries. Speak to this person only after you have read the information package so that your questions will be more relevant.
Speaking to the contact officer will help you to decide whether to apply for the job and which of your knowledge, skills and experience you should emphasise in your application.
Complete the application form
A standard job application form will be included in the information package. You do not have to use this form. However, it is important that you read both sides of the form and provide the information requested in your application.
Each advertisement states that criminal record checks are carried out on all successful applicants prior to an offer of employment being made. For this reason full name, former names (if applicable), current address, date of birth, and place of birth must be provided.
If, for any reason, you are not comfortable providing this information with your application, you can contact the Personnel Services Branch on (02) 9285 2549and arrangements will be made for the information to be restricted to Personnel Services staff and authorised officers within the Police Service.
Prepare a resume that is clear, concise and up-to-date. Your resume should include your personal details, education and employment history. It is important for you to list your full employment history (employer, period of employment, job title, major duties and responsibilities, and major achievements). However, particular emphasis should be given to the positions that have provided you with the knowledge, skills and abilities to undertake the job for which you are now applying. You should adopt a similar approach in relation to volunteer work as well as training and development activities. The selection panel will be focusing on those activities that have prepared you to undertake the advertised position.
It is the selection panel’s assessment of each application against the selection criteria that determines who will be called for interview. You should therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience are relevant to these requirements. You can do this by addressing the selection criteria in a statement of claim. The common approach is to make a separate heading for each criterion and to describe how your qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience are relevant to the advertised job.
You should include the names and contact details of 2 referees in your job application. Referee checking is standard practice within the ODPP. However, the approach taken by individual selection panels may vary.
The selection panel may conduct referee checks on all short-listed applicants. This is the most common approach. In other cases referees may be contacted prior to the culling of applications. Referees may be asked to comment in writing on your performance against specific selection criteria or they may be contacted by telephone to provide this information.
It is important that you analyse the selection criteria and nominate referees who have observed your performance and can provide valid comment in all or most of the areas. It is also important that you confirm the contact details and the availability of your referees.
It is general practice for applicants to nominate a recent supervisor who can comment on work performance. This is easy for applicants with a long employment history. However, applicants leaving school or university or newly qualified solicitors may find it more difficult to identify an appropriate referee. In these circumstances applicants should draw on university lecturers, their involvement in volunteer work, community service organisations, or previous work experience to identify suitable referees.
You must ensure that your application reaches the address shown in the advertisement by the stated closing date. Late applications will not be accepted unless an extension has been granted.
If you are keen to apply and there is a reason why you cannot submit your application by the closing date, you may be given an extension. Extensions can only be arranged by telephoning, faxing or e-mailing the contact officer prior to the closing date to discuss your specific circumstances and to register your intention to apply.
What happens next?
The selection panel meets, usually within ten working days of the closing date, to assess all applications against the selection criteria and to decide who will be called for interview. This is known as the cull.
Applications are culled on the basis of:
those applicants who are ineligible to apply; and
those who do not meet the essential requirements stated in the advertisement.
In the event that further culling is required (eg. in the case of a large number of applicants) this may be done on the basis of:
who meet the essential but not desirable qualifications;
those whose qualifications and experience are of substantially less value than those of other applicants.
What can I expect at interview?
If you are called for interview you will be given reasonable notice of your appointed time. Generally this notice will be three working days. You will also be advised of the composition of the selection panel – the name of each panel member and the position he or she holds. If you have any special requirements (e.g. disabled parking, wheelchair access, sign language interpreter) tell the contact person at that time so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
At interview you can expect to be asked a series of questions. Each applicant will be questioned along the same lines. You will be given the opportunity at the end of questioning to clarify points or to provide further information in support of your application.
Selection panels sometimes combine an interview with a practical exercise or present the applicant with a problem to solve. If the panel intends to take this approach you will be advised of what is required by the person who contacts you about your interview time.
Can I negotiate my salary?
The salary range for the position will be stated in the advertisement. All applicants called for interview are given the opportunity to put their case forward in relation to commencing salary. You should come to the interview prepared to do so if you believe that your knowledge, skills and experience warrant your being paid above the minimum rate.
Although the points put forward will be taken into account, the salary offered to the successful applicant is based on his or her relevant skills and experience in comparison with the remuneration of existing staff performing similar work.
When will I know if I have been successful in my application?
It is ODPP policy to inform all applicants of the outcome of their application within 14 days of the interviews being conducted. The successful applicant will generally be contacted by telephone prior to a written offer being issued. Eligible and unsuccessful applicants may expect to be advised in writing of the outcome of their applications.
Unsuccessful applicants can request a post selection discussion with the convenor of the selection committee. This can help them to understand the committee’s decision and to discuss ways to improve their application or interview performance when they next apply.
Who has access to information relating to my application?
The information collected from you and about you is used for recruitment purposes only. The information provided in your application, at interview, and by your referees is maintained in the strictest confidence. The selection panel, the ODPP Executive with authority to approve the selection panel’s recommendation, and Personnel Services staff, access this information.
The information obtained through the recruitment process will not be used for any other purpose without your prior knowledge.