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Defence Industry Security Program (DISP)

Supplying to the defence sector or looking to start? Our experienced team can help you attain your Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership.
Jeremy Watkinson introduces our DISP membership attainment service

It's fast becoming a requirement for suppliers of the defence sector to hold an appropriate level of DISP membership, depending on the goods or services you supply.

In addition to being DISP members ourselves, the team at De Stefano & Co offer an unrivalled understanding of the program, having supported a large number of businesses to attain their membership, and currently guiding over 60 clients on their DISP journeys. As such, we are well-positioned to support your business in both attaining - and maintaining - DISP membership.

Are you ready to get started, or want to learn more?

Contact our team today on 1300 GET DISP.

What is DISP?


The Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) is a risk mitigation program that exists to protect the integrity of Australia's Defence capability. In an ever-evolving environment where the security of Defence's people, information, assets and infrastructure is vital, the program supports defence industry suppliers to:

  • Develop and maintain their responsibilities regarding security;

  • Establish good governance, systems and practices in order to mitigate risks; and

  • Safeguard sensitive information and assets in the supply chain.


Why is it important?


The Australian Department of Defence requires its suppliers to hold an appropriate level of DISP membership when they are:


  • Working on sensitive or classified information or assets;

  • Storing or transporting Defence weapons or explosive ordnance;

  • Providing security services for Defence bases and facilities; and/or

  • As a result of a Defence business requirement.


Whilst membership is not mandatory in all circumstances, it is highly recommended that those wanting to supply to the defence sector obtain a DISP membership. Having a DISP membership shows your commitment to the industry and is a great business development asset. It’s also becoming more common for Defence prime contractors to ask their suppliers for it.


How it works


DISP offers four levels of industry membership, depending on your business requirements. The team at De Stefano & Co can help you to determine the appropriate level of membership you require across the categories of Governance, Personnel Security, Physical Security and ICT/Cyber Security. The four levels of industry membership are:


  • Entry Level – Unclassified

  • Level 1 – Protected

  • Level 2 – Secret

  • Level 3 – Top Secret


For most businesses, Entry Level membership is recommended as a good starting point, as businesses wanting to achieve higher levels of membership must be able to substantiate the need for that higher level. 


It’s also possible for a DISP member to hold different membership levels for different categories. For example, a DISP member may hold Level 1 membership for Governance and Personnel Security, but only Entry Level for Physical and ICT/Cyber Security.

Please note: Governance must always match or exceed the highest level of membership sought for any other category.


Eligibility Criteria


In order to obtain a DISP membership, businesses must:

  • Be registered as a legal business entity in Australia;

  • Be financially solvent;

  • Have a designated officer who can obtain an Australian security clearance in order to fulfil the role of a Chief Security Officer (CSO);

  • Have a designated officer who can fulfil the role of Security Officer (SO);

  • Complete a Foreign, Ownership, Control and Influence (FOCI) declaration which allows DISP managers to make informed decisions about potential security risks associated with their business; and

  • Not have any relationships with listed terrorist organisations, regimes subject to Australian sanctions laws, nor any persons and/or entities on DFAT’s Consolidated List.

Ongoing requirements


It’s important to note that after obtaining a DISP membership, there are ongoing requirements that will need to be met. We can support businesses with these requirements through our Ongoing Compliance Assurance (OCA™) Program.



Whilst there are no costs associated with the DISP application process - or the certification and accreditation of facilities by Defence - there are costs associated with:

  • Implementing the required security measures for accreditation; and

  • Obtaining security clearances for personnel (where necessary).


Businesses should only submit their applications once they meet all of the requirements for the DISP membership level they want to achieve.


How De Stefano & Co can help


We simplify the DISP application process for our clients by breaking the work down into three phases:


The process of understanding your business and where you currently sit in comparison to the requirements of each of the four DISP security categories. A comprehensive report is provided which details any gaps identified and the recommendations for closing those gaps.


This includes policy and procedure development, Security Awareness & Insider Threat training, audit support and project management of the
whole process.


An annual program to ensure ongoing DISP compliance which includes regular updates to DISP policies and procedures, annual Security Awareness & Insider Threat training, support in any audit/assurance activities, support
in preparing the Annual Security Report (ASR), and more.

Why use De Stefano & Co?

DISP was revamped in April 2019, making it easier for businesses to work with Defence. Not only were the team at De Stefano & Co involved in planning the rollout of the new program to industry with the Defence Security Division (DSD) throughout 2018 and 2019, but our team has successfully obtained DISP membership for ourselves and for our clients.

As such, De Stefano & Co’s team has an unrivalled understanding of the policy framework underpinning DISP. With this knowledge and experience, we believe we’re best placed to support businesses to achieve DISP membership with as little distraction from their core work as possible.

Unlike many other providers, De Stefano & Co offers tailored solutions to ensure compliance across all four of the program’s security categories: Governance, Personnel, Physical and ICT/Cyber. This means that when you engage our team to support you in attaining your DISP membership, you don't have to look anywhere else. We will walk you through the process, from start to finish.

Read what some of our clients have to say about our DISP service:

“Being a small business within the Defence industry and having limited resources available, we decided to engage De Stefano & Co to support and assist us with our DISP application. Emilio and his team were fantastic to work with. They did all the hard work which allowed me to focus on other aspects of our business. No stress, straight forward and efficient. Thanks to De Stefano & Co we were able to gain our DISP accreditation in short order.”
Charlie Bevilacqua, W&E Platt

“Trusted advisors De Stefano & Co were crucial in helping us to overcome challenges in obtaining our DISP membership. The gap analysis was really beneficial for our organisation.”
Donatien Bruggeman, Easy Skill Australia

Next steps

If you are unsure of where to start, or would like some more information about how our team can guide you through the DISP application process, please get in touch via the form below, or call 1300 GET DISP.

DISP Enquiry:

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