Drug and alcohol management plans (DAMPs)

If you employ one or more persons who perform safety sensitive aviation activities (SSAAs), your organisation must have a drug and alcohol management plan (DAMP) in place. A DAMP will:

  • help manage the risks of alcohol and other drugs at work
  • outline an organisation’s policy on the use of drugs and alcohol
  • record how an organisation is following the rules.

Not all organisations need a full DAMP. If your businesses has fewer than 10 employees who do SSAAs and aren't an air transport operator you may be able to adopt our standard DAMP.

See DAMP exemptions to find out if you qualify.

What to include in your DAMP

A DAMP reflects your organisation’s policies and procedures. For some organisations, a DAMP can be a single document that covers all requirements. For others, the DAMP might be an overview document with links or references to other material.

Your DAMP must include 3 programs:

These programs apply to anyone who does safety sensitive aviation activities (SSAAs), including contractors.

As part of the DAMP education program, all employees who do SSAAs must be aware of this policy.

Making your DAMP available

You must ensure that all your employees who perform SSAAs can access the DAMP before they perform, or are ready to perform their duties, and at all other times as with any other relevant operational manual.

Role of your DAMP supervisor

A DAMP supervisor is a person who has received relevant training to tell if drugs and alcohol are affecting an employee who does SSAAs.

Your organisation authorises the supervisor to stop an employee from continuing to perform SSAA and refer the employee for drug and alcohol tests if they have reasonable grounds to believe an employee is affected by alcohol or other drugs. Reasonable grounds can include:

  • observation
  • the person’s work habits
  • or a report from another employee or source.

Your DAMP supervisor must:

  • understand their role and responsibilities
  • recognise the warning signs that indicate an employee could be affected by alcohol or other drugs
  • know what steps to take when there is a potential safety risk relating to alcohol or other drug use.

Your DAMP supervisor may also:

  • provide information about treatment services and refer employees, if required
  • support employees and monitor their performance when they return to work
  • assess the workplace to identify ways to change or improve it to stop or reduce harm related to alcohol and other drugs.

Read about the training available to help DAMP supervisors meet these requirements.

Your DAMP contact

You must tell us the name and contact details of your current DAMP contact officer. You can use Form 008 - DAMP contact officer (PDF, 101 KB) to do this.

Document control

Your organisation must develop and implement its DAMP using a document control protocol. This ensures documents and policies remain current and relevant. If you already have a policy for document control in place, you can apply it to your DAMP.

Keeping records

You must keep records relating to your DAMP activities for 5 years.

You also must also:

  • keep your records in a secure location
  • destroy or delete your records, or parts of your records, that relate to drug or alcohol testing, within 6 months after retaining them for 5 years
  • establish a process to ensure you keep your records for the required time, store them securely and dispose of them at the required times.

Submitting confirmed positive DAMP test results

You can submit a confirmed positive DAMP test result online using myCASA. This means a positive test result confirmed by a medical review officer (MRO).

The myCASA form provides us with more safety data to help focus our stakeholder awareness education. This data will also inform aviation safety forums and any future legislative amendments.

The reporting helps us understand emerging trends. We do not use the reporting for punitive purposes, but rather to obtain a picture of effectiveness of an organisation’s DAMP testing processes. The reporting helps us see:

  • trending problem substances
  • geographical locations where people are using certain substances, or areas or stakeholders that will benefit from CASA’s further engagement.

Login to myCASA and find the DAMP report in ‘Applications’.

Reviewing and auditing your DAMP

You must review your DAMP at least every 5 years. This might be:

  • on the date on which your organisation developed its DAMP
  • at any other time as we direct you.

We may need your organisation to provide:

  • a copy of your DAMP
  • records to show that you are putting the DAMP in place
  • any other information that we specify as relevant to the audit.

Your organisation must comply with these requirements. If not, we may undertake enforcement action.

CASA DAMP sample manual and guide to the DAMP sample manual

The CASA DAMP sample manual sets out a suggested structure and sample content for an organisation to document their DAMP. This document is an optional tool to assist with developing a DAMP that meets the requirements of Subpart 99.B of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 (CASR).

The Guide to the DAMP sample manual is aimed at providing assistance to operators when using the CASA DAMP sample manual, or may also be used when developing their own manual.

Last updated:
14 Oct 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//operations-safety-and-travel/safety-advice/drug-and-alcohol-management/drug-and-alcohol-management-plans-damps
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