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Australia’s Defence maritime capability consists of more than 1400 vessels, which provide Defence with a range of military response options to deliver operational effect for Government.

These vessels were previously managed and regulated under a range of different regulatory bodies. Now, with the new Defence Seaworthiness Management System (DSwMS) in place, all these vessels are required to comply with just one set of regulations.

DSwMS embodies Defence’s due diligence requirements through a framework of regulation and assurance, providing Defence with a robust system that regulates our maritime capability.

DSwMS significantly reduces the regulatory burden placed on organisations. The system provides flexibility for organisations to respond to hazards and risks in the most appropriate way.

The focus of DSwMS is to support Defence to achieve operational effect. It does this by integrating hazards and risk considerations into all aspects of the Capability Life Cycle.

We have redefined what it means for a vessel to be seaworthy. It is no longer enough to be technically sound, those in charge of a capability (the Capability Manager) must also provide evidence that they have addressed and implemented systems of control for governance and management at the enterprise level.

This system empowers Capability Managers to make informed decisions about the seaworthiness of their capability. It also provides senior leaders with justified confidence that decisions are being made with a commitment to maximising operational effectiveness with a sound understanding of the hazards and risks.