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The Reserve

The APS Surge Reserve will provide Australia with the capacity to rapidly mobilise Australian Public Service (APS) volunteers in large numbers in response to a crisis.

  • Surge Reservists will deploy for short periods (initial terms of up to eight weeks) to help colleagues address a surge in demand for government services or support.
  • Every portfolio will contribute to the Reserve.
  • Surge Reservists could do almost any kind of work carried out in government, depending on the need.
  • Best of all, Surge Reservists will be able to contribute their efforts to help Australians in a time of crisis.

Can you help fellow Australians through the next crisis?

The APS is looking for nominees to join the APS Surge Reserve.

As part of the APS Surge Reserve, secondees will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of helping the Australian community, while learning new skills and broadening professional networks to progress their APS careers.

The APS Surge Reserve needs people who are:

  • In the APS1-EL2 range (or equivalents)
  • Flexible
  • Quick learners
  • Willing to redeploy to another agency on short notice
  • Resilient and cope well with change
  • Located across Australia.

As a Surge Reserve Nominee, you will:

  • Meet new people
  • Demonstrate leadership (irrespective of level) and support fellow Australians in their time of need  
  • Challenge yourself
  • Gain a new perspective of the APS, new skills and broader networks
  • Broaden your APS experience
  • Receive Surge Reserve training before deployment

As the APS Surge Reserve is a new capability for the APS, arrangements for its ongoing operations are still being put in place. As this work is finalised, further information will be provided.

If you are interested in this opportunity or have any questions, please contact your HR representative or email the APSsurgereserve [at] apsc.gov.au (Surge Reserve Taskforce).


The extraordinary events that have taken place since the summer of 2019 have been the catalyst for a range of responsive actions by the Australian Public Service.  

These actions included redeploying employees to help Australians during the 2019-2020 bushfires, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Public Service completed the largest mobilisation of employees in living memory. Swiftly deploying employees into areas of critical need resulted in more than 2,500 APS employees moving across the Service (2020 APS Census results), and more than 10,000 moving within their agency.  

Last reviewed: 
11 March 2021