I'll probably have to leave the division, or even move departments, to get promoted. There's a backlog of very capable staff who aren't progressing much (often by choice, I gather).
It seems to take a bit of time to progress within my team but there are opportunities in other divisions. Solid reliable work over a decent period is the key.
What it takes? Good timing, amount of time in a role and quality work output.
Varies widely between departments. Promotion seems possible within the next year or two, but there aren't many opportunities in my current area, so I'd probably need to move elsewhere in government.
I have only been back from the grad program for 4 months, however I regularly see other people progressing to higher pay-grades. Interestingly, higher pay-grade employees tend to do similar work (i.e. providing advice), but often for more sensitive issues.
Strict level progressions i.e. have to apply to move grades. Although there tends to be a lot of movement.