Your recently viewed content will appear here
About the Job
The Navy regards attention to the spiritual needs of its members as a matter of the highest importance and is committed to providing them with the opportunity and facilities for the practice of their religion.
Chaplains enter the Navy as ordained ministers / religious leaders of their faith group. As such they are responsible to their faith group authorities and remain faithful to their faith group traditions, whilst working in a team with chaplains from other faith groups. They seek to minister to all Navy members and their families, as they are able. This means serving where the Navy's people are -both at sea and ashore.
In addition to providing worship opportunities and pastoral care, Chaplains have character development responsibilities in the training of all personnel.
Make the most of your relevant degree joining fully qualified
Preparing for Your Recruitment Process
This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.
Salary & Allowances
In the Navy you'll get paid a good salary from day one regardless of your age, experience or qualifications; and your pay increases as you progress through training.
In addition to your salary you'll receive a variety of allowances, extra pay for relevant qualifications – plus 16.4% superannuation, a far higher rate than you're likely to find in the civilian world.
Chaplains serve both at sea and ashore. They may be posted to any of the major shore establishments. Chaplains at sea are normally posted to Major Fleet Units, from which they provide ministry to the wider Fleet. Chaplains deploy with task groups on both operational and non-operational deployments.
Applicants must be at least 17 years of age and able to complete the Initial Minimum Period of Service before reaching Compulsory Retirement Age (60).
Applicants will not be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.
Education & Experience
An applicant for appointment as a Navy Chaplain must:
- Be from an endorsed denomination or faith group represented within the current religious diversity of Australian Navy Personnel. See below for a list of approved faith groups
- Provide evidence of a minimum of 3 years denominationally endorsed bachelor of theology or ministry, OR met the educational requirement of their faith group prior to ordination or equivalent
- Provide documented evidence of ordination or faith group equivalent
- Have at least two years post ordination/faith group equivalent pastoral ministry experience
- Have documented endorsement and approval from your faithgroup, at a national level, and that you are good standing within your faith group and are suitable representatives for Navy Chaplaincy
- Be deemed suitable by the appropriate denominational Principal Chaplain and endorsed by the appropriate member of the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services (RACS)
Endorsed denomination or faith group represented within the current religious diversity of Australian Navy personnel includes these denominations: Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Uniting Church, Presbyterian Church, Baptist Union of Australia, Lutheran Church of Australia, Churches of Christ, Salvation Army, Australian Christian Churches, Islamic Council of Australia, Hindu Council of Australia, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Sikh Council of Australia, and Council of Australian Jewry.
Medical & Fitness
To join the Navy, it's important that you meet the necessary medical and physical requirements. This is assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination. Regular exercise prior to joining will set you up for success as it is an important part of training and service life.
You must also pass the swim test and physical fitness test to graduate from your training.
Royal Australian Navy Swim Test (RANST):
The RANST is conducted early in your training to ensure the Navy's duty of care to all serving personnel, with respect to rudimentary swimming skills. The purpose of the RANST is to ensure fundamental water survival skills as a prerequisite to training such as survival at sea training. Individual components of the RANST are fundamentally related to the survival at sea scenario.
Competency in the RANST is achieved through completion of each component:
- Safety jump off a 3m tower
- 10m underwater swim
- 50m swim using survival strokes
- Treading water or floating for 15 minutes
Note: You will be wearing your Navy uniform during the swim test.
All personnel will undertake the RANST upon entry and competency is to be achieved before the end of your initial military training. You will find it much easier to pass the swimming test if you undertake swimming training before you join.
Period of Service
You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of 3 years. A period of that service, normally the first year will be on a probationary basis. You may resign at any time provided you do not have an outstanding IMPS obligation.
The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.
The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.
Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.
To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.
To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.
If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.
Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local ADF Careers Centre.
The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.
A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.
The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.
This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Financial information
Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.
Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.
The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.
For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.
Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.
All naval officers will commence their careers by completing NEOC immediately upon entry into the Navy. NEOC is conducted in January and July each year at the Royal Australian Naval College. NEOC is designed to teach the knowledge, skills and attributes required to be an effective junior naval officer.
NEOC will cover the following key themes:
- Physical fitness: General fitness, adventure training and the Navy swim test,
- Military life: Discipline, mannerisms, uniform procedures and Defence studies,
- Speciality skills: Small arms weapons training, first aid and survival at sea,
- Navy skills: Drill and ceremonial procedures, officer of the day duties, rank structure and Naval history,
- Personal development: Leadership and management (including practical exercises), effective oral and written communication methods, and,
- A sea training cruise to introduce life at sea
On completion of NEOC, all officers will proceed on their respective employment training specific to their employment category. For further information, please see the New Entry Officers’ Course Joining Instructions, available at https://www.navy.gov.au/naval-college.
Location: Defence Force Chaplains College, Canberra, ACT
The purpose of this course is to train newly appointed Chaplains and Wellbeing officers in Navy, Army and Air Force in common core service areas for employment in their respective Services. This course provides members an understanding of how defence services operate which includes an overview of the relevant doctrine, policy and functions of the support services and agencies that are relevant to the Chaplains role.
Further courses that relate to intermediate and senior positions will be available as part of your career progression in Navy.