The Defence Seaworthiness Management System (DSwMS) defines 3 layers of distinct accountabilities for risk management and independent assurance.

  1. First line of defence are those who serve in vessels and those who conduct maintenance of vessels at the waterfront. They implement policies and procedures to ensure vessels are seaworthy.

  2. Second line of defence are those who provide governance and management of the first line. They ensure hazards and risks are managed.

  3. Third line of defence are those who set the regulations and provide oversight of the second line. They report independently on Defence's seaworthiness.

The Defence Seaworthiness Regulator (DSwR) supports accountable officers to develop compliance strategies, and then conducts regular assurance activities to provide confidence to the Authority regarding the seaworthiness status of Defence vessels.

Defence Seaworthiness Authority

The Defence Seaworthiness Authority (DSwA) is responsible for assuring the delivery and management of seaworthiness across the entire Defence enterprise, and is authorised to direct all Defence personnel that contribute to the maritime domain .

The Chief of Navy is appointed as DSwA.

Defence Seaworthiness Regulator

DSwR develops and monitors regulations as a framework for Capability Managers to assess and control hazards and risks, provides independent advice to DSwA, the Secretary of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force, and continuously improves DSwMS.

The DSwA has appointed the Head of Navy Engineering as DSwR.

Capability Managers

Under DSwMS and through other legal obligations, Capability Managers are ultimately responsible for the safe conduct of maritime operations.

Capability Managers are 3-Star/Band-3 Officers who have vessels of any size in their inventory. This includes Chief of Navy, Chief of Army, and other Group Heads.