Defence & Industry Study Course

Applications for the Defence and Industry Study Course 2019 are now closed

The Defence and Industry Study Course (DISC) and its predecessor, the Industrial Mobilisation Course, have been run annually by Defence since 1954.

The DISC has been designed to help participants develop a better understanding of both Defence and industry in order to improve Australia's defence industry capabilities. The course delivers Defence and industry executives an intimate understanding of Defence business while improving the collective knowledge of Australia’s defence industry.

Not only does the course offer the opportunity to share ideas, collaborate and realise best practice, it also forms the keystone to forging better business contacts.    


The DISC was born from a desire to strengthen the relationship between the military, the Australian Public Service (APS) and industries that support the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The course has evolved significantly over the last 65 years, in line with the ever-changing Defence and national security environment, the impacts on business practices and governance from the move into the digital age, the increasing complexity of the capabilities needed by our armed forces, and the ever changing role of government. However the spirit of the course remains.

Overall aims of the course include:

  • Building relationships between Defence and industry.
  • Improving the collective knowledge of the sector.
  • Facilitating closer business links.
  • Educating industry on Defence policies, processes and systems.
  • Improving the overall capabilities of stakeholders who service the ADF.


The course will equip industry executives with the knowledge to better engage with Defence, offer insights to effectively doing business with Defence, and facilitate business introductions and forge relationships with other defence sector participants.

Key objectives of the course include:

  • Developing ongoing networks between Defence and industry peers.
  • Providing access to key personnel in the acquisition, sustainment and service delivery decision-making processes in both Defence and industry.
  • Offering access and interaction with Defence stakeholders to reveal how military hardware functions in the operating environment plus the opportunities for businesses to participate in the procurement process.
  • Developing a multifaceted understanding of how Defence operates.
  • For members of Defence, Government and the ADF to develop a greater appreciation of how industry operates, its workflow planning processes and the impact Defence decisions and processes have on industry.
  • To offer access to Defence and industry sites, allowing participants to view defence equipment and engage with ADF personnel that have operational experience with specific equipment.


The cost is $9000 plus GST, and is tax deductable. The course fee covers all costs associated with delivery of each module from the time the participant arrives at their local airport until return, including all accommodation, all meals, access to venues, and all transport.

Following successful completion of the course, you will also receive a 2 year membership of the Defence Industry Courses Alumni.


The course runs for approximately 24 days, and comprises 4 one-week modules spread over a 7 month period. Participants must commit to attending all modules in order to graduate from the DISC.  

Syndicate work

Further to the structured program, syndicate work will be required during, and outside of course dates. Participants will be allocated to a working group in order to develop a presentation on an assigned topic. Each syndicate topic is different and a mentor will also be assigned to assist and guide you. The syndicate will present to senior Defence and industry executives during the final module of the course. This is followed by completion of a 3000-3500 word paper on the topic by the syndicate. At each module, applicants should be aware that there will be course deliverables in the form of a written submissions and/or presentations leading to the final paper.

As examples, the 2018 syndicate essays were:

Syndicate 1: Collaboration between Defence and Industry during a procurement process

Syndicate 2: The value of ’70:20:10’ learning development and other learning models.

Syndicate 3: How can Defence undertake planning governance and assurance as a ‘smart buyer’ when execution has been outsourced?

Syndicate 4: What can industry contribute to the capability beyond a straight transactional relationship?

Syndicate 5: What are the benefits and risks to Government and Defence of giving weight to ‘local’ or regional sourcing?

Syndicate 6: What are the potential long term effects of the Major Service Provider models for stakeholders?

Syndicate 7: What objective measures are required to demonstrate the progress and effectiveness of the Defence Export Strategy for both Defence and industry?

Course dates

Module 1: 25-31 May in Adelaide and Perth/Rockingham
Module 2: 21-26 July in Queensland and New South Wales
Module 3: 08-13 September in Victoria
Module 4: 17-22 November in Canberra (strategic overview)

Who should apply to join the DISC?

The DISC is an asset for all executives seeking to expand their knowledge of Defence and industry as well as those aiming for senior management roles.

DISC is geared to enhance the skills of current leaders, project managers and senior executives working within businesses that supply the ADF. Other course participants include ADF members and APS employees of Defence and aligned Government organisations.

As a participant of the DISC you will join other like-minded executives that have the drive to improve their knowledge of Defence business. :

1. A manager, project manager or key member working in a position in a company engaged, or planning to be engaged, in business with the Department of Defence.

2. A member of the ADF (MAJ-COL(E)) or a defence employee (Executive Level 1–SES 1).

3. An employee of other Australian Government and State and Territory agencies, at executive level. 

Prior to lodgment of your application to attend the course, your employer must endorse your nomination. 
Your nomination will then be considered by a selection panel.  

How to apply

Applications for the DISC 2019 are now closed.

Applications and further enquiries can be made to the DISC team at