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Department of Transport and Main Roads

BoatSafe Compliance Policy

This policy supports the BoatSafe Audit and Compliance Framework (the framework). The policy outlines BoatSafe's approach to compliance and aims to assist authority holders to understand how BoatSafe responds to noncompliance.

Under the framework, BoatSafe evaluates risks and responds accordingly, BoatSafe is clear about expectations and works together with authority holders to drive continual improvement.

Approach to Compliance

BoatSafe works with authority holders to improve compliance using a range of compliance tools with the aim of supporting regulatory outcomes. Compliance activities are risk-based and informed by intelligence and  auditing programs intended to encourage compliance.

Compliance Principles

As not all noncompliance is of equal significance, there is no ‘one size fits all’ response to addressing noncompliance. BoatSafe's response will depend upon the seriousness of the noncompliance and BoatSafe has discretion in selecting the most appropriate action to use. The response will be proportionate to risk and is determined on a case-by-case basis. Decisions regarding actions will be consistent and transparent.

Deciding the appropriate compliance action

The following will be considered when deciding the appropriate compliance action to take (in no particular order):

  • the seriousness of the incident
  • the potential or actual risk to a student or the public
  • history of compliance with BoatSafe and the frequency of noncompliance
  • voluntary action to mitigate any harm to a student or the public and any mechanisms put in place to prevent a recurrence
  • failure to notify or delay notification of the incident
  • failure to comply with BoatSafe's requests
  • cooperation with BoatSafe through willingness to commit to appropriate remedial actions
  • public interest and community expectation about the action taken
  • any precedent which may be set by BoatSafe not acting.

Non-compliance levels

Critical Non-compliance

A critical non-compliance significantly compromises the effectiveness of the authority and deviates significantly from the authority requirements. Examples of critical non-compliance include, but are not limited to:

  • operating outside the conditions of the authority, for example, issuing Statement/s of Competency when the BoatSafe training and assessment program has not been completed in its entirety or issuing Statement/s of Competency when an authority is lapsed, suspended or cancelled 
  • failing to uphold Suitable Persons requirements
  • delivering the BoatSafe training and assessment program to a level that significantly compromise student learning outcomes
  • failing to provide a training ship and/or personal watercraft to the student that is in a safe and compliant condition
  • failing to permit Maritime Safety Queensland representative/s entry onto a premises for the purposes of a BoatSafe audit, or
  • failing to allow Maritime Safety Queensland representative/s access to records, documents, resources or equipment
  • intimidation, abuse or similar of a Maritime Safety Queensland representative/s, current or previous student/s, or another BoatSafe Training Organisations and/or BoatSafe Training Providers representative/s.

Major Non-compliance

A major non-compliance compromises the effectiveness of the authority and deviates from the authority requirements. Examples of major non-compliance include, but are not limited to:

  • failing to advise the BoatSafe team of any changes to the operation or management of the authority within 14 days from the date of the change
  • failing to deliver the approved BoatSafe training and assessment program where the training and assessment outcome received by students is impacted
  • failing to ensure suitable training and assessment facilities and resources are available and utilised

Minor Non-compliance

A minor non-compliance neither threatens the effectiveness or assurance provided by the authority, however, is non-compliant with requirements. Examples of minor non-compliance include, but are not limited to:

  • failure to retain records
  • failure to complete certain records.


This policy was developed to be read in conjunction with:

Last updated 23 January 2024