Very slow, much slower than other departments. Consider this very carefully when applying and choosing this over other careers.
So long as they meet probation and performance requirements, graduates move through several APS rankings at specified times. You enter the department as an APS 3, and can expect to move to APS 5 during your first posting (after 3-5 years in the department). You must then enter promotion rounds subsequent to that, which seem to reward people with promotions based on how long they've been in the department rather than merit. You can expect to wait 15 years to move to director level (EL2).
Opportunities for promotion come up every couple of years and are filled through the APS bulk round system.
Promotion opportunities have been limited recently and are highly sought after.
Very slow progression because I'm surrounded by so much talent.
It seems that promotion possibilities are irregular at the Department. As stated earlier, this is one area that is difficult.
It seems as if there is going to be a long wait to be promoted. This is partly due to the nature of posting but overwhelmingly because of the glut of people at the APS6/EL1 level.
Each year you can move up a pay grade (or receive a bonus) following a performance assessment. Fast movers are those who are posted as diplomats overseas; these opportunities are therefore highly valued, and not easy to come by.
The process is slow because the department is popular and people don't tend to leave - so there are limited vacancies at higher levels!
Highly competitive promotion rounds.