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1.1.3 Abbreviations


  1. The ADF Pay and Conditions Manual authorises pay and conditions of service for all ADF members. This is both within Australia and overseas.

  2. The Manual gives administrators and ADF members access to the determinations, authorisations and policy guidance that set their pay and conditions of service.

    1. Determinations are delegated legislation made under the Defence Act 1903. They are the legislated authority for member's pay and conditions of service and are to be followed.

    2. Authorisations identify who has the authority to exercise the CDF's or Secretary's powers on benefits and allowances.

    3. Policy guidance includes sections and Annexes that are showing a grey box with 'guidance' written at the top of the box.  Policy guidance is to be observed, but is not part of the legal text of the determinations. It is used to help make the legal meaning clear, to cover administrative issues, or to describe conditions of service that members get through other laws.


  1. The CDF authorises persons to exercise, from time-to-time, many decision-making powers for conditions of service on the CDF's behalf.

  2. The Secretary has delegated the powers and functions under the DEA to persons occupying or performing the duties of a number of positions, including Assistant Secretary People Policy and Employment Conditions (ASPPEC).

  3. ASPPEC has delegated the powers and functions for APS overseas conditions of employment to people holding, occupying, acting in or performing the duties of specified positions to make these decisions.

  4. The authorised persons are placed close to the relevant provisions and are shown in accordion lists.

  5. The current CDF Instrument of Authorisation and ASPPEC delegations are available from the Authorisations and delegations page.

  6. A person who has been approved by the CDF or the Secretary to exercise any decision-making powers cannot delegate these powers to another person. Any decisions made by a person who has not been authorised by the CDF, Secretary or who is not an approving authority under an Instrument of Authorisation is legally ineffective.

  7. Guidance for authorised persons in exercising the CDF's and Secretary's powers can be found in the following documents.

    1. Guidance for authorised decision-makers (PDF 72KB).

    2. Decision-Maker's Handbook for Personnel-related Decisions (PDF 351KB).

Other approving authorities

  1. If there is no formal authority to make a decision, it may be made by the member's Commanding Officer or supervisor not below Major(E) or APS 6, or by a senior official in a specialist area. The person making the decision must be in the member's direct chain of command or supervision, or in a specialist area that normally makes decisions of that kind.

  2. Decisions described in this section are usually about establishing facts relevant to whether a member meets all the conditions for an entitlement or benefit. They are unlikely to involve the use of judgement about the entitlement or benefit.

  3. The person described in subsection 1 is commonly known as the approving authority for the decision. They may take advice or recommendations about the decision from any source they regard as appropriate.

Changes in policy on conditions of service

  1. Chapters 1 to 17 authorise the pay and conditions policies currently in force. Policies are subject to review and amendment over time.

  2. Issues relating to changes in policy should continue to be referred through existing administrative channels. Policy consideration involves appropriate consultative processes that may culminate with Ministers or the Defence Committee, which includes the CDF, VCDF and the Service Chiefs.

  3. Proposals relating to pay and pay-related allowances are considered for submission to the DFRT.

  4. Delegates of the Minister for Defence have the power to determine new or varied conditions of service, which result from approved policy initiatives.

Examples and non-examples

  1. Many sections contain examples and non-examples. They are there to help the reader understand the rule in the section. Examples and non-examples are for administrative use and are not legal rules.

  2. Examples show a possible way the rule may be applied. Examples will not show all the situations that meet the rule. Other situations may be approved if they also meet the rule.

  3. Non-examples show situations that do not meet the rule. Other situations that do not meet the rule should also not be approved, even if they are not listed as a non-example.

Policy questions


For complex policy questions it is advised that administrators talk to the following.

  1. Their supervisor.

  2. The Defence Service Centre on 1800 333 362 or by email at

  3. The HR business partner.

  4. The relevant Service Personnel area.

Pay and conditions manual


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