Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership is an important milestone for any business that intends to work for organisations in the defence sector. Under the 2020 Force Structure Plan, the government plans to invest A$270 billion by 2030 to improve defence capabilities. This opens up opportunities for Australian local businesses to enter the defence supply chain and contribute to the strengthening of the country’s defence capabilities.
If you are looking to work in the defence supply chain, it is recommended that you obtain the DISP membership before tendering. It gives a competitive advantage over other bidders who don’t have the membership. Also, do note that some defence organisations might mandate a DISP membership depending on the type of work you do.
As a quick checklist, a DISP membership is required in any or all of the following cases.
Before deciding on applying for a DISP membership, consider the long-term benefits and the opportunities it can open up for you in the defence sector. The other advantage is that the membership will give order and direction to your company’s information security initiatives.
In order to make sure that you are taking the right approach to a DISP membership, here’s what you should know before applying.
Check whether you are eligible for a DISP membership. Below are the eligibility criteria.
For detailed Eligibility Considerations, please check the information on the official defence website.
Apart from the eligibility criteria, you also need to fulfil the ongoing requirements for a DISP membership. In brief, the ongoing requirements can be summarised below.
While applying for DISP does not entail any charges, implementing the eligibility criteria might. Factor in the costs for improved information security practices, maintaining the positions of SO and CSO in the company and training them, etc.
There are 4 levels of DISP membership – Entry Level, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 across the below 4 categories.
Based on your demonstrated business requirements, you can apply for the appropriate level. For more information, please refer to Principle 16 and Control 16.1 in the information provided on the official website.
You will also need to build evidence to show that you meet the requirements for each of the above 4 categories.
The timeframe for processing a DISP membership will depend on the level you are aiming for. Assuming that you have all necessary security clearances and fulfil the eligibility criteria, an Entry Level membership can take anywhere from 2 to 3 months to process. For Level 1, 2, and 3 of the DISP membership, it can take 3 to 4 months.
Lastly, know that a DISP membership will provide you with important benefits that will help your business in the long run. Below is a summary of the major benefits of DISP.
Considering the benefits of DISP and the opportunities it opens up for your business, you might want to take action to increase your chances of obtaining the DISP membership.
Here’s what you can do.
For more information on the Defence Industry Security Program, read our blog - All you need to know about the DISP membership.