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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

About Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

  • Government & Public Service

What it does: Makes sure Australians aren’t getting ripped off
Staff stats: Around 800
The good bits: Interesting work, supportive workplace culture
The not so good bits: Limited resources
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration;  Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies; Sciences

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission story

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (universally referred to as the ACCC) came into existence in 1995. It emerged as a result of the amalgamation of the Australian Trades Practices Commission and Prices Surveillance Authority. The ACCC is one of the Federal Government’s most high-profile independent authorities, safeguarding the interests of consumers against predatory businesses.

The ACCC administers the Competition and Consumer Act and can act in the Federal Court to enforce its provision. Fines imposed by the Federal Court can exceed $10 million. If business owners/managers are found guilty of the accusations such as Illegal activities like forming a cartel for example, they can face prison terms of up to 10 years. The ACCC is charged with protecting consumer rights, regulating industries, preventing price-gouging and anti-competitive behaviour. It is the watchdog that makes sure businesses operating in Australia meet their obligations (while enjoying the rights they are entitled to).    

Unsurprisingly, many in corporate Australia are hostile to the ACCC. On the other hand, it’s one of the few government agencies that a significant number Australians express passionate support for. The ACCC is overseen by a Chairman, who has an executive team consisting of two Deputy Chairs and four Commissioners. Its parent agency is the Department of Treasury.

Diversity and inclusion

ACCC/AER is committed to diversity and inclusion. They know that workplaces that embrace diversity are high performing. They are a high performing organisation and encourage applications from people of all gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, disability and other demographic groups.
In particular, they:

  • have identified positions for Indigenous people and people with disability
  • reduce unconscious bias by ensuring you are assessed by multiple people, restricting your personal information to not influence assessors, and use objective assessment tasks and
  • encourage applications from students of a broad range of disciplines.

Social contribution

The ACCC has a workplace-giving program that facilitates staff donating to selected charities. It is committed to reducing its environmental impact. It also plays a vital role in making sure everyday Australians aren’t defrauded, exploited or overcharged by powerful businesses.  

Career prospects

The ACCC is a small agency where people enjoy their jobs and tend to hang around. While you can expect quick promotions early in your career, expect to face stiff completion once you reach middle-management level.

The vibe of the place
While you won’t get the other private sector corporate perks, you’re likely to find yourself working in a well-appointed CBD office. The hierarchy is flat, meaning you could find yourself chatting to a commissioner in the office lift. The workplace culture varies from office to office. Generally, you should find your colleagues friendly even if you don’t end up socialising with them much out of hours.   

Star Rating: 4.3 stars


From the Employer:

The ACCC is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority whose role is to enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation to promote competition, fair trading and regulate national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians.

The ACCC regulates national infrastructure industries where competition is low. The ACCC includes the AER which is responsible for the economic regulation of the Australian energy sector.

Our priorities are reflected in four key goals

  1. maintain and promote competition and remedy market failure
  2. protect the interests and safety of consumers and support fair trading in markets
  3. promote the economically efficient operation and investment in monopoly infrastructure
  4. increase our engagement with the broad range of groups affected by what we do.

Benefits of working with the ACCC/AER

In addition to the benefits of the graduate program, as an employee of the ACCC/AER you will also be eligible for

  • an attractive remuneration package, including base salary, 15.4% superannuation and annual salary reviews
  • excellent leave benefits, including four weeks of sick leave and four weeks of annual leave per year (pro-rata for people working part-time), paid Christmas shut-down, the opportunity to purchase additional annual leave, and paid parental leave (after a qualifying period)
  • flexible working conditions, including options to work part-time and access to our flex scheme and
  • ongoing development, including formal and on-the-job training programs and opportunities after the Graduate Program for advancement and mobility within and outside the organisation.

About our Graduate program

ACCC/AER graduates

  • work in a high profile national agency to apply and develop the skills and knowledge they acquired at university in a professional workplace
  • provide input to decisions with far-reaching economic, legal and consumer implications
  • contribute to the welfare of all Australians and
  • develop a strong foundation for a rewarding and challenging career.

The ACCC/AER graduate program is highly regarded and has many benefits including

  • an intensive work program
  • challenging rotations across the agency with opportunities to be challenged and try new things
  • ongoing on and off the job learning and development to assist you with honing specialist skills that are relevant to your work
  • flexible working conditions, including the ability to work part-time (minimum 30 hours per week), so that you can continue studying, manage other commitments or enjoy a work-life balance
  • regular opportunities to network, socialise share experiences and develop relationships with your graduate colleagues across the country;
  • an entry-level program coordinator and assigned buddy, both of whom are available to support you personally and professionally throughout the program;
  • a competitive starting salary of $63,349, with advancement to the APS 5 classification with a commensurate salary of $80,893 upon successfully completing the program; and
  • a workplace that embraces diversity, inclusion and equality.

Graduate rotations are designed to give you an understanding of the broad range of work undertaken by the ACCC and the AER. Each graduate will undertake rotations across a range of consumers and/or competition work areas, such as enforcement, mergers, infrastructure regulation, market studies/inquiries and product safety.

Recruitment Process

They have high expectations of our graduates and create a challenging environment for their graduates to succeed in.

To be considered, you will

  • have an interest in industry regulation, competition policy and consumer protection
  • have excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work with all people
  • be conscientious
  • be resilient with the ability to adapt to a fast-paced, challenging and ever-changing work environment
  • be able to acquire new skills and an understanding of complex concepts quickly, and apply these to different situations
  • have excellent analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • possess a minimum of a Bachelor Degree* with all disciplines considered
  • have completed your most recent tertiary studies after February 2017
  • have a 65% or higher grade average
  • be able to begin employment at the commencement of the program, Monday 7 February 2022, for an orientation program (potentially interstate)
  • be willing to undertake and pass a character clearance
  • not be serving a Commonwealth Redundancy Benefit period at the commencement of the program; and
  • be an Australian citizen.

Qualifications from overseas universities must be recognised by the Overseas Qualifications Unit

Successful candidates for the ACCC/AER 2022 Graduate Program will

  • be interpersonal
  • analyse, critically evaluate and problem solve
  • be conscientious
  • acquire and apply new skills and understandings quickly
  • deal with uncertainty, be resilient and respond appropriately to new priorities and an ever-changing work environment
  • convey an understanding of and contribute to the ACCC/AER's purpose and functions

How to apply and the assessment process

To apply complete the online application form, where you will be asked to

  1. provide some personal information, as well as details about your work history, qualifications and academic transcript
  2. consider this work sample assessment scenario and upload your response (no more than 2 A4 pages) in Microsoft Word format.

During the assessment process, you may be asked to

  1. complete a cognitive test, work preference test and writing tasks
  2. attend a virtual assessment centre, including an individual interview and a group task.

Applications will close at 10 PM (AEST) Sunday 28 March 2021.

Virtual assessment centres will take place in May/June, with offers made to successful applicants in July/August 2021.

Remuneration & Career Growth

Remuneration & Career prospects

$63,349 per annum from 8 February 2022, advancing to $66,761 per annum from mid-May 2022, $72,527 in November 2022 and $80,893 upon successful completion of the program in June 2023.

15.4% superannuation in addition to salary.

Graduate opportunities may be offered on a full-time or part-time (minimum 30 hours per week) basis. Candidates interested in full time and part-time opportunities are encouraged to apply.

They are an equal opportunity employer.

Graduate Review

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Jobs & Opportunities

Locations With Jobs & Opportunities
  • Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney. Opportunities may be available in Darwin, Hobart and Townsville
Hiring candidates with qualifications in
Business & Management
Creative Arts
Engineering & Mathematics
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
IT & Computer Science
Law, Legal Studies & Justice

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