Introduction

The Defence Aviation Safety Regulation - Aviation Safety Management System (DASR ASMS) implementing regulation is part of the Defence Aviation Safety Framework (DASF) for the definition and implementation of common safety requirements and administrative procedures in the field of military aviation. The DASR codify Defence’s moral and legal obligations to ensure risks to health and safety or personnel arising from military aircraft operations are eliminated or otherwise minimised So Far As Reasonably Practicable (SFARP) on the basis of the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

An ASMS is a systematic approach to managing aviation safety, including organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. An effective ASMS improves an organisation’s capability of predicting, preventing and treating aviation hazards and risks.

The following sections detail the DASR ASMS background, components and elements, oversight methodology, requirements for organisations, training and resources.

Enquiries related to the ASMS can be submitted to the DASA ASMS Mailbox dasa.asms@defence.gov.au.

DASR ASMS Implementing Regulation: Background

SEC/CDF Joint Directive 21/2021 which established the DASF, acknowledged the benefits and efficiencies afforded through adoption of global conventions and practices.

The structure of the ASMS regulation has been aligned with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Chicago Convention Annex 19 framework and includes consideration of the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011. The ICAO framework is considered by most National Aviation Authorities (NAA) as best practice and has extensive supporting guidance material available for regulated entities.

Which organisations require an ASMS?

The DASR ASMS regulation is invoked from the specific regulations under which an organisation is seeking approval. Organisations that require an ASMS are:

Military Air Operators DASR AMC ARO.100.C (3)(h)

Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisations

DASR M.A.712(g)

Production Organisations (21G)

DASR 21.A.139 & 143

Design Organisations (21J)

DASR 21.A.239 & 243

Aerodrome Operators

DASR 139.60

Maintenance Organisations

DASR 145.A.65 (f)

Air Navigation Service Providers

DASR ANSP.40(a)

Military Type Certificate Holder DASR GM 21.A.14(c)

 

DASR ASMS components and elements

DASR ASMS framework includes four components and 12 elements.

Component 1 – Safety policy and objectives

  • 1.1 Management commitment
  • 1.2 Safety accountabilities and responsibilities
  • 1.3 Appointment of key safety personnel
  • 1.4 Coordination of emergency response planning
  • 1.5 SMS documentation

Component 2 – Safety risk management

  • 2.1 Hazard identification
  • 2.2 Safety risk assessment and mitigation

Component 3 – Safety oversight and improvement

  • 3.1 Safety performance monitoring and measurement
  • 3.2 The management of change
  • 3.3 Continuous improvement of the SMS

Component 4 – Safety promotion

  • 4.1 Training and education
  • 4.2 Safety communication

ASMS relationship with other management systems

ASMS is only one type of management system an organisation may implement to control its business and would be expected to be an integral part of the organisation’s Quality Management System (QMS). The organisation may choose to integrate other management systems (eg WHS Management Systems, Security Management System etc..). The Authority does not require other management systems to be integrated with the organisation’s ASMS but acknowledges the benefits and efficiencies of integrated management systems.

Oversight methodology

Oversight of an organisation’s ASMS will include the following considerations:

  • the size of the organisation,
  • the nature of the organisation’s operations,
  • the complexity of the organisation’s aviation products and/or services, and
  • the maturity of ASMS components of the organisation.

Compliance and Maturity. DASA will conduct assessments of an organisation’s ASMS to determine compliance with the relevant DASR and conformance with their respective ASMS plans and procedures. In addition, DASA will assess the effectiveness and performance of an organisation’s ASMS to inform a maturity assessment. Each organisation will be evaluated against a range of indicators according to the Present, Suitable, Operation and Effective (PSOE) methodology:

  • Present - There is evidence that the indicator is clearly visible and is documented within the organisation's ASMS Documentation.
  • Suitable - There is evidence that the indicator forms part of an implemented and maintained process within the business undertaken and is appropriate based on the size, nature, complexity of the organisation.
  • Operating - There is evidence that the indicator is in use and an output is being produced.
  • Effective - There is evidence that the indicator is effective and achieving the desired outcome.

ASMS Manuals, ASMS Implementation Plans and ASMS Documentation

ASMS Manual. There is no explicit requirement under the DASR ASMS for organisations to have an ASMS Manual.  However, an ASMS Manual is one way for an organisation to have a central location where all aspects of the ASMS are referenced and summarised clearly. Listed below are some options for an ‘ASMS Manual’, if an organisation chooses to have one:

  • Produce a stand-alone manual with all associated documents and procedures contained or referenced within.
  • Enhance the aviation section of an existing safety manual, ensuring that all elements of the ASMS are mentioned and external references are included.
  • Create a short document containing overview paragraphs for each element and references/hyperlinks to external sources.
  • Create and maintain a webpage containing all references, forms and documents as hyperlinked items with overview descriptions of how the system will operate.

ASMS Implementation Plan. Organisations that are new to ASMS, undergoing significant change or found to be deficient in many areas may choose to produce an ASMS Implementation Plan. An ASMS Implementation Plan lists the milestones and timeline expectations for the implementation of an ASMS. By breaking down ASMS implementation, tasks can then be prioritised and resourced.

ASMS Documentation. ASMS Documentation includes all policies, procedures, manuals, forms, records etc. associated with your organisation’s ASMS. Unlike an ASMS Manual, regulated organisations are required to produce and maintain an effective set of ASMS documentation under the DASR ASMS. Some examples of ASMS Documentation are:

  • ASMS Manual
  • Standing Instruction(s)/Procedure(s)
  • Hazard register(s) - containing aviation safety hazards
  • Risk register(s) - containing aviation safety related risks
  • Hazard identification form(s)
  • Risk assessment form(s)
  • Training register(s) - containing aviation safety related training
  • ASMS promotion material
  • ASMS meeting minutes
  • Organisational safety structure
  • Safety Policy Statement(s)
  • Safety Objectives/Targets
  • Aviation safety schedule of events
  • Management of change risk assessment(s)
  • ASMS documentation review notes
  • Investigation process templates
  • Audit/Survey/Assessment form(s)

ASMS training, engagement and oversight

The Authority are engaging organisations in 2020 with the aim to educate Safety Managers within regulated entities, assist them to determine current ASMS state, and communicate expectations. Authority on-site assessments of the regulated aviation community will commence in 2021.


Training and engagement schedule. DASA is delivering the revised/updated DASR ASMS Practitioner Course (216450) WEF May 2020. The course target audience includes members who fulfil, perform, or enable Aviation Safety Manager functions (including but not limited to: GASO, WASO, MASO, DLC, QM). For further detail, see the course information sheet on the DASA Training webpage.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 isolation requirements and travel restrictions, the course will be delivered online. Furthermore, a decision regarding planned on-site engagement visits is dependent on the situation and will be reviewed in due course.

Oversight. New organisations should contact DASA (via the assigned Desk Officer) as soon as possible regarding their obligations under the DASR ASMS. New organisations seeking organisational approval from DASA should endeavour to self-assess their ASMS readiness/maturity using the ASMS evaluation tool ((Opens in a new tab/window)PDF version). Each ASMS will be assessed for compliance with the DASR ASMS regulations, effectiveness and maturity as per the ASMS evaluation tool. Outcomes of the ASMS evaluation will be utilised to benchmark ASMS maturity in future evaluations and form the basis for acceptance and continued approval under extant oversight arrangements by DASA.

ASMS evaluation tool

The DASR ASMS Evaluation Tool is based on the Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SMICG) tool (version 2) and adapted for the Australian Defence aviation domain. The adaptation includes terminology harmonisation, addition of an overall assessment for each ASMS element and inclusion of DASR AMCs cross-references for each evaluation indicator.

The intent is to maintain alignment with the SMICG tool as it is updated in order to exploit the collective best practice of the world aviation community, minimise maintenance overhead and ensure a credible/defensible approach to ASMS evaluation by DASA.

The DASA ASMS Evaluation Tool can be found from the following links:

Requesting Changes

Suggestions for DASR ASMS regulations, Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM) improvement from the regulated community are welcome. Change proposals are to be submitted utilising DASR Form 111 – DASR Change Proposal.

Resources

For more general information on ASMS, a list of links to documents and resources is provided below. These materials are for guidance only and do not replace the regulations.

DASR ASMS Evaluation Tool  (Opens in a new tab/window)(PDF version)

Joint Directive 21/2021 The Defence Aviation Safety Framework 

Safety Management Annex 19 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (2nd ed.)

ICAO Safety Management Manual(Opens in a new tab/window)  (ICAO Doc 9859, 4th ed.)

CASA Safety management system resource kit(Opens in a new tab/window)

Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SMICG)(Opens in a new tab/window)