Navy Civilian Engineer Development Program - FAQs

Q. Do I have to enlist in the Navy/wear a uniform?

A. No, you will be employed as a Department of Defence, Australian Public Servant (APS) working within the Navy group, i.e. a civilian employee

Q. Will I be operationally deployed?

A. No.

Q. Do I have to be an Australian Citizen to apply?

A. Yes, all Defence employees, graduate or otherwise must be Australian Citizens.

Q. Do I have to go to Sea?

A. Only if you wish to. Some rotations may give you the opportunity to attend trials on ships.

In addition, as part of your program the CEDP graduate manager may organise a sea ride where you will have the opportunity to go to sea and experience life on a ship. (this is always dependent on ship availability at the time)

Q. Do I have to relocate?

A. Generally yes. Graduates will commence their program in either Sydney or Canberra, therefore if you are not from either of those cities you will need to relocate. In additional graduates tend to relocate when they commence their Industry or external rotations, however this is not mandatory.

Graduates will be encouraged when selecting rotation placements that will require relocation to choose two back to back rotations in the same location. E.g. if you decide to do your Industry rotation in Adelaide, you will be encouraged to also complete your out of group rotation in Adelaide.

Q. Do I receive assistance when relocating for rotations?

A. Yes, you will receive assistance to have your belongings moved and receive assistance for meals and temporary accommodation.

Q. At what point in my degree can I apply for the program?

A. You can apply in your final year of your degree. Noting that you must have completed and passed all subjects of your degree by the end of that year to enable commencement in February the following year.

Q. Is there an order in which rotations must be completed?

A. Your first two rotations will be within Navy, the following two usually are external to Navy, ie one Industry rotation and a rotation to another Defence group such as Defence Science and Technology Group (there is no rule on the order in which you complete these rotations). The final two rotations will be back within Navy. Whilst we try and keep to the rotation order, we do remain flexible as on occasion things do not align at that time.

Q. Does the program support Defence Force Reserve leave?

A. Yes, although you are encouraged to try a limit this to 1-2 week blocks whilst you are on the program if possible.

Q. Do I have to apply within two years of completing my degree?

A. No, anyone with a relevant engineering degree can apply. The only caveat is that the degree must be recognised in Australia if issued internationally.

Q. Where in the Defence structure does the CEDP fall?

A. Department of Defence (DoD) -> Australian Defence Force Headquarters (ADFHQ) -> Office of the Chief of Navy (OCN) -> Navy Engineering Division (NED) -> Navy Engineering Branch (NEB)

Q. What is the main objective of the Engineers within the Navy Engineering Branch (NEB)?

A. Engineers within this branch are responsible through their Directors for supporting the Director General Engineering - Navy (DGENG-N) in the provision and retention of specialist technical and engineering knowledge, products and services. They are responsible for the coordinated Navy Engineering Branch (NEB) input to programs and projects and ensuring the NEB is represented on all Naval and Defence matters requiring Navy Engineering expertise throughout all phases of the Defence Capability Life Cycle (CLC).

Q. What type of work will I be involved in during the program?

A. The work will vary through each rotation but essentially you will develop your skills in providing specialist technical and engineering advice, products and services.

Q. What rotation options are available during the program?

A. In your four rotations within Navy there are a large variety of options available as to what you can be involved in, including (but not limited to) - combat management systems, networks, electromagnetic environmental effects, satellite and terrestrial communications, navigation, integrated control systems, cyber security, sonar, escape and rescue, structures, stability, hydrodynamics, materials, damage control and firefighting, signatures, ballistic protection and shock hardening, armaments, auxiliary mechanical systems, propulsion and manoeuvrability and environmental protection technology.

Q. Will I get a pay rise whilst I am on the program?

A. Yes, the CEDP is the only Defence graduate program where salary progression is paid.

Q. Why is the CEDP a 3 year program when other Defence programs are 12-18 months?

A. The CEDP is an intensive development program aimed at giving you as much experience and variety as possible. The number of rotations also allows you to experience a wider breadth of Navy, Defence and Industry engineering. This also enables us to advance you into an APS level 6 position at the end of your program, which could not be achieved in a shorter timeframe.

All other Defence programs only offer completion at the APS 4 or 5 levels (levels depend on the specific program and Defence group e.g. CASG, ASD, DSTG, etc).





Maritime Engineering &
Naval Construction Stream

Other Defence

Duration 36 months
6 x 6 month rotations
18 months
3 x 6 month rotations
18 months
3 x 6 month rotations
12 months
Rotations vary
Starting level APS 4 APS 4 APS 4 APS 4
APS Level
at end of program
Probabtion period 6 months Duration of program
(18 months)
Duration of program
(18 months)
Duration of program
(12 months)
External group rotation Yes Yes, if no Industry rotation
(cannot do both)
No Depends on program
Industry rotation Yes Yes, if no External group rotation
(cannot do both)
No Depends on program
Pay progression
whilst on program
Yes (3.8% performance pay
progression each year)
No No No