Reporting guidance and DefCARS

The Defence Contract Analysis and Reporting System (DefCARS) allows contractors to meet the reporting requirements for contract and supplier reports.

Current system status: Live

The statutory requirements for contract and supplier reporting are introduced by the Defence Reform Act 2014 (the Act) and defined in the Single Source Contract Regulations 2014 (the Regulations). The Defence Contract Analysis and Reporting System (DefCARS, the system) is an on-line, web-enabled system which facilitates submission of statutory reports to the SSRO and MOD.

When preparing reports, contractors must have regard to guidance issued by the SSRO. The SSRO has published three guidance documents: which can be accessed at the links below:

The guidance is integrated within DefCARS so that users can easily access the relevant information they need.

On 11 November 2020, the SSRO published version 9 of the reporting guidance on contract reports, version 9 of the reporting guidance on DefCARS functionality, and version 8 of the reporting guidance on supplier reports.

The main changes in version 9 of the contract reports guidance are:

  • guidance on determination and reporting of the contract completion date, including how the contractor may report a changed contract completion date in DefCARS, so that the contract reporting plan is updated, and the correct due dates of reports are generated;
  • explanation of the following terms used in the Regulations: “price the contracting authority is committed to paying”, and “contract price”;
  • revised guidance for on-demand Contract Pricing Statements and Contract Reporting Plans for which separate reports have been introduced into DefCARS;
  • specification of what the contractor should do to complete some fields in DefCARS, including where “yes/no” fields are included in the system to assist contractors to complete their submissions; and
  • better explanation of some DefCARS functionality, such as how it generates annual profile years, and better description of what the contractor should expect to see on some pages.

The main change in version 8 of the supplier reports guidance relates to:

  • clarification that the £10 million Qualifying Business Unit threshold applies to a business unit that provides goods, works or services for the purposes of any QDC or QSC in the period.

The main changes in version 9 of the DefCARS functionality guidance are:

  • the removal of the ability to download reports in PDF format within DefCARS;
  • the addition of copy & paste facility for the reporting of variances, events and circumstances and of key deliverables; and
  • guidance on how to view multiple DefCARS reports in a web browser.

The SSRO has published a response to consultation and explanation of the changes that have been made to the guidance. The SSRO reviews the guidance on a regular basis and discusses the priorities for improvement with stakeholders. The SSRO expects to make the next update to the reporting guidance during spring 2021.

DefCARS includes validation checks to help contractors comply with the reporting requirements and reduces the amount of data entry required by eliminating duplication. The SSRO has published a list of all the validation checks which are currently applied within the system. An amended and updated version of this list was also published on 11 November: DefCARS validation checks – published 11 November 2020 (ODS, 38.3KB).

Copy and paste functionality is currently available in many parts of DefCARS. To allow contractors with Qualifying Business Units (QBU) to understand their reporting requirements and prepare their QBU Cost Analysis Reports, a copy and paste template is provided QBUCAR template (XLSM, 76.5KB).

Contractors or MOD staff who do not currently have access to DefCARS but wish to understand the Defined Pricing Structure (DPS) cost breakdowns, may access the DPS templates that preceded DefCARS. These previous templates are substantially the same as the current versions within DefCARS. Please note that further changes may be made.

Contractors may also require access to previous reporting templates and user guides.

If you have any questions about how to access DefCARS or the guidance please contact the SSRO at

Published 15 March 2017
Last updated 11 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Version 9 of reporting guidance published

  2. Added link to COVID-19 note

  3. Version 8 of reporting guidance published

  4. Version 7 of reporting guidance published

  5. Version 6 of reporting guidance published

  6. Version 5 of reporting guidance published

  7. Version 4 of reporting guidance published

  8. Version 3 of the guidance published

  9. First published.