In the first couple of years at Treasury, pretty much everyone gets promoted at the same levels (unless they're very poor performers). It is only after that that more separation between the cohorts occurs. But it seems quite a fair, transparent process.
Generally grads progress very quickly. It takes listening and hard work to move up the ranks.
There is a well-documented performance system. With hard work it is easy to move up, but not as easy as most other departments.
Promotion as you start is relatively easy if you do a good job. I can see down the track that it will be harder to get promoted, but that would happen in any company.
Candidates are assessed to the integrated leadership system which focusses on leadership as well as conceptual and analytical skills. A graduate at APS3 can become an APS6 within 3 years, however subsequent promotions take a longer period of time. In the environment of slimming down the public service promotions can be harder to come by.
Early on in your career progression is quite straight forward. However the biggest challenge is when start managing people this is where public sector careers often stall.
It is relatively easy to move up the ranks for a time and then there appears to be a bit of a ceiling to further progression.