The DSA was formed on 1 April 2015 and draws its authority from a charter signed by the Secretary of State (SofS). It has 3 roles:
- firstly, it regulates safety across defence in terms of aviation, nuclear, maritime, land, ordnance and explosives, and fire
- secondly, it is responsible for investigating defence accidents
- thirdly, it is the Defence Authority for safety (including health and environmental protection)
The Director General DSA is the main convening authority for all service inquiries which relate to safety related deaths, serious injuries and major equipment loss or damage. These independent service inquiries provide a way for defence to learn from accidents and identify recommendations to prevent them from happening again.
The DSA contributes to Defence capability, reputation and effectiveness though the setting and enforcement of Defence Regulations for health, safety and environmental protection (HS&EP) and supports the Ministry of Defence by providing independent, evidence-based, HS&EP assurance. The DSA aims to reduce and ideally prevent loss of life, avoidable harm and damage to the environment.
It cannot do this alone and relies on maintaining close relationships with the Head Office and the Regulated community, the engagement of their leadership and the development of an effective Safety and Environmental Protection Culture across defence. The DSA’s independence, authority and freedom to engage across UK Defence worldwide are key to its success; as is its credibility and reputation.
Protecting defence personnel and operational capability through effective and independent HS&EP regulation, assurance, enforcement and investigation.
Who we are
The Secretary of State (SofS) issues a policy statement on health, safety and environmental protection (HS&EP) in defence. The Permanent Under Secretary
(PUS) is appointed as the senior official responsible for putting the policy statement into practice. TLB holders and trading fund agency chief executives are senior duty holders and are responsible for choosing the duty holders in their organisation who manage activities which could be a risk to life. PUS holds TLB holders to account for their performance in terms of health and safety within the Defence Performance Framework.
SofS’ policy statement explains that where defence puts in place its own regulations for operational reasons, these are designed to produce outcomes that are, as far as reasonably practicable, at least as good as those needed by law. The policy statement also says that there has to be organisational separation (and so independence) between those carrying out defence activities and those within the MOD providing regulation.
As well as the HS&EP policy statement, SofS issues a charter granting independence to the DSA to carry out its roles as regulator, investigator and Defence Authority for safety. The Director General of the DSA is personally appointed by SofS to carry out this role and has the right of direct access to SofS to raise safety concerns that are not being satisfactorily dealt with using normal processes. The Director General DSA also provides independent assurance to SofS that his policy on safety in defence is being put into practice when carrying out defence activities. She does so by giving SofS an Annual assurance report.
The DSA is led by a military 3 star Director General (DG), currently Air Marshal Susan Gray CB OBE FREng.
Our regulations are listed on a collection page. We are also currently responsible for:
You can access our list of Inquires here
On 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect and MOD, including the DSA, will be required to comply with its requirements. The standards which individuals can expect when we ask for, hold or share their personal information are contained in the MOD Personal Information Charter. Our lawful basis for processing any personal data is that it is necessary for the performance of our task as the Defence Safety Authority for the MOD including our regulatory responsibilities which we carry out in the public interest, in the exercise of official authority vested in the DSA or to comply with legal obligations to which we are subject.